Talk:Aneurin Bevan

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later life style[edit]

I happen to know, or at least have excellent evidence for believing, that rather late in his life Bevan enjoyed "the good things of life", eg wearing expensive clothes, and associating with old-fashioned noblemen, but I have no references for this. It seems to me an interesting, and to me attractive, facet of his character, and I wonder if anybody can document it? Sgd Seadowns (talk) 12:33, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

David Bevan[edit]

I don't understand the reference to "David" Bevan. Is it an error, or was that his dad's name? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.133.47.40 (talkcontribs) 22:49, 4 March 2004

David Bevan was his Dad's name. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.147.204.242 (talkcontribs) 01:07, 12 May 2007

Comment by Marx[edit]

The article claims Bevan quoted a comment made by Marx in 1885. If somebody would like to explain how a corpse can stress the benefits of war, now would be the time to do so. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.178.254.252 (talkcontribs) 15:19, 6 June 2005

Picture[edit]

Do we have a picture? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.92.237.111 (talkcontribs) 22:27, 10 December 2005

If you are interested, there is a Statue of him by cardiff castle, if you think that will do ill try and nab a photo of it next time im about with my camera —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.11.248.217 (talkcontribs) 22:44, 16 March 2006

Bevan and Mosley[edit]

As I recall, Mosley attempted to form an independent political group in the aftermath of his resignation. It is true that Bevan was associated with that, but this group failed. When Mosley started to be influenced by Mussolini, Bevan clearly smelled a rat, and severed all contacts with him. Bevan was never a fascist. I will do some digging in Foot's biography. When I get a citation, I will change the entry. --Train guard 17:54, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Whoever changed the Mosley bit did a very poor job. Bevan never joined the New Party, nor did he consider it. This whole article is pretty poor. I've just finished a dissertation on Bevan and will change this article fully in the Summer when my exams are over. In the meantime I'd advise anyone researching Bevan to double check any "fact" they find on wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.147.204.242 (talkcontribs) 01:07, 12 May 2007
Article is basically correct as it is. Bevan, who by all accounts was an engaging and convivial bloke off-duty, had friends amongst mavericks across the political spectrum, even Tories like Beaverbrook and Edward Marjoribanks before the latter's suicide. He was a supporter of the Mosley Memorandum in May 1930 and Mosley's Manifesto in December 1930 - the latter became the core of the New Party's programme. Mosley at this time was advocating public works, tariffs and capital to be invested at home rather than abroad. Bevan broke with Mosley not because he disagreed with him (he later claimed to have predicted that Mosley would end up as a fascist but it's unclear that he said so at the time) but because of his quasi-Marxist belief that only a party united and with a solid class base could achieve real change. His close friend John Strachey did join the New Party for a bit. Bevan was equally contemptuous of the ILP's secession from Labour in the early 1930s. See John Campbell 1987, pp.40 et ff.Paulturtle (talk) 21:25, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

Two identical articles[edit]

I don't understand why there are two identical articles, one called Nye and one called Aneurin Rathfelder 22:57, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

In Place of Fear[edit]

Just to note that In Place of Fear is a book and not a collection of essays. Bevan frequently refers to it as a book, to other "chapters" and so forth. Andysoh 09:20, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Surely it should have its own page? (I'm not knowledgeable enough to create this though) Gilgamesh4 (talk) 12:15, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

'Free at the point of need for all Britons'[edit]

Find reliable independent secondary sources and summarise what they say. Nobody cares what individual editors consider may or may not be the current political situation. And before raising this again, I do suggest you visit the States for a while and find out what unfree healthcare feels like. Guy (Help!) 23:42, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I think this is an innacurate phrase to describe the current NHS in England (though may be true for Scotland, Wales, and/or Northern Ireland). I am put off getting medications because I can't afford the prescription fee, or the £125 for having a tooth drilled, and glasses are also not free. The sentence uses the present tense, and is not expressly placed in a historical context. I do not believe the phrase 'free at the point of need' has a specific common contemporary use; 'free' to me just means without charge, 'point-of-need' I think is also generally interpreted literally.

According to this prescription charges were introduced in 1952, and prompted the resignation of Aneurin Bevan. So, perhaps it's fair to say the implementation of the NHS failed his ideal.

