Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Labour Day - Aneurin Bevan

Aneurin Bevan (1897 – 1960), often known as Nye Bevan, was a Welsh Labour Party politician who was the Minister for Health in the post-war Attlee ministry from 1945-51 (and makes a good subject for this 1 May/Labour Day post). The son of a coal miner, Bevan was a lifelong champion of social justice, the rights of working people and democratic socialism. He was a long-time Member of Parliament (MP), representing Ebbw Vale in South Wales for 31 years. He was one of the chief spokesmen for the Labour Party's left-wing, and of left-wing British thought generally. 
His most famous accomplishment came when, as Minister of Health, he spearheaded the establishment of the National Health Service, which was to provide medical care free at point-of-need to all Britons; regardless of wealth. He resigned when the Attlee government decided to transfer funds from the National Insurance Fund to pay for rearmament.
Aneurin Bevan, wearing a beret, seen off by Yakov A. Malik, Soviet Ambassador in London, at London Airport, as they left for Moscow. They hoped to put to Nikita Khrushchev the Labour Party’s nuclear disarmament plan. 

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