Clement Attlee was born #OnThisDay in 1883

Clem Attlee
image credit: By Unidentified (1957 Michiganensian, p. 39) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I know a lot more about the achievements of the 1945 Labour government than I do about Prime Minister Clem Attlee who was born on this day in 1883.

So I’ve downloaded the award winning biography “Citizen Clem” by John Bew.

I’ve heard Attlee described as “a sheep in sheep’s clothing” and thought this was attributed to Churchill but apparently it was Malcolm Muggeridge who coined the insult.

“Citizen Clem” was awarded the 2017 Orwell Prize for Political Writing and the 2017   Elizabeth Longford Prize for Political Biography. John Bew’s revelatory biography “shows Attlee not only as a hero of his age, but an emblem of it; and his life tells the story of how Britain changed over the twentieth century.” Sounds good, doesn’t it?

In this 1946 Pathe News clip, Attlee shares with the nation his vision of “We’re all in it together”.

I liked these Clem Attlee quotes from AZ Quotes

No social system will bring us happiness, health and prosperity unless it is inspired by something greater than materialism.

Charity is a cold grey loveless thing. If a rich man wants to help the poor, he should pay his taxes gladly, not dole out money at a whim.

And there are lots more quotes here.

Clem Attlee retired as Labour leader and from the House of Commons in 1955. He was elevated to the peerage and took his seat in the House of Lords as Earl Attlee and Viscount Prestwood on 16 December 1955. Attlee died in 1967 and the title passed to his son, Martin Attlee. On Martin’s death in 1991, the title passed to his son, John Attlee. John took up his seat in the House of Lords in 1992 initially as a cross-bencher. Shortly before the general election of 1997 John Attlee joined the Conservative Party. He is one of the ninety elected hereditary peers that remain in the House of Lords after the passing of the House of Lords Act 1999.

Thanks for reading my blog today.


  1. “cold, grey, loveless..” Francis Beckett 1997, erroneous wikipedia edit 2008 (long since removed) mis-attributed it to Attlee. AZ Quotes copy without checking from other sites that copy without checking.
    Viscount Prestwood is the courtesy title that the eldest son of the Earl Attlee is entitled to use.

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