I am new to editing wikipedia and the BRM cycle (though I've read over the tutorial and other pages today), please advise me of any mistakes I've made in attempting to resolve this disagreement. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tobius Greenwald (talkcontribs) 12:48, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

The point is that if you turn up at a hospital or a Doctor you will be treated. Dentistry is a more complex topic, and so are opticians. Yes in England there is a token charge for prescribed medicines, but none if its in hospital and whole categories of people are exempt anyway. Within the context of the article and the time its a reasonable statement. Including his sense of betrayal at the prescriptions is relevant but "failing his ideal" is an opinion, you would have to find an authoritative source ----Snowded TALK 13:13, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

A sizeable amount of healthcare in Briton, these days, is not free. The NHS page does not use the phrase 'free at the point-of-need' in an unqualified way, even though it is a great and succinct phrase, because it's not accurate. You mention the context of the time; the sentence implies this is specifically how the NHS works today. It would be fine if it was past tense. Otherwise it needs to be qualified, perhaps prefixed with 'designed to', 'mainly' or 'generally'.

I could probably compromise and say, as the main NHS page says, '[services] the vast majority of which are free at the point of use'. Although since 85% of Britains have to pay for prescriptions, I think it erroneous to say that the 'vast' majority of healthcare is free. The vast majority of cost is paid for, however I believe the majority of patients are outpatients and (in England) have to pay something.

'Free' should not be used in place of 'heavily subsidised'. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tobius Greenwald (talkcontribs) 14:03, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Additionally: I know from personal experience, if you turn up at A&E you will always be treated. But if, as you say, you turn up to a doctors, you may not be. If you are in receiept of income based JSA, disability benefit, or a similar benefit then you will be, otherwise you must find the money. If you have no money, you can't get your prescription. It's not free. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tobius Greenwald (talkcontribs) 14:21, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

There's a need for historical perspective here. When it was set up it was a huge thing, it was free, it was a great blessing for millions of Britons. From what I remember there were some minor charges but I don't remember for what. This can be ascertained from reliable sources. In the past years there have been changes in the care offered by the NHS and attempts to privatize it. When it was set up it was essentially free, and the establishment of the NHS needs to be thought of in comparison to what existed at the time. So maybe a distinction is needed between the original purpose, mandate, and conditions of the NHS and what is happening now? Bevan fought very hard so far as I know to have a free NHS. Nathan43 (talk) 14:46, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Sorry, I didn't read everything above. But I think on an entry about Aneurin Bevan the situation of the NHS as it was in his lifetime should be emphasized. It was an amazing success and he was vilified for it. It has been the envy of the world until recently. Nathan43 (talk) 14:50, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

I agree. The NHS was a huge thing when it was set up, a blessing, and continues to be a (for the most part) a blessing. The magnitude of setting up the NHS should be emphasised in the introduction. Just, as you say, emphasising the historical perspective if the word 'free' is to be used. Perhaps the end of the intro could be changed from:

His most famous accomplishment came when, as Minister of Health in the post-war Attlee government, he spearheaded the establishment of the National Health Service, which provides medical care free at point-of-need to all Britons.

to:

His most famous accomplishment came when, as Minister of Health in the post-war Attlee government, he spearheaded the establishment of the National Health Service, in order to provide medical care free at the point-of-need to all Britons.

Any objections, improvements or alternatives? Tobius Greenwald (talk) 22:20, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

