Le Jones

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Sorry butterfly, you’ve lost me there

It is, I think, a "Yes Minister" reference. When Hacker is plotting to be PM he gives some utterly insincere responses about "thinking about spending more time with the family" when asked about his ambition. The response (from Chancellor and Foreign Secretary I think) is "you do mean you!"

Of course this might not be the reference and I have inadvertently demonstrated madness...
 
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DensleyBlair

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It is, I think, a "Yes Minister" reference. When Hacker is plotting to be PM he gives some utterly insincere responses about "thinking about spending more time with the family" when asked about his ambition. The response (from Chancellor and Foreign Secretary I think) is "you do mean you!"

Of course this might not be the reference and I have inadvertently demonstrated madness...
That sounds right to me! Had suspected it might be something like that but couldn’t place it… Thanks, Le J

Reminds me actually that I only ever watched the first series of Yes Minister. Probably time to dig out the Hacker as PM ones…
 
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The Death of Nye Bevan: Foot

DensleyBlair

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1967 FOOT.jpg

66 Pilgrims Lane, Hampstead – March 1967


“You know as well as we do, Michael: if Lewis uses the chairmanship to stamp his authority around – and, let’s be honest, we can be fairly confident that he will – if he puts his mind to it then we’re as good as dead.”

“He’d be on shaky ground if he did. Remember, Hilda: the Popular Front is a broad church and it always has been. A bit of ecumenicism is what sets us apart from the Mosleyites.”

“Ecumenicism? Bloody hell, Michael. That’s a long word.”

“Say it three times fast and before you know it the election will be upon us…”

“It would be helpful if you could, John. The best thing for it, as far as we’re concerned, is for Lewis to be so tied up with government business until May 4th that he won’t have a spare minute to think about ‘party unity’.”

“You’ve got a point, Michael… The unions aren’t going to be happy now that Bevan’s gone and the settlement is in jeopardy.”

“I don’t think Lewis is going to risk splitting the party on principle, not until after the election at least. It would be chaos.”

“He’d be done for at any rate if he tried. There are enough people around who still remember 1954, after all…”

“Let him try, that's what I say. It would be the death of him. Or his career, at least.”

“I think you're right, Bill. Lewis is an intelligent man. He's not going to rock the boat until the election is over – but we could do worse than to put a bit of insurance in place, just to make sure of it.”

“You sound like you've been planning something, Michael. What have you got up your sleeve?”

“All in good time, comrades. All in good time.”
 
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TheButterflyComposer

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It is, I think, a "Yes Minister" reference. When Hacker is plotting to be PM he gives some utterly insincere responses about "thinking about spending more time with the family" when asked about his ambition. The response (from Chancellor and Foreign Secretary I think) is "you do mean you!"

Of course this might not be the reference and I have inadvertently demonstrated madness...
That sounds right to me! Had suspected it might be something like that but couldn’t place it… Thanks, Le J

Reminds me actually that I only ever watched the first series of Yes Minister. Probably time to dig out the Hacker as PM ones…
Indeed. He gives a vague clue about who should be the next PM, the target says disbelieving: do you mean you? Hacker replies "I have no ambition in this direction" or "Annie and I want to spend more time together". Hence the reaction: you do mean you!
 
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DensleyBlair

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Indeed. He gives a vague clue about who should be the next PM, the target says disbelieving: do you mean you? Hacker replies "I have no ambition in this direction" or "Annie and I want to spend more time together". Hence the reaction: you do mean you!
Classic. And you’re quite right of course that Crossman’s answers were similarly minded

As I say I should go back to the other series. It’s been a year since I watched the first one and for some reason I didn’t carry on at the time
 
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TheButterflyComposer

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Classic. And you’re quite right of course that Crossman’s answers were similarly minded

As I say I should go back to the other series. It’s been a year since I watched the first one and for some reason I didn’t carry on at the time
A suprisng collaboration between a thatcher advisor and a communist, that produced excellent results.
 
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DensleyBlair

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A suprisng collaboration between a thatcher advisor and a communist, that produced excellent results.
In that sense @99KingHigh and I are humbly attempting to follow in their footsteps

Anthony Jay sticks in my mind for his how to book about opposing the planning system with direct action. Wiki says without citing its sources that it ended up being adopted by “the proletariat”, which would be very funny if true. Can’t find anything either way after a quick search so who knows…
 
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The Death of Nye Bevan: Lee

DensleyBlair

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1967%20LEE%20HERBISON.jpg

23 Cliveden Place, Chelsea – March 1967


“I hear Dick’s been putting feelers out in the Assembly. Sounds like he’ll be announcing soon.”

