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Lower than vermin

As I mentioned yesterday, I appear to be becoming a Bevanite, and perusing Wikiquote yesterday, I can’t fail to find Aneurin Bevan engaging, and a good example for our greedy times. As a Welshman a century ago, Bevan was the mining son of a miner by the age of 13. But when he set out as a politician (very much ‘old’ Labour) he was properly ideologically dedicated in the way few are, now Tony Benn has retired. He was strident in opposition to Churchill’s wartime coalition, particularly regarding its awfully familiar-sounding detention without trial capabilities, and when the war was over he saw the chance to rebuild the nation more equitably.

Someone like Bevan, who instituted the National Health Service; set in place a housing scheme that would guarantee good quality housing for all who needed it; a long-term thinker who didn’t have to fear re-election worries (not in South Wales, where he stood uncontested in 1931); someone like this is who the UK needs now, a proud and outspoken socialist, not another identical, smarmy economist in thrall to the financial world. So, some quotes.

“This island is made mainly of coal and surrounded by fish. Only an organizing genius could produce a shortage of coal and fish at the same time.”

“That is why no amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party that inflicted those bitter experiences on me. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin.”

“Not even the apparently enlightened principle of the ‘greatest good for the greatest number’ can excuse indifference to individual suffering. There is no test for progress other than its impact on the individual.”

“We could manage to survive without money changers and stockbrokers. We should find it harder to do without miners, steel workers and those who cultivate the land.”

“We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run down.”

“If Sir Anthony Eden is sincere in what he is saying, and he may be, he may be, then if he is sincere in what he is saying then he is too stupid to be a prime minister.”

(from WikiQuote)

Listen to the man here.


One Response

  1. Excellent! If I could write like this I would be well chuffed. The more I see articles of such quality as this (which is rare), the more I think there might be a future for the Net. Keep it up, as it were.

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