I don't see any value in that change I'm afraid. In the context of the time (which is what the article is about) its correct. Your personal experiences in the present day are not relevant. Please also learn to use outdenting in your comments on the talk page ----Snowded TALK 01:15, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Use of the phrase 'which provides' strongly suggests the statement is not about history, but relates to the ongoing state of the NHS. Therefore knowledge of how the NHS is today is relevant, including my personal experiences.Tobius Greenwald (talk) 11:27, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Sorry don't agree ----Snowded TALK 12:09, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Since the question is in dispute, it needs to be justified by citing a reliable source WP:RS. There is no point in having a debate about it, because the opinions of the editors do not qualify as reliable sources. Just go find a source that either says the NHS provides service for free at the point of need, or a source that says that it doesn't. If both sources are found, then we need to start thinking carefully about whether they are reliable.
Having said that, I think that the disputed phrase, in the context where it's presented, is creating useless controversy. This is a biography, not an article about the NHS (there's already an excellent article about the NHS on Wikipedia which talks about the issue you are disputing in some depth). It is more interesting to say what Aneurin Bevan _wanted_ for the NHS than what the NHS is now. So using the present tense here is unnecessary and undesirable.
I think the disputed sentence should read "he spearheaded the establishment of the National Health Service, which was to provide medical care free at point-of-need to all Britons." Now you are talking about him, not the NHS, and what you are saying is indisputably true. Abhayakara (talk) 14:09, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
I agree, and think your proposed wording is accurate. As for sources; I was going by personal experience, not just an opinion. But in addition to the above page I cited, the NHS itself self-describes with the phrase 'Point of use' in a qualified way, pointing out prescriptions/dental treatment/etc are not free. If the contemporary NHS is to be described, even in a biography, 'free at the point of need' must be qualified, otherwise the phrase gives an innacurate image. But, general consensus here seems to be that to describe it that way would be too circumlocutory for the Aneurin Bevan page. So I am implementing your more succinct suggestion.Tobius Greenwald (talk) 10:33, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Outside comment - I think the wording change suggested by Abhayakara, now in effect, is a much better phrasing. It remains, of course, to provide a source that this was Bevan's intention with the NHS, which is really the only issue relevant to the biography. Danger! High voltage! 19:27, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for everyone's time and input: Nathan43, Abhayakara, Danger!, and Snowded. It's just one sentence, but I think it's important.Tobius Greenwald (talk) 22:00, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I don't have the time to research this just now, but perhaps a phrase such as "for five decades" or something in the same vein could be added. I grew up in the UK and I am so thankful for the care I got, and that my parents still get now. What is being done to privatize and impose charges in the NHS is fairly new, isn't it? I live in the US now and the state of health care here is appalling. Bevan essentially succeeded, and this entry is about him. The difference between "UK - NHS" and "UK + NHS" was immense. If you read (maybe all of you have read them) biographies of him or histories of Britain at the time, it's clear that there was a sea change that occurred in those years, and not just in the NHS. What do you think about adding a phrase to show that things are different today, but which doesn't lessen the size of the original change? As to "at the point of need" I don't love the phrase either. Nathan43 (talk) 23:43, 18 December 2012 (UTC)


The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Nationality[edit]

British, surely. 'Welsh' is not (yet) a nationality in the sense that is clearly intended in the box. Is George Bush, for example, a 'Texan'? I think not! 131.111.88.9 (talk) 15:09, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Korean War[edit]

The part-privatization of the NHS in 1951 was to pay for the cost of Britain's involvement in the Korean War. (HymanFam (talk) 19:25, 17 January 2015 (UTC))

Which came on top of other financial pressures on the government and the numbers were pretty small anyway. You are forming your own conclusion here. Its relevance in the lede is also questionable. If supported then maybe in the body of the article but not here. Please make the argument with supporting references and WAIT until you have agreement before changing the article itself. I've tagged it for the moment but will revert tomorrow unless you come up with something and get agreement ----Snowded TALK 19:54, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
I have a few books which refer to the need to pay for British involvement in the Korean War, which is why Labour had to abandon its plan for a fully-free NHS after less than three years. The Korean War should be mentioned to put the part-privatization in context. (HymanFam (talk) 17:22, 19 January 2015 (UTC))
(i) If you have a clear reference then provide it, but it will have to be explicit. (ii) you then have to make a case for it to be in the lede which is not the same thing as the main article (iii) you have to WAIT until you get agreement on the talk page to make a contested change. I'm going to formally warn you of that and then revert. Please wait for agreement here before making a change ----Snowded TALK 17:35, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

Libel case against The Spectator[edit]

