Sunday, 7 December 2008

A History Lesson (Part 2)

Ok, part two is Leaders of the Labour Party from 1935 right up to the present day. As before it will include how long they were leader and their parliamentary seat.

Clement Attlee 20 years, 2 months, Limehouse & Walthamstow West
Hugh Gaitskell 7 years, 1 month, Leeds West
George Brown 3 weeks, 6 days, Belper *
Harold Wilson 13 years, 1 month, Huyton
Jim Callaghan 4 years, 6 months, Cardiff South East
Michael Foot 2 years, 10 months, Ebbw Vale
Neil Kinnock 8 years, 9 months Islywn
John Smith 1 year, 9 months, Moncklands East
Margaret Beckett 2 months, 1 week, Derby South *
Tony Blair 12 years, 11 months Sedgfield
Gordon Brown Present Leader Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath

Those entries with a * are Leaders who succeeded following the death of the Leader of the party and as there is no position of acting leader they were according to the riles of the party leader and would be until confirmed or not using the appropriate election mechanism. Both lost to men who would become Prime Minister.

So there is the complete list and here is a national breakdown of leaders, now for this even though a few Scots were representing seats in other parts of the UK I'm looking at their original nationality and how many became Prime Minister.

Scots 8 Leaders 3 Prime Minister
English 9 Leaders 3 Prime Minister
Welsh 1 Leaders 0 Prime Minister


  1. I've always found it very interesting how many important figures in the party have been, and are, Scottish. Do you have any idea why this is so?

  2. Personally I think its because of the benefits of a scottish education system and the skills that it teaches you, at the same time im a scot at a scottish uni so i would say that wouldnt I.

    In Practice I think it may be to do with the ability for scotland to send as large a number of MP's to westminister that scotland has.

  3. I think there was a strong cultural link between Scottish Presbytarianism and Labour members'/parliamentarians' view of what makes the ideal Labour leader. That's slipped away to a great extent now in the face of different public demands in a television age, and that explains to some extent why Gordon Brown's character is assessed differently by Labour members, who on the wholie appreciate what makes him tick, and the wider public, who don't.

    Traditions in Labour run deep deep deeper than we are conscious of.

  4. Tradition in the party do run deep and indeed so does the commitment of its memebrs. As someone who has been a members since 1987 and has seen the party in good days and bad days I love that fact that we have a tradition of great leaders and deputies, and yes some of them come from that great scottish model first set out by Keir Hardie and latterly by Gordon.

    But Paul I have to take you to task for one point in your post you said "Gordon Brown's character is assessed differently by Labour members, who on the wholie appreciate what makes him tick, and the wider public, who don't" that may have been true once but recently we have seen the public seeing in Gordon what we have for years.