Friday, 9 November 2012

Ramsay Mac

Today is the seventy-fifth anniversary of the death of James MacDonald Ramsay . He had a heart attack while playing deck quoits on board a cruise liner, something which his opponents no doubt had a sardonic chuckle over. Widely seen as the arch-betrayer of the Labour Party at the time, his reputation as someone who made the modern Labour Party possible (and virtually destroying the Liberals as a party of government in the process) has grown in recent years.

In a neat bit of synchronicity, it is also ninety years since he fled his Leicester seat, where he was looking insecure, for South Wales. As the ODNB puts it, "In 1918 Aberafan, like most of Wales, had been a Lloyd George fief, but when the general election came in November 1922 MacDonald was elected with a majority of 3207."

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