“I should say so. No doubt he will have worked out what time gives him the optimal balance between respect for Aneurin and preparedness for the election…”

“Oh I’d bet the house on it. Dick’s very reliable that way. But then one can hardly blame him: we do need to sort the leadership out. Nye would hardly have wanted us to stop everything on his account…”

“That’s true. I suppose sometimes there is just no getting around the dirty work.”

“Dick won’t mind that. And nor, for that matter, will David Lewis. They’ll be a very well matched pair if they end up leading the government together.”

“You’re not tempted to throw your hat in the ring then, Jennie?”

“No, I don’t think so. I dare say Britain has probably had its fair share of Bevans for the time being. Don’t want to end up as another Oswald and Cynthia…”

“Yes, there is that…”

“What about you, Peggy? Not tempted?”

“I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about it… But no. I don’t think I’ve really got the stomach for it, deep down. Not after the year we’ve had.”

“Don’t be too hard on yourself, Peg. You’re probably one of the few people who could say that they came out of the last year well.”

“Maybe so. It doesn’t change anything, though.”

“No, probably not. Anyway, I agree with you. I think we’ve all done our bit. It’s time to let a new crop have a go at running things.”

“Led from the front by the youthful Dick Crossman…”

“Assuming he wins the election, anyway.”

“You don’t think he will?”

“I don’t think it’s a sure thing. I have a haunting feeling there is a silent majority sitting behind its lace curtains waiting to come out and vote for David Lewis.”

“You really think the voters will go in for his ‘new management’ stuff?”

“Frankly, Peggy, I don’t think it matters whether they do or not. I think it’s simply a question of a lot of people wanting to see something change, and a Popular Front government would certainly deliver on that front.”

“Not a Left government?”

“It could happen, but they don’t have the advantages that Lewis has. He’s in the perfect position: he’s the outsider’s insider.”

“There’s truth in that. But I have to say, if I didn’t know better I’d say it sounded a lot like you’d given up already.”

“Nonsense, I haven’t given up. I just think we should prepare ourselves. The last thing we want is to fall victim to complacency.”

“No, we certainly don’t want that. Best make sure Dick’s got the same idea, then.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t worry about him. He knows what he’s getting himself in for.”
 
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The Death of Nye Bevan: Lewis

DensleyBlair

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1967 LEWIS COLOUR 1.png

Cholmeley Lodge, Highgate – March 1967


“That was Jim on the phone, David. Dick Crossman has put his cards on the table.”

“So it’s him and not Jennie?”

“Looks that way. I don’t see the LUPA tearing themselves apart over the leadership before the election. Besides, Jennie won’t be running so soon after Nye’s death.”

“Just so long as it’s settled until the election. If we can hang on until then we’ll be fine. I think Crossman is probably the safer option, anyway – for us, I mean. He might be a slippery bastard, but he’s an academic not a fighter.”

“Strong words from the old Oxford don…”

“I’ve come a long way since then, Barbara. We both have.”

“You can say that again.”

“Did Jack Jones get back to you, by the way?”

“Yes, he did. I’m going over to the TUC on Wednesday.”

“Good. Take Bob Mellish with you. Might sweeten things having an old TGWU man around.”

“Alright, good idea. I don’t think Jones really trusts me yet. I think he can sense something is coming.”

“Do you think he knows what?”

“Oh, I’m sure he fears the worst. He probably thinks I’m a wicked witch coming to steal away his children.”

“Well if you are, would you mind waiting till after polling day? That’s one scandal we could do without.”

“Do shut up, David.”
 
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Wraith11B

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"Do shut up, David."

Speaking as a filthy commoner (from the colonies, no less!) and with no appreciation for British politics of the day, I can only imagine how many people wish they could have said those words to David.
 
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DensleyBlair

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"Do shut up, David."

Speaking as a filthy commoner (from the colonies, no less!) and with no appreciation for British politics of the day, I can only imagine how many people wish they could have said those words to David.
I imagine we've all got our politician/historical figure that we'd love to tell to shut up. But then equally it's so hard to choose just one!
 
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The Death of Nye Bevan: Macleod

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1966 MACLEOD DESK CROP.jpg

Gargrave, North Yorkshire – March 1967


“You know, Iain, there’ve been rumours for years now that David Lewis is more radical than he lets on.”

“Radical? How so, Gronw? Is he going to go after the miners with guns next time?”

