Sunday, 22 September 2013
Another One of my History Boys
Well. I can't really excuse my absence from my keyboard, except perhaps for the fact that I have spent the past week with my abnormally large nose glued firmly inside 'The History of Modern Britain' by Andrew Marr. Don't worry, a tediously ridiculous book review isn't on the way- the book is far to long for that! Oh no, but, (surprisingly) I have managed to gleam some inspiration for a blog post, so you can all stop pining after your regular dose of badly-written nonsense riddled with spelling mistakes, written by somebody whose brain power has never been the same after reading 'Twilight'. So, on with it.
Now, I've always had a little bit of a soft spot for my unsung hero's of history ( Winston not included), my 'History Boys' as I call them to myself. Sometimes, if you're really lucky, I write about them, and today is one of those brilliant days. Haven't stopped reading yet? Thank you. Now, the majority of Britain and Cold War students will have learnt about a certain Clement Attlee, Labour leader of the post-war years, so you probably won't view him as an 'unsung hero' of history. But although he certainly isn't 'unsung', he definitely isn't widely regarded as one of our country's heroes, and that's probably because the post-war years were pretty much impossible to govern, what with mass homelessness and the country being bankrupt. So why was Britain in such a bad state, I hear you cry? 'The War' would be an easy answer, and not one that an annoyingly insquisitive mind like mine will accept easily. No, the actual 'blame' arguably lies at the door of the USA, although they weren't really in a position themselves to bail us out. You see, during the war, Britain pretty much survived on this thing called 'Lend-Lease', which was this pretty nifty plan through which America loaned us money to help out with the war effort on the home front. Money which was largely spent on keeping the country running and the people alive. Now, at the end of the war, it stands to reason that war-time economic help would have been stopped, and stopped it was. Suddenly, without giving our government time to come up with a contingency plan, and furthering the economic troubles we found ourselves in. We also had to spend large sums of money on our countries abroad to stop them falling to the communism that was sweeping an impoverished Europe, start up our own nuclear programme as the cold war began to heat up so as to kid ourselves we were still a world power, provide some kind of answer to the call for a social revolution, and also handle Indian independence. I can't imagine any governments of today managing all of that (relatively) successfully and surviving. Under Attlee's socialist Labour government, nationalisation began, the surviving remnant of this being our NHS,as well as building on Churchill's foundations for a welfare state, rebuilding council estates and reforming education. A lot of the things that we now have in Britain that we state as 'what makes Britain great' came from Attlee's socialist ideals and efficiency on getting it done. He is so often remembered as 'that bloke who came after Churchill', but Attlee is one of this country's more successful Prime Ministers, and more famous Socialists. Personally, I love the little, uncharismatic man, because I love so many of the reforms he brought into place.
So. I hope you now think a little more of Attlee, the only Labour leader without charisma (if you dont count the rest of them). And i hope I have quenched your thirst for mindless, opinionated, ignorant waffle.
Thanks again for sticking with it this far!