Whistling hopelessly in the wind…

An astounding piece of ahistorical twaddle from Danny Dorling and Sally Tomlinson in today’s Guardian.

Attlee’s greatest and most effective supporter was Ernie Bevin, who doesn’t get a mention here. Bevin was at the heart of the pre-1945 work on the implementation of the Beveridge Report. The post-1945 Welfare State is inconceivable without him. And of course, as Leader of the T&G, Bevin ruthlessly put the skids under George Lansbury as Labour’s Leader, making Clem’s ascent to the Leadership possible. And, uncomfortably for the authors,  it’s Lansbury, with his pacifism and his prayers for Hitler, who is Corbyn’s closest historical antecedent.

Neither do Dorling and Tomlinson mention Attlee and Bevin’s greatest foreign policy achievements – the Marshall Plan, NATO, and the preliminary work that led to the foundation of the EU. And, of course, the UK’s independent nuclear deterrent, which continues to ensure there are at least two sane permanent members of the UN security Council. In the era of Putin and Trump, we should be grateful. But, of course, Corbyn and his followers have never supported any of those developments.

If we want parallel figures for Corbyn in the 1945-51 Parliamentary Labour Party, we should think less of Attlee, and more of Konni Zilliacus and Sydney Silverman. Few remember them, and it would be a relief to think that Corbyn will also constitute a small and distasteful footnote in Labour’s history. Sadly, with the way that the polls are looking, it looks unlikely…


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