Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD REFERENCE ( (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2013. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single entry from a reference work in OR for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 23 April 2019

Aneurin Bevan 1897–1960
British Labour politician 

  1. 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.
    speech at Blackpool, 24 May 1945
  2. I would rather be kept alive in the efficient if cold altruism of a large hospital than expire in a gush of warm sympathy in a small one.
    speech, House of Commons, 30 April 1946
  3. The Tory Party…So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin.
    speech at Manchester, 4 July 1948
  4. The language of priorities is the religion of Socialism.
    speech at Labour Party Conference in Blackpool, 8 June 1949, in Report of the 48th Annual Conference (1949)
  5. [Winston Churchill] does not talk the language of the 20th century but that of the 18th. He is still fighting Blenheim all over again. His only answer to a difficult situation is send a gun-boat.
    speech at Labour Party Conference, Scarborough, 2 October 1951
  6. We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run down.
    in Observer 6 December 1953
  7. I am not going to spend any time whatsoever in attacking the Foreign Secretary…If we complain about the tune, there is no reason to attack the monkey when the organ grinder is present.
    during a debate on the Suez crisis
    speech, House of Commons, 16 May 1957
  8. If you carry this resolution you will send Britain's Foreign Secretary naked into the conference chamber.
    speaking against a motion proposing unilateral nuclear disarmament by the UK at Labour Party Conference in Brighton, 3 October 1957
    in Daily Herald 4 October 1957
  9. I know that the right kind of leader for the Labour Party is a desiccated calculating machine who must not in any way permit himself to be swayed by indignation.
    generally taken as referring to Hugh Gaitskell, although Bevan specifically denied it in an interview with Robin Day on 28 April 1959
    Michael Foot Aneurin Bevan (1973) vol. 2, ch. 11
  10. I read the newspapers avidly. It is my one form of continuous fiction.
    in Times 29 March 1960
  11. Fascism is not in itself a new order of society. It is the future refusing to be born.
    Leon Harris The Fine Art of Political Wit (1965)
  12. I stuffed their mouths with gold.
    of his handling of the consultants during the establishment of the National Health Service
    Brian Abel-Smith The Hospitals 1800–1948 (1964) ch. 29