I admire Bevan's contribution to the creation of the welfare state as much as the next man, but we should not self-censor here. Bevan's participation in the libel suit against The Spectator with Crossman and Phillips was no shining hour, but let's please treat our readers as adults and not try to whitewash the episode out of history. Nandt1 (talk) 21:33, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure you have really made the case for its inclusion. Yes there is a reference in a biography written much later, but its third party. Assuming its true and fully referenced I'm not sure it is notable enough to include and certainly not at that length. I have removing it for the moment and lets get some more involvement and discussion here if people think it is (i) adequately sourced for a serious accusation and (ii) relevant in the overall context of the article ----Snowded TALK 05:32, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
I've now gone back over the history of the article. The earlier discussion of the libel case, which stood for several years, was removed comparatively recently -- not for not being notable, but for being unsourced. Notability is surely hard to dispute: the case is by now notorious as an example of leading British public figures (if one buys into what I take to be the now generally accepted view) perjuring themselves. So, as to sourcing, I have so far provided three sources: one of Bevan's Labour Party colleagues and a famous political biographer, a leading journalist, and a historian. Is this "adequate"? It would not be hard to provide more. It is evident that Crossman's diaries represent a crucial primary source (I believe he writes something like "we were pissed as newts"). But that would appear to be his backbench diaries, to which I do not currently have access, rather than the better-known Diaries of a Cabinet Minister. Very well. I have today ordered the backbench diaries, and will cite them once they arrive. In the meanwhile, with respect, I propose to reinstate the entry. Nandt1 (talk) 12:06, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
You need to read WP:BRD. You think its properly sourced, but there seems to be a bit of synthesis for me, You think its it relevant but I am not sure it is per WP:WEIGHT. All of that means that you get agreement here BEFORE you reinstate disputed material. You say it is notorious? Is it? Show me something current that says it and I might buy in. You don't have Bevan's responses. So with respect get your sources and argue for relevance, get other editors involved. You have not convinced me so I am reverting to the stable state UNTIL agreement is reached here. You need a clear authoritative source as to its current relevance to Bevan's career as a whole ----Snowded TALK 14:59, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
I accept the idea of reverting to a "stable version" of the text. It strikes me, though, that the relevant "stable version" would be the one that stood unchallenged by any users from 5 August 2009 to 5 June 2014, until being challenged, not on grounds of noteworthiness or relevance or undue weight, but merely lack of sourcing. So I propose that, for now, we revert to that text, with just the addition of the hitherto missing sourcing.
On the other issues you raise, I am willing to continue the discussion. Some are easier to handle than others. Given that Bevan died in 1960, he was obviously in no position to respond to later revelations such as Crossman's published diaries: I have to date seen nothing to suggest that he publicly retreated from his sworn testimony. Relevance? Clearly not challenged by anyone else here during 5 years. If one accepts the charges, Bevan's integrity is impugned. If one does not, then I suppose it's a Tory plot to bring down an icon of the Left. Hardly "irrelevant" either way. Notoriety? Well, the pieces by Lawson and Bose are both essays on larger themes (misuse of the libel laws, and political risk-taking, respectively) that consider the B/C/P case sufficiently egregious to be worth singling out as an exceptional example.
How can one respond to a suggestion that the sources so far provided represent "a bit of synthesis"? I suppose I could point out that Roy Jenkins knew all three plaintiffs personally (including serving in Cabinet with Crossman) -- it is also often forgotten that Jenkins's father was, like Bevan, a Welsh miner who became a Labour MP. But in some ways more importantly Jenkins was also one of the pre-eminent political biographers of his generation (Dilke, Asquith, Gladstone, Churchill....) and understood the handling of evidence. Beyond this, I have indicated that I plan to cite the Crossman diaries, an essential primary source, as soon as I can get my hands on them; I've now also ordered Campbell's biography to be able to quote it first-hand. But I must also just point out that it can be abusive of the system to keep raising the bar for sourcing so high that no citations can ever be considered adequate....... Nandt1 (talk) 16:15, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
As a token of good faith I shall make the same reversion to the article on Crossman, although no one has objected there. Nandt1 (talk) 16:24, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
You are edit warring, making the change you want without agreement, Sorry that is unacceptable. If you edits are contested you do not simply reinstate them, you have to reach consensus. I will tag the section you have changed and provide a formal warning. You have not provided a single third party reference to establish that this is significant, you seem to think that is the case simply because some biographies mention it. You are also synthesising primary sources to make a point. ----Snowded TALK 16:59, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
This is an unfair and unwarranted allegation. I have been engaged in substantive discussion here in good faith. My recent revert was not, as you imply, to my own edits but to an earlier stable version of the text -- something you yourself suggested as an approach -- and now I am told that doing this constitutes edit-warring!! I have already pointed out that this earlier stable text was not objected to on grounds of significance over the course of five years. I am willing to continue discussions here on the substance, and would be interested to hear what types of indications you would accept as evidence of significance. However, I must point out immediately that jumping to a charge of edit-warring is not a constructive way of pursuing a serious substantive discussion. Nandt1 (talk) 17:52, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
