Harry Leslie Smith, who has passed away at 95, was a vocal critic on topics ranging from the treatment of refugees to the NHS and struggles under austerity.

Having lived through the Great Depression and as a veteran of the Second World War, there is no doubt that the left-wing political activist has experienced his fair share of trials and tribulations.

This is why we have summed up a collection of his best quotes that will inspire us for years to come.

1. On Remembrance Day.

Instead of wearing a poppy for #Rememberance2018 we should wear our shame because as a human race we've learned nothing since 1918


2. On Trump becoming president.

Trump will be the beginning of a revolution that will spread throughout the world and maybe end civilisation. I am dreadfully scared, believe me

-Al Jazeera, 2017

3. Comparing refugees arriving in Britain in the Second World War with today.

It was such a different world then. Britain was a different country. It was a country with a heart. We have lost some of our early love for each other

-Al Jazeera, 2017

4. On how to live your life.

Life is more than a budget holiday in Spain or a new car on tick; it's about creating legacies that can outlive your natural life

The Independent , 2018

5. On why he started writing.

In 2008, the world's economy crashed. And the following year, my middle son, Peter, died at the age of 50. y 2010, my grief was uncontrollable and I knew that the only way I could expiate it was through writing about my early life - in a book and also on social media. I needed to let people know that the economic and political storms coming our way, I'd seen them before

Reader's Digest Canada

6. On the future of the NHS

I am convinced it will not exist in 20 years. Not because it's too costly but because the entitled, and the politicians who serve them, are too greedy. In Canada, universal health care does not cover prescription drugs or dental care. Only 30 per cent of Canadians can either afford or have the luxury off working for a company that provides health insurance. When I go into stores here staffed by workers earning minimum wage, their teeth remind me of those of the poor in 1930s England

Reader's Digest Canada

7. On our society.

I find our cities forlorn places in the evening because the canopy of night is obscured by steel and glass condo palaces built on the hubris of speculators' credit. From them a sad luminescence is emitted from the glow of millions of flat-screen televisions that burn reality TV programmes, news updates and sitcoms into our collective consciousness. Their light is like the campfires of ancient men, used to ward off the beasts that lurked in the shadows

From his book Harry's Last Stand: How the World My Generation Built is Falling Down, and What We Can Do to Save It

Harry Leslie Smith with his well-known book 'Harry's Last Stand'

8. On austerity.

Sadly, that world my generation helped build on a foundation of decency and fair play is being swept away be neoliberalism and the greed of the 1%, which has brought discord around the globe. Today, the western world stands ar its most dangerous juncture since the 1930s

The Guardian, 2018

9. On Brexit.

Britain also has nothing to be proud of. Since the Iraq war our country has been on a downward decline, as successive governments have eroded democracy and social justice, and savaged the welfare state with austerity, leading us into the cul de sac of Brexit. Like Trump, Brexit cannot be undone by liberal sanctimony – it can only be altered if the neoliberal economic model is smashed, as if it were a statue of a dictator, by a liberated people.

The Guardian, 2017


10. On rebuilding Britain.

I have almost a hundred years of lived history pulsing through my blood and memories. So when I tell you that this is the best of times for the one per cent and the worst of times for everyone else, heed my words. It is now time that you gather the spirit of my generation into your hearts to begin the task of rebuilding this country, Europe and the world as it should be. It is time to make our Britain a green and pleasant land for all who live here.

The Independent, 2018

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