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Daniel Speight

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  1. It now looks like the opposite of “big government” was “lazy government”. When even the most reliant on “market forces” politicians in the US and UK are nationalizing banks right, left and center we have to suspect policies based on this idea have failed. Those who can still stand up and support laissez faire capitalism can only offer a return to a standard of living from a hundred years ago, acceptance of mass unemployment and starvation. Mind you if you can believe in this you can probably believe in creationism too. There is no science in either. BTW for UK history buffs I seem to remem
  2. There is an argument for doing that. Would it have been better to remove Hitler before he caused the death of so many? The problem is that it would be hard to trust individual states to do it as they might have other reasons for doing it. The UN has to represent both the good and bad states, democracies and dictatorships so they would never be able to agree to do it. Maybe we need an organization of democratic states to decide. I would love to hear that we are going to throw out the generals in Burma. I could add to that list and probably Saddan would have been on it, but I suspect that wasn'
  3. Probably not. What is important is that the maximum amount of people are allowed to vote and what ever government is elected can also be removed at least by the end of it's term. No matter how imperfect the democracy it's usually a better place to be than a state without it.
  4. Yes it is, but now Bush and Blair are stuck with the problem on how to get out. It won't be long before they talking about leaving with honour but it's hard to see how this will pan out. The mistake they made was in their reasons for going there in the first place. They thought they could set up a pliant government that would help keep oil supplies flowing and remove a costly thorn in their sides. If it could have been a Saddan removal, the troops leaving in a few months and leaving it to luck whether the next government was friendly or not then they might have got out with honour. Now not o
  5. It's nothing to do with morals. If the people in a state want the government to supply top rate services then you have to tax. The Scandinavian countries seem to do it quite well. Of course some smart guys will leave and go and live in the US so they aren't taxed;-)
  6. Andy what is the definition of political ideology you are giving to your students? My thoughts are that it is gazing into the crystal ball to see what human society can become. One thing we know for sure is that it has changed quite drastically in the past. Our ancestors left the trees to become scavengers on the ground with most eventually settling into farming. At one time we had a feudal society and now we have a capitalist industrial society. We apply the word evolution to Darwin’s theory on animal and plant life, but we can just as easily apply it to society and just like the biologists
  7. I have some more information from a number of books that arrived here this weekend. I still have no confirmation that the meeting on the Massey Shaw did take place in 1947. In early 1947 Morrison was in hospital and quite sick. It was while he was in hospital that Ellen Wilkinson killed herself. It seems that after his illness the Parliamentary Labour Party no longer considered him fit enough for the leadership even if still felt he was. By September of 1947 most of the cabinet thought that Atlee was no longer the right man to be leader. This included Ernie Bevin. Stafford Cripps and Hugh Da
  8. I drew a blank on my father's friend who had been at Fords. He spent most of his time at a Ford unit in the Woolwich Arsenal, not at the Dagenham plant. I just found the following on Amazon but I can't access the page the have for some reason. It's from On the Lookout: A Partial Autobiography by C.H. Sisson. If anyone has access to this book could they see if there was anything else. Fred Copeman's autobiography was published in 1948 I think so that wouldn't probably help. Did he become a Catholic in the end? Thanks Danny
  9. Thanks Ed I have some used books on Bevan and Morrison coming out here next week so hopefully I will find one of them mentions it. If the meeting did take place it would be great to know the date. I do suspect there was talk on the leadership. The left was in no position to win and the choice would have been Ernie Bevin or Herbert Morrison if Atlee had gone. Who would the left have been less scared of? I suspect they had more fear of Bevin even though Morrison was the witch-hunter. Danny
  10. I guess left and right can be very subjective for those involved at the time. Certainly Copeman's disillusionment with the Russian communists was fairly early. After 1956 the flood gates opened, but still in the late 60s I met British Communist Party members who would have felt far to the left of the Labour Party. Not having any real knowledge of Marxism I have to simplify it for myself so I would say that those that believed in revolutionary socialism would have considered themselves left of those who saw a democratic way to their socialist ideal. In 1939 and through to much later communis
  11. John could you help me in one more inquiry. It's regarding Fred Copeman after he left the Communist Party. From the Spartacus web site it seems he moved to the right, joined the Labour Party, worked for Morrison in the war and was a Labour councillor in Lewisham. The strange bit was him becoming a foreman at Fords in Dagenham. I doubt I will ever get to read his Reason in Revolt, but did he just give up in the end? I have asked my father to talk with his best friend who would have been at Fords at the same time, but I'm asking two eighty year old men here and the answer might come quite slow
  12. Thanks for confirming that affair. I was worried I had the wrong person. The depression over failure to get the school leaving age changed does seem suspect. She sounded like one tough lady. I would have thought that if Morrison did take money it would have been from the city where he did seem to cultivate friends rather than the Americans. Having said that there seems to have been an almost puritanical dislike of financial corruption amongst those old Labour leaders. Morrison would have had many chances to become rich running the LCC and I don't think he was known as being particularly wealt
  13. Thanks John and sorry about the link. I will try again below. http://www.thames.org.uk/pages/massey.html There are few mentions of this meeting, so I guess it wasn't that secret after all, unless all the references are from a single source that is wrong. A better link is at http://www.adls.org.uk/shipinfo.cfm?id=55&RestTrust=0 which has the following: A side note on the boat itself. It has a claim to fame for being at Dunkirk, not to put out fires, (it was a London Fire Brigade boat and so under Morrison's control), but to ferry troops off the beaches. Also in the above quote B
  14. I hope someone can help as I am living in Thailand and do not have easy access to many books covering this period. I have come accross references on the web to a secret meeting between Herbert Morrison and Aneurin Bevan on a LCC fire boat called the Massey Shaw sometime soon after the war. All the references talk of a meeting about the setting up of the National Health Service. An example is given below. http://www.thames.org.uk/pages/massey.html I am not sure why there would be such secrecy. I think these men wouldn't have been that fond of each other. Would it have been some sort horse tr
  15. I was born in 1951 in Plumstead, London, England. In 1973 I left England to work in the oil industry. For the last 20+ years I have lived in Bangkok, Thailand. Since 1995 I have owned and managed an ecommerce company in Thailand. My interest is in Labour Party politics in the 30-40's and the post-war Labour government. I am also interested in London politics during the above period, the Spanish Civil War and the formation and history of the UN.
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