Let me just add for now, since you raise concern about my failure to provide "a single third party reference to establish that this is significant", that the work by Jenkins that I have already cited is an essay length piece in which be tried to summarize what he saw as the most important aspects of Bevan's life and career, and that within that brief compass he considered the libel action warranted two paragraphs, quite strongly worded at that. Nandt1 (talk) 18:23, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
OK, one more point now that I've had a chance to look at Wikipedia's policy on synthesis, since I didn't at first know quite what the charge was. I gather it involves drawing on multiple sources in a way that would give a conclusion that none of the individual sources would necessarily support. I don't know whether you have read any of the sources cited for this section, but my reading of them is that any or all of them would fully support the storyline followed in the article. Nandt1 (talk) 20:14, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
You were bold, you were reverted you should discuss, not discuss and revert (hence the warning). You went back to a version which was over a month old so it was not the prior state. Whoever deleted the original reference did not have that deletion contested. You currently have material from a biography which is not about Bevan directly. It contains an allegation which has not been tested so we can't draw a conclusion as to fact. I don't see anything in what you have said which establishes it as significant. All you offer is that a former politician from a different party (and formerly a different wing of the same party) wrote two paragraphs in an essay which you consider were strongly worded. That is not evidence that the material is significant to Bevan's life. ----Snowded TALK 20:47, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
I repeat my question on what type of evidence of significance would satisfy your personal demands. I am really too old to waste my time playing football and seeing the goalposts constantly moved. Nandt1 (talk) 22:51, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
I can't see any goal posts moving and you need to address arguments from other editors rather than assume they are simply "personal demands". Age is not an excuse for simply assuming you can reinstate material on your own cognisance. The Jenkins book you reference has no chapter on Bevan so I assume you are relying on a paragraph in a chapter about Crossman. That cannot provide evidence that Jenkins thought this incident was significant in Bevan's life, it might possibly do so for Crossman but even then I would be dubious. If it was in a biography or commentary on Bevan's life and more than just a minor reference you would have evidence. Using primary sources is frowned on in Wikipedia and almost always ends up as a form of synthesis or original research when it is indirect or focused on another subject. Adding another primary source (Crossman diaries) will not satisfy sourcing requirements. I'll just leave it tagged for the moment but if you can't provide something I'll delete it ----Snowded TALK 05:10, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Jenkins book does indeed include a chapter on Bevan. It is in an expansion of his earlier collection, "Nine Men of Power", in which Bevan was not included. The version of the book that I am looking at online has an introduction by Jenkins dated December 1992. I came to this by typing Bevan Crossman Spectator into Google, and one of the earlier entries that came up seems to be those sections of the text that met some sort of search criterion, including, oddly, several pages of the chapter on R.A. Butler, and then significant chunks of the chapter on Bevan. Let me know if you have difficulty finding it. Nandt1 (talk) 12:34, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Thanks for the link that is helpful, the version I found did not have a chapter but it was obviously different from the yours. Helpful as it is I think it makes the point more strongly. Jenkins makes the point that you should now view Bevan through Crossman's diaries as they were enemies. Compounded by the fact that Jenkins himself was seen as Crossman's inheritor. He also makes the point that Bevan could hold his alcohol so the pejorative description might not have applied to him. Within the chapter Jenkins is saying that aspects of Bevan's later career were less glorious. That as an assertion may be notable. Something like "Jenkins asserts that the latter days of Bevan's career were less than glorious, citing the Spectator libel case and ......." The examples can be referenced. That is just about sustainable and I would support it. The current contested text shows no third party evidence that would justify more than a casual reference. I also took the liberty of putting your link into the text of your comment to make the page more readable. I hope that is OK ----Snowded TALK 12:34, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for incorporating the link -- good idea. I have tried to understand the suggestion made here but am not sure I have done so. En route, though, here are some observations on your comments:
(a) I take Jenkins to be saying that, as a general rule, one needs to 'avoid' viewing Bevan through the perspective of the Crossman diaries -- perhaps you meant to type "not" rather than "now"?
(b) RJ does not say that Crossman and Bevan were enemies, but rather that "Crossman did not really like or admire Bevan, although he followed him for nearly five years". Especially in political life, that is something quite different.
(c) I have never heard the suggestion that Jenkins was seen as "Crossman's inheritor." This is implausible for many reasons, including, but not limited to: (i) Crossman was (with however many reservations) seen as a member of the Bevanite wing of the party, while Jenkins was a Gaitskellite (indeed, especially personally close to Gaitskell); (ii) Crossman was an individualistic, idiosyncratic figure, who just was not the sort of personality to really attract disciples; (iii) Crossman's diaries unwittingly show Jenkins cynically playing on Crossman's vanity in suggesting that Crossman was a plausible successor to Wilson (a ludicrous notion).
(d) The question of Bevan's ability to hold his liquor is really fundamental, and your comment strengthens my feeling me that the original Spectator text should appear in the article (though I think in a footnote would be preferable). Many people believe that The Spectator wrote that the three men were drunk. But if you read the actual quote it is far more subtle than that. She says that they were able to consume a lot of whisky, that the Italians could not tell if they were sober or not, but they spoke of their political acumen admiringly. These words would be entirely compatible with one or more of them being able to hold their liquor pretty well.
