Quotations From ANEURIN BEVAN

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  • Fascism is not in itself a new order of society. It is the future refusing to be born.
    Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960), British Labour politician. Quoted in Michael Foot, Aneurin Bevan, vol. 1, ch. 10 (1962).

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  • We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run over.
    Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960), British Labour politician. quoted in Observer (London, Dec. 6, 1953).

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  • Poor fellow, he suffers from files.
    Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960), British Labour politician. Quoted in Michael Foot, Aneurin Bevan, vol. 1, ch. 5 (1962). referring to the administrator and trade unionist Sir Walter Citrine. Citrine, Foot claimed, had a "card-index mind."
  • His ear is so sensitively attuned to the bugle note of history that he is often deaf to the more raucous clamour of contemporary life.
    Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960), British Labour politician. Quoted in Michael Foot, Aneurin Bevan, vol. 1, ch. 10 (1962).

    Read more quotations about / on: history, life
  • It is an axiom, enforced by all the experience of the ages, that they who rule industrially will rule politically.
    Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960), British Labour politician. Quoted in Michael Foot, Aneurin Bevan, vol. 1, ch. 2 (1962).
  • He seems determined to make a trumpet sound like a tin whistle.
    Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960), British Labour politician. Quoted in Aneurin Bevan, vol. 1, ch. 14, Michael Foot (1962). Referring to Labour politician (later prime minister) Clement Attlee. In playing second fiddle to Conservative Anthony Eden when the two were delegated to represent Britain at the U.N. conference in San Francisco, Attlee, according to Bevan, had "consistently underplayed his position and opportunities.... He brings to the fierce struggle of politics the tepid enthusiasm of a lazy summer afternoon at a cricket match."
  • I know that the right kind of leader for the Labour Party is a kind of desiccated calculating machine.
    Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960), British Labour politician. speech, Sept. 29, 1954, Tribune Group, Labour Party Conference. Quoted in Aneurin Bevan, vol. 2, ch. 11, Michael Foot (1973). Taken as referring to Hugh Gaitskell, though Bevan later denied this.
  • You're not an M.P., you're a gastronomic pimp.
    Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960), British Labour politician. Quoted in Aneurin Bevan, vol. 2, ch. 6, Michael Foot (1973). Said to a colleague who complained of attending too many public dinners.
  • The purpose of getting power is to be able to give it away.
    Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960), British Labour politician. Quoted in Aneurin Bevan, vol. 1, ch. 1, Michael Foot (1962).

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  • If we complain about the tune, there is no reason to attack the monkey when the organ grinder is present.
    Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960), British Labour politician. Speech, May 16, 1957, House of Commons. Hansard, col. 680. Referring to Foreign Minister Selwyn Lloyd and Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, and the latter's role in the Suez fiasco the previous autumn. Though Macmillan had no direct responsibility for foreign affairs during the Suez Crisis (he was then Chancellor of the Exchequer), he had advocated a strong response to the nationalization of the canal by Nasser, so that the subsequent replacement of Prime Minister Anthony Eden by Macmillan was seen by Bevan as a symbolic sacrifice.
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