“MR Benn could you put your pipe in your mouth for me?” He didn’t say anything, he just did it, giving me a very typical image of Tony Benn on the 2003 anti-war demo on the streets of central London.
Mr Benn was president of the Stop The War Coalition from 2001 until his death in 2014. Previous to that he held some pretty high-up positions as a hard-left Labour politician. I photographed him a few times over the years; love him or hate him he was the best orator I have ever seen or heard.
That particular ‘Stop The War’ demo attracted more than half a million people from all corners of the country and further afield, including the USA politician Jessi Jackson, another great orator.
It seems that marching in great numbers in London was the thing to do in the early 2000s; The Countryside Demo was reputed to have had one million people on the streets of London. Ironically the war wasn’t stopped and hunting with dogs was banned.