“Obviously, Iain, that is not what I mean. Although it wouldn’t surprise me, truth be told. He doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty when the situation calls for it.”

“Well it’s no secret that he disagreed with Bevan over the union settlement, if that’s what you mean.”

“It goes deeper than that, apparently. There are whispers in Westminster that he’s planning to fight the election over the whole economy; plans for the unions, the managers, state ownership – the lot.”

“These are your old Communist friends telling you this, I suppose?”

“Are you going to get snooty about my sources now, Iain?”

“No, no. We poor beggars should be thankful for all the crumbs that fall our way.”

“Well if they are right, it will be good news for us.”

“How do you figure that one?”

“Because if Lewis starts campaigning for economic reform then there will be absolutely nothing to stop us from doing the same.”

“And in five short years we take over Britain, I suppose?”

“I couldn’t have put it better myself.”
 
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TheButterflyComposer

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Hubris thy name is...Well, everyone involved in this election.
 
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DensleyBlair

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Hubris thy name is...Well, everyone involved in this election.
I’m still waiting for the right time to break this one out, from Wilfred De’Ath’s 1970 biography of Barbara Castle…

25E6DE48-9CF8-4029-903D-E5D0A75A8B01.jpeg
 
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TheButterflyComposer

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DensleyBlair

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DensleyBlair

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Next update includes a potted history of David Lewis’s career so far for context, and while writing it I’ve been going back over old updates to reference things. Obviously this means I’ve now uncovered all the weak links in the plot that I didn’t see at the time (the 1959 election gave a Bevanite plurality but produced 18 more months of Mosley rule, no questions asked? Good one, Blair…)

Tempted to do a bit of mild retconning… although probably not yet time to break out the nuclear option: All of this has taken place in the opiated mind of a dying George V and we are about to transition seamlessly into Echoes of A Royal Prerogative!

Anyway, there’s one final Bevan-death-reaction vignette and then back into regular programming. Should have a proper update next week if I can get writing
 
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The Death of Nye Bevan: Powell

DensleyBlair

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3488.jpg

Wolverhampton, West Midlands – March 1967


“Listen to this, Clem. Quite a fascinating letter has arrived from one John O’Brien.”

“Who’s John O’Brien?”

“He’s a fruit farmer from Shropshire.”

“What are you doing corresponding with fruit farmers?”

“I hear from all sorts of people, Clem. There are lots out there who think as we do.”

“Well, go on then. What does he have to say?”

“‘Dear Mr Powell, My name is John O’Brien and I am writing to you in my capacity as the leader of a group called “Powell for Premier”. We are an organisation of people from across the country who believe that Britain has suffered for too long under the thumb of socialism and internationalism, and we believe that your political philosophy is exactly what is required to restore our country to its rightful place in the world order. We congratulate you on having the courage to stand up and challenge the communist regime—‘“

“I can see why you like this O’Brien, Enoch.”

“Hold on, Clem, there’s more yet… ‘In the hope of bringing about an end to the corrupt Marxist regime that has driven Britain into the ground, we believe that a government of free-thinking, patriotic individuals must be formed as a matter of urgency. It is our assessment that you, Mr Powell, are the man to lead such a ministry.—‘“

“You’re joking aren’t you, Enoch? This man is clearly deluded.”

“Granted, Mr O’Brien seems to hold a… quixotic view of the restoration of British democracy. But he is not totally impractical. Listen to this: ‘In the aftermath of your excellent speech given in Luton last October, witnessing the fashion in which the establishment media closed ranks to defend the Indian militants – joined even the fraudulent so-called opposition at the New Spectator – we became convinced of the need for a national movement to break through the socialist hegemony. To this end, over the past five months we have established a national network devoted to resisting the continued imposition of Marxist ideology upon the British people, comprising over one thousand members. We now wish to make ourselves known to you so that, together, we may rid Britain of its communist leadership once and for all.’”

“This man sounds like a lunatic, Enoch. You’re not going to meet him, are you?”

“I think, seeing as he has evidently gone to a great deal of trouble to support my case, that a meeting would only be fair. Besides, even if he is a little rough around the edges, one should not discount him from the off. As the Romans said, amicorum est admonere mutuum.”

“You know I don’t speak Latin, Enoch…”

“‘It is the duty of friends to correct each other’, Clem.”

“And this O’Brien – you think he’s a friend?”

“Certainly, I see no reason why not. From the sounds of it, he could be a very good friend indeed.”
 
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TheButterflyComposer

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