(e) I take RJ to be saying that not that "the latter days of Bevan's career were less than glorious" but that not all of it was. His own next sentence is "But much of it was". So I don't think the article should quote Jenkins as saying what is in the above quote. More broadly, I don't think it is appropriate for the article to treat the matter simply as something that Jenkins brought up: the significance of the libel case clearly extends beyond Jenkins's personal views of Bevan.
(f) You and I are engaged in a serious discussion, and I treat it seriously, but there are also some genuinely humorous aspects to the affair. One of the readings (I forget which) has the journalist interviewing members of the hotel staff. A barman says to her, very likely admiringly, "If I had four [or perhaps it is five] clients like Mr. Bevan, I could start my own establishment".
The question remains, what to do. And are we really discussing the substance of the charges of perjury (their truth or lack thereof) or their notability? Or both? If the substance, I would be very comfortable with (and, indeed, would positively suggest) adding in a footnote that Bevan's major biographers are divided over the charge of perjury. On my count to date, we have Campbell accepting it (or so I believe based on the History Today quote: I have not yet received his book), Foot rejecting it, on the double grounds that, as noted, Bevan could hold his drink pretty well and was only rarely seen the worse for it, and that (rather endearingly) in Italy surely one would drink the local wine rather than whisky(!), and Thomas-Symonds on the face of it agnostic, if also apparently awkward about the subject -- reporting the bare facts and The Spectator's later claim of having been wronged rather tersely (I read a review of this book which argues that the author, while handling many aspects of Bevan's career well, is least comfortable with his "lifestyle").
If notability, two further possible tests occur to me. First, how does Wikipedia handle credible charges of perjury over personal conduct against other public figures? We could fan out and canvass such coverage. Secondly, and stepping a short distance away from political life for a moment, to look at this as in part a legal matter. In my (so far brief) look at the literature on UK libel law, I have the impression that this case is cited fairly frequently as an example of the potential for abuse of these laws. But, if you agree, a further search could be done to see if it is indeed as "notable" in this context as it so far appears to me. Nandt1 (talk) 14:04, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
You can't add a footnote to say that an encyclopaedia entry is controversial It is obvious it is far from clear that he is guilty as charged and there is no evidence whatsover from a third party source that this is notable. Look through your comments above, you are discussing what primary sources mean. That is not what we do on wikipedia, its called synthesis or original research. I've suggested a compromise which is to report what Jenkins says (as his commentary from the right of party is significant) in a sentence or two at most. ----Snowded TALK 14:12, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Oh dear, oh dear, here we go again. AAA. The big question I still don't see addressed is what would constitute "evidence from a third party source" [satisfactory to you] that the story [of a leading public figure being credibly accused of perjury!] is notable. Earlier you stated that "If it was in a biography or commentary on Bevan's life and more than just a minor reference you would have evidence". But now that I've jumped that hurdle, it seems, the goalpost moves and "there is no evidence whatsoever from a third party source that this is notable"!! I have further adduced that the case features in various commentaries on the law, as for example the Bose reference, which incidentally could be multiplied over and over... No acknowledgement of this at all! One really has to ask: when is enough enough? And that is not intended as a rhetorical question: I am (still) hoping for an answer.
BBB. "You can't add a footnote to say that an encyclopedia entry is controversial". Actually, if you think about it for a moment, this is merely a challenge of drafting the entry and the footnote. One could, for example (and this is just one way of doing it), draft the main entry in such a way as to suggest that such-and-such evidence (e.g., Crossman's posthumously published diaries and his oral comments witnessed by Wheatcroft and others) "led many to conclude" that the three had perjured themselves, and then in the footnote one could cite examples of those on ether side of the argument (including Foot, for example, as opposed) Not an insuperable problem at all.
I reiterate that the story is not just one of what Jenkins thought. To present it that way is to seek (whether consciously or subconsciously) to minimize its significance (and make it seem like a subjective view of one other individual), and is, I am afraid, not a reasonable compromise at all. Let's try to make progress on this. I have made several practical suggestions on ways to handle this issue.
I will just add one further point. My largest single project on Wikipedia has involved the biography of an important 20th century US progressive politician, Senator Robert Latham Owen, whom I admire. He worked on many worthy causes -- establishment of the Federal Reserve, the fight against child labour, etc., etc. A fine public servant. Yet I have not flinched from incorporating material that many would consider unflattering -- controversial land deals, typically involving Indian land; a secret deal with the German government of the day to subsidize his book about responsibility for the First World War; the fact that a leading historian of the day dismissed the book as worthless; and so on. Bevan like Owen was a fine and important progressive leader. But I do not believe that those of us on the Left (as I consider myself) should be in the business of covering up the human frailties of our leaders, and that goes for Bevan just as it goes for Owen. Nandt1 (talk) 16:37, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Your further point is irrelevant unless you are suggesting I am motivated by covering up something about Bevan. If you are please stop and address the content issues. Equally this constant harping on about moving goal posts when you do not deal with questions is not helpful. Your own evidence shows that the accusation against Bevan is not accepted by all who were there at the time so relying on limited sources from those who were hostile to him in a polemical piece (I just read it again and it is) by a contemporary politician in a different wing of the party is not on. I've offered you a compromise of a couple of sentences that record the accusation referencing the accuser and the fact it is controversial. That seems reasonable and is supported by the sources. ----Snowded TALK 07:06, 31 January 2015 (UTC)


