Attlee stands head and shoulders above Thatcher as a PM

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From: Tom Howley, Wetherby.

few will have been surprised when Sir Bernard Ingham declared Margaret Thatcher to be the country’s best post war leader (The Yorkshire Post, October 15). Generously he nominates Clem Attlee as runner-up.

Loyal Sir Bernard is entitled to his opinion, but the history of the two politicians indicates that the Labour Prime Minister stands head and shoulders above the headstrong Thatcher who changed the society in which she did not believe and created deep divisions between the very rich and the general public.

Attlee’s concern for the underprivileged was nurtured in the mud and blood of the First World War trenches. He emerged from the carnage with an ambition to help the survivors and their families and the victims’ dependants.

As deputy to Prime Minister Churchill in the 1939-45 conflict, he was the “backroom” strategist who paved the way for the rhetoric of his eloquent boss. Elected to lead the country out of the war years, Attlee set out to build new homes for the masses and destroyed the disgusting and unhealthy slums which had homed the poor for many years. Families moved to newly-built dwellings with gardens, indoor toilets, bathrooms and hot water.

Thatcher, the product of a comfortable childhood who later enjoyed the wealth provided by a rich and successful husband, hated any benefit provided by the State or local councils, and celebrated her Premiership with a sale of public housing. Thousands of tenants rushed to buy their homes – and who can blame them – but now, after 30 years, most of the houses are owned by property developers.

Clem Attlee was a champion for the ordinary man and woman. Thatcher is the champion of the greedy bankers who brought the country to its knees. Blame Brown for the country’s problems, but remember that it was Thatcher who gave dangerous freedom to the financial sector and made it possible for Fred Goodwin and his band of bandits to operate. Clement Attlee was the country’s best post-war leader.

From: JC Penn, Hedon, Hull.

I HAVE always thought that capitalism is a self-destructive form of government. It always requires growth in profