Monday, 12 September 2016

Guardian Review letter on Attlee

What a pleasant change to read an article about Clement Attlee, albeit a review of the recent biography by John Bew, which mentioned the Labour PM`s modesty and lack of charisma, without including the ubiquitous, and completely unfunny, "joke" from Churchill, that he had "plenty to be modest about" (Citizen Clem: A Biography of Attlee, reviewed by Chris Mullins, 03/09/16).
  Mullins does mention the fact that he faced "almost incessant criticism from his own party", including "four attempts to force him out of the leadership". What he does omit, however, is that seven weeks prior to Attlee`s famous 1945 landslide election victory, which heralded a government providing the welfare state, nationalisation of key industries, and the NHS, the Labour party chairman, Laski, sent the leader a letter stating that he should consider resigning, as his leadership was a "grave handicap to the hopes of victory"!


1 comment:

  1. Mullins did not bother to read Bew's book before reviewing it. The idea that Churchill is the source of 'modest man' is utter nonsense. Attlee did not face "almost incessant criticism from his own party", nor were there "four attempts to force him out of the leadership". Attlee did not treat Laski's barmy letter seriously, sending a very short reply that the contents were noted.