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

13,339 comments on “Clem Attlee – Britain’s greatest Prime Minister

  1. Hi there! This article couldnít be written any better! Looking at this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I will send this information to him. Fairly certain he will have a very good read. Thanks for sharing!

  2. An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!

  3. Good post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It’s always interesting to read articles from other authors and use a little something from their sites.

  4. I needed to thank you for this fantastic read!! I certainly enjoyed every bit of it. I have you book-marked to look at new things you postÖ

  5. I just couldn’t leave your web site before suggesting that I really loved the standard info a person supply in your guests? Is gonna be back often to investigate cross-check new posts

  6. Hi, I do think this is a great website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will revisit once again since i have book-marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.

  7. Somebody essentially help to make seriously posts I would state. This is the first time I frequented your website page and thus far? I surprised with the research you made to create this particular publish incredible. Excellent job!

  8. When I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I get four emails with the exact same comment. Perhaps there is an easy method you are able to remove me from that service? Thank you!

  9. Hello, I do believe your website could possibly be having browser compatibility problems. Whenever I take a look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in IE, it’s got some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other than that, excellent website!

  10. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a colleague who had been conducting a little homework on this. And he in fact ordered me breakfast because I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending some time to talk about this matter here on your internet site.

  11. Hi, I do believe this is a great site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may come back once again since i have book marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.

  12. Having read this I believed it was very enlightening. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this information together. I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  13. Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Many thanks, However I am experiencing problems with your RSS. I donít know why I am unable to join it. Is there anybody having similar RSS problems? Anyone that knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanks!!

  14. Hi, I do believe this is an excellent website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I’m going to come back yet again since i have bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.

Leave a Reply

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