On the day of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral, the Untrusteds reconcile their differences with Margaret Thatcher, with a photo of one of her most respected politicians – Clem Attlee
On the 19 June 2009 the Daily Mail published an article, a tribute to Clem Attlee. On the day of Lady Thatcher’s funeral, as an unacknowledged tribute to her, the armchair revolutionaries and anarchists of the Untrusted published this photograph of him with Aneurin Bevan.
The Mail reported:
He was the least prepossessing of our modern Prime Ministers: a short, balding man with a neat little moustache and the bearing of a bank manager, a man of few words who, when an interviewer asked if he had any thoughts about the coming general election, replied simply: ‘No.’
His great colleague and rival, Winston Churchill, once joked that Attlee was ‘a modest man, but then he has so much to be modest about’.
But Churchill later regretted being so rude about his wartime collaborator. Attlee, he said, was ‘an honourable and gallant gentleman, and a faithful colleague who served his country well at the time of her greatest need’.
In the Gallipoli campaign in 1915, Attlee served as a captain and was the last man but one evacuated from Suvla Bay and in the campaign in Iraq a year later he was badly wounded by shrapnel and sent home to recuperate.
Although he became an agnostic in later life, it was his Christian ethics that turned this Haileybury public schoolboy and Oxford history graduate into a champion of the poor and advocate for social democracy.
The Welfare State – his greatest achievement
For Attlee, the welfare state was all about enabling people to stand on their own two feet, not about targets, league tables and Whitehall directives.
Oh how he would have clasped MrsBootstraps,the Untrusted’s very own selfmadewoman, so closely to his breast.
And Lady Thatcher?
‘He was a serious man and a patriot. Quite contrary to the general tendency of politicians in the Nineties, he was all substance and no show.’