Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Attlee greater than Churchill?

Note this poll
in Britain: University of Leeds polled 258 academics, with 139 answering the survey questions in full, making this the first large-scale survey of British academic experts in British politics and/or modern British history, asking them to rate all the 20th century British Prime Ministers in terms of their success and asking them to assess the key characteristics of successful PMs. Their conclusion: Clement Attlee (Labour PM, 1945-1951) is the greatest Prime Minister in the 20th century. This is a deed without a name. I have nothing else to say on this matter save to remind you of what Winston said of Atlee: "He is a modest man with much to be modest about."

Discussions - 5 Comments

Churchill also said of Clement Atlee,
"An empty car pulled up in front of Parliament this morning, and Clement Atlee got out."
I suppose academics would think that the guy who campaigned on the slogan "Cradle to Grave Security" and proceeded to destroy the British post-war economy left a greater legacy than the man who followed through on his eloquent promises, and fought the Nazis on the beachheads and never surrendered. It speaks volumes about academia.
While we noticed Churchill’s birthday, no one apparently pointed out that Churchill was born on St. Andrews Day. Worth noting.

Churchill wanted to beat Hitler, save Britain, preserve the British Empire, and maintain Britain as one of the Great Powers. He succeeded in only two. In addition, he wanted to preserve economic liberty in Britain and failed there too. Atlee wanted to beat Hitler (and Japan), jettison Empire, and socialize Britain and he succeeded brilliantly for more than two generations. On a won/loss record Atlee may be greater if that’s all you care about. I don’t’ think the difficulty or nobility of the goals were taken into account in this thing (and of course we know academics in general are a pinko bunch).

Before we start dumping on Clem too much, let’s recall that Churchill could never have became PM in May 1940 without the resistance of Attlee and Arthur Greenwood, as the Labour members of Chamberlain’s national-unity War Cabinet, to Chamberlain’s attempts to get them to accept Halifax as PM, and their insistence that they would serve only under Churchill once Chamberlain resigned.

It truly must be observed that British academics of today must have done their post-graduate work at the "Monty Python Flying Circus". Any of these academes qualified to be Minister of Silly Walks?

Churchill wanted to beat Hitler, save Britain, preserve the British Empire, and maintain Britain as one of the Great Powers. He succeeded in only two.

Indeed, the first two and the last two turned out to be mutually exclusive, inasmuch as U.S. assistance (absolutely essential for achieving the first two) only came at the price of becoming an American client state.

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