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Earl Clement Attlee
1883 - 1967

British Labour MP (1922-1955) and prime minister of England (1945-1951). Attlee was deputy prime minister in Winston Churchill's wartime coalition government, and defeated Churchill in the election of 1945 to become prime minister. He plunged England into socialism by nationalizing coal mines, the Bank of England, gas, electricity, civil aviation, road transport, cable and radio services, railways, and steel, and by introducing the National Health Service. The resulting long decline in England's economic health was not substantially improved until Margaret Thatcher's conservative government reversed many of these mistakes beginning in 1979.


Democracy means government by discussion, but it is only effective if you can stop people talking.

quoted in Anatomy of Britain by Anthony Simpson
One layer was certainly 17th century. The 18th century in him is obvious. There was the 19th century, and a large slice, of course, of the 20th century; and another, curious layer which may possibly have been the 21st.

describing Winston Churchill as a cake, quoted in The Last Lion (1983) by William Manchester
The House of Lords is like a glass of champagne that has stood for five days.

quoted in The Fine Art of Political Wit (1964) by Leon Harris