Clem Attlee – Britain’s greatest Prime Minister

 

Attlee at his Nefyn holiday home
Attlee at his Nefyn holiday home

Britain’s greatest Prime Minister, Clement Attlee, was born 133 years ago on 3 January 1883. He was Prime Minister from 1945 to 1951 and the longest serving Leader of the Labour Party from 1935 to 1955. He led the Labour Party to a landslide election victory in 1945 and a narrow victory in 1950 becoming the first Labour Prime Minister ever to serve a full five-year term.

The Attlee government was committed to rebuilding British society after WWII using public ownership and controls to abolish extremes of wealth and poverty. What a contrast Labour’s Socialist ideology is with today’s Tory Party’s defence of income inequality. Jeremy Corbyn’s grass-roots Socialism is a welcome return to those values.

There were many landmark achievements during his premiership using principles which cry out to be copied today.

 

  • His Government undertook the nationalisation of public utilities and major industries,
  • His Government created the National Health Service – a project led by Wales’ greatest hero Aneurin Bevan. I was born an NHS baby six weeks after the NHS itself was born.
  • He created full employment and ran budget surpluses
  • The government implemented William Beveridge’s plans ‘cradle to grave’ welfare state and set in place an entirely new system of social security by means of the National Insurance Act 1946, in which people in work paid a flat rate of national insurance. In return, they (and the wives of male contributors) received flat-rate pensions, sickness benefit and unemployment benefit.
  • Four out of five houses constructed under Labour were council properties.
  • His Keynesian fiscal policies were followed by all parties for over three decades until Margaret Thatcher’s destructive reign.
  • His Government also presided over the decolonisation of a large part of the British Empire, granting British India, Burma, and Ceylon independence, as well as ending the British Mandates of Palestine and Jordan.
Attlee with Aneurin Bevan
Attlee with Aneurin Bevan

Although he lacked charisma and was not a good public speaker, his achievements were very much behind the scenes especially in committees where his depth of knowledge, quiet demeanour, objectivity and pragmatism proved decisive. He kept its multiple factions in his very diverse party together – possibly Jeremy Corbyn could learn from his success. His leadership style of consensual government, acting as a chairman rather than a president, won him much praise from historians and politicians alike. A style decisively rejected by Thatcher, Blair and Cameron.

He died, aged 84, on 8 October 1967

6,016 comments on “Clem Attlee – Britain’s greatest Prime Minister

  1. Hi! I could have sworn Iíve been to this website before but after looking at some of the articles I realized itís new to me. Nonetheless, Iím definitely delighted I found it and Iíll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!

  2. My husband and i were really ecstatic when Raymond managed to round up his homework with the precious recommendations he received when using the web pages. It is now and again perplexing to simply possibly be releasing helpful tips which people could have been trying to sell. And we also know we need you to thank for this. The main explanations you have made, the straightforward website menu, the friendships you will aid to promote – it is everything extraordinary, and it is aiding our son in addition to the family consider that this matter is brilliant, which is certainly exceedingly serious. Thank you for all the pieces!

  3. I wanted to write a brief remark to be able to express gratitude to you for these fabulous guides you are writing at this site. My extensive internet investigation has at the end been honored with wonderful facts to talk about with my co-workers. I would repeat that most of us visitors actually are undeniably lucky to be in a perfect community with many special people with useful points. I feel truly privileged to have encountered the site and look forward to really more entertaining minutes reading here. Thanks a lot again for a lot of things.

  4. I truly wanted to construct a small note to be able to appreciate you for the fabulous advice you are posting at this site. My extensive internet lookup has finally been compensated with beneficial insight to share with my companions. I would repeat that we website visitors are really endowed to be in a notable place with very many brilliant people with good techniques. I feel pretty fortunate to have come across your entire webpages and look forward to tons of more awesome moments reading here. Thank you once more for a lot of things.

  5. You are so cool! I do not believe I have read a single thing like this before. So good to find somebody with some original thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This website is one thing that is needed on the web, someone with some originality!

  6. What i do not realize is actually how you’re not really much more well-liked than you might be now. You are very intelligent. You realize thus significantly relating to this subject, produced me personally consider it from so many varied angles. Its like women and men aren’t fascinated unless it’s one thing to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs nice. Always maintain it up!

  7. Having read this I believed it was very informative. I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this content together. I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *