1945 Election

#1
The 1945 election in Britain and the loss of the election by the Tories is I think the biggest political disaster in British history. Agree?
 
#2
Perhaps. Certainly the huge sums spent on the programme of nationalisation could be seen to be a waste but have a look at the manifesto (http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/area/uk/man/lab45.htm) and put yourself in the position of an ordinary bloke returning from six years of war, knowing that your father hardly got a fair deal after doing his bit in WW1. Pledges sound quite attractive and not utterly unreasonable.

I think Churchill's overreaction (making a rather unnecessary comparison of a Labour administration with the Gestapo) didn't help either.
 
#3
Not really after 6 years of war, every one was looking for some thing different. Also during the war it had been a National Government.
 
#4
mr.fawlty said:
The 1945 election in Britain and the loss of the election by the Tories is I think the biggest political disaster in British history. Agree?
Well, my stepdad and his brothers would have all have disagreed with you. He told me that as 1944 turned into 1945 and the damned Jerries kept shooting at them, they were fighting as much for a change in the British Government as for getting rid of Adolf H and his band of nutters... They were all from the East End of London and although working class would not be considered particularly left wing... My stepdad described it as them seeing (and fighting for) a chance for the normal people of Britain to get a say in what went on. Also, they were very aware that Hitler could have been stopped if the Tories had been a bit more aware
 
#5
mr.fawlty said:
The 1945 election in Britain and the loss of the election by the Tories is I think the biggest political disaster in British history. Agree?
Disagree. Relatives of mine told stories of discussing elements of what become the Manifesto e.g. the Beveridge/NHS proposals, in quiet moments before major battles, courtesy of the Army Bureau of Current Affairs. The image of these men sitting round their tanks in vineyards in Italy (or wherever) quietly deciding the sort of society they wanted when they got home (those who made it) is incredibly moving. Needless to say the gov hated ABCA:


 
#6
It's surprisingly easy to be wise after an event. I'm not arguing that Chamberlain didn't make a mistake in Munich but on the plus side it gave Great Britain a chance to at least start to build up it's armed forces. You have to remember that at that time the US was very isolationist and there wa every possibility that we would have been alone especially as Russia had also signed a non-agression pact with Germany. The vote in 1945 was in my opinion no more than a call for change and the government of the previous 6 years had had very little tim eto concentrate on social reform.
 
#7
I believe the 1945 election has been referred to as the RAEC's only battle honour as the then Sgt Instructors were said to have taught the compulsory current affairs classes with a left wing slant
 
#8
craftsmanx said:
It's surprisingly easy to be wise after an event. I'm not arguing that Chamberlain didn't make a mistake in Munich but on the plus side it gave Great Britain a chance to at least start to build up it's armed forces. You have to remember that at that time the US was very isolationist and there wa every possibility that we would have been alone especially as Russia had also signed a non-agression pact with Germany. The vote in 1945 was in my opinion no more than a call for change and the government of the previous 6 years had had very little tim eto concentrate on social reform.
I think you have a point - however, from what my stepdad said, the voters in 1945 didn't agree :D
 
#10
exsniffer said:
I believe the 1945 election has been referred to as the RAEC's only battle honour as the then Sgt Instructors were said to have taught the compulsory current affairs classes with a left wing slant
Beat me to it but your reasoning is what I heard from burggers than me. War changes everything and I suspect that being war weary the troops and their families wanted a fresh start. Some of the changes were good and some were a complete waste of money (nationalisation) by the comrades but one thing is for sure - it changed everything for ever.
 
#11
No, the biggest political disaster would have been doing a deal with Hitler in 1940. That said Britain hasn't had a democratic election since 1931.
 
#12
i agree old man but no government here survives a long campaign, short puchy victories ala Falklands most certainly ( no disrepect to Falkland vets, 1 life is 1 too many, Brittish blood aint for spillin) but never one of the great epic carnages.
 
#13
Don't forget one thing! I for instance was old enough to be a squaddy but not old enough to vote! 21 was the voting age.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#14
George MacDonald Frazer looks at the election in his autobiography Quartered Safe Out Here (if you like a non-fiction prequel to the MacAuslan series).

Cannit be arrsed to recant it here. Go out, buy the book and read it for yourself.
 
#15
I read in one biography of Bill Slim that he told Winston to his face that
"My lot would'nt be voting for you"

Labour had told its normal lies and The Conservative Party where held by the Man in the Street to be the party the had allowed the war to happen.

john
 
#16
jonwilly said:
I read in one biography of Bill Slim that he told Winston to his face that
"My lot wouldn't be voting for you"

john
:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Democracy eh! According to a bloke called Addison the vote had gone Labour by the time of the (cancelled) 1940 election and the delay to 1945 only added to the size of the Tory defeat.


Road to 1945: British Politics and the Second World War ; Addison P.
 
#17
:D All of my family Grand father, Father, brother, and various Uncles had all served in the armed forces some in WW1 and WW11. My wifes family and relatives all served in the armed forces. My father told me (and he was a tory) that the best P.M. was Clem Attlee and he was better than Maggie.mind you Clem had some clowns in his party, the country wanted a change and were fed up being told by tory's we know what is best for you. :lol:
 
#18
jonwilly said:
I read in one biography of Bill Slim that he told Winston to his face that
"My lot wouldn't be voting for you"

john
:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Democracy eh! According to a bloke called Addison the vote had gone Labour by the time of the (cancelled) 1940 election and the delay to 1945 only added to the size of the Tory defeat.


Road to 1945: British Politics and the Second World War ; Addison P.
 
#19
Militarily, Labour winning the election ensured that our boys faced MiG jets powered by (copied) Rolls-Royce engines in Korea.

Economically, it resulted in an unnecessary austerity program that kept the country poor, and mammoth public spending which caused some of the problems we are facing today (NHS in rag order, rampant welfarism of chav scum, railways in crisis).
 
#20
mr.fawlty said:
The 1945 election in Britain and the loss of the election by the Tories is I think the biggest political disaster in British history. Agree?
Whatever people may think of the Atlee government and its policies, I suspect there are very few people, who with hand on heart, would really say that the NHS (whatever its past and present problems) was a bad idea. The same applies to other aspects of the welfare state like council housing, which whilst not introduced post-1945, received a huge boost.

In addition, your premise is based on a big assumption. How do we know that a Tory victory wouldn't have been far worse. Trying to hang on to India for instance? A zero sum game with huge amounts of cash, not to mention lives, potentially squandered for a far messier result than actually occurred.

The British people recognised that Churchill was a great war leader, but unlikely to serve them well in peace. He himself said, when asked if he thought the UK electorate had been ungrateful, "No, they have had a very hard time!"
 

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