Proposed compromise[edit]

Roy Jenkins argues that Bevan was one of the few political "stars" of the 20th Century, and with Churchill the last great politicians "never to adapt to television", great orators who needed an audience. However he also considers Bevans cynical support of Morrison against Gaitskell in 1955 and the Spectator Libel trial (where Bevan has been accused by Crossman of perjury) as the "two really despicable performances" of Bevan's life. I think the above is supported and more balanced. I think we probably need to note that Jenkins came from the opposing wing of the Labour Party and/or that his criticisms are disputed by Foot. Something along those lines is OK. But the extended and elaborate discussion taking one political perspective is not on. You might want to consider a sourced article on the libel trial that could be linked from the above. ----Snowded TALK 07:21, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Your proposal rests on the assumption that there are limited sources and that the accusation rests on Roy Jenkins's "polemical piece". I am not convinced that this is factually the case, but I suffer from some constraints on my ability to round up additional sources if they are not online. I propose, however, to do my best to do so. This will take me a little time, but rest assured that I will be back before long. Please note that I had already proposed citing the fact that Foot contested the truth of The Spectator's charge, so I was not suggesting to take "one political perspective". Nandt1 (talk) 11:51, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
I have no problem with properly sourced material as to relevance and notability. Pending you finding sourced material I am reverting the insert. No one contested its original removal so that is the default position. Happy to talk more when you have material. I'd also repeat my suggestion that you create a separate article on the libel case which can be referenced here. ----Snowded TALK 19:23, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Noted.Nandt1 (talk) 11:30, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

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Coal and fish and organising geniuses...[edit]

Aneurin Bevan is virtually unknown here in America, yet I am surprised his most famous quote, circa 1945, is nowhere to be found in either the article or the Talk page: "This island is made mainly of coal and surrounded by fish. Only an organising genius could produce a shortage of coal and fish at the same time." I have not been able to find the context from which this quote came. Was Clement Attlee the organizing genius? Not much online, but perhaps a dusty biography on the shelf of some British library could put these ironic words into context. British political scholars, you have your assignment! His Manliness (talk) 18:19, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

Ref 1 G.F. Will, "To Commemorate the Paris Climate Conference, Let's Celebrate Coal," National Review Online, 16 Dec 2015.

Ref 2 D. Craig, "Where's Our Coal, Where Are Our Fish?," Snouts in the Trough, 29 May 2013.

This link gives the source as a speech at Blackpool, 24 May 1945 [1] Gilgamesh4 (talk) 12:24, 15 May 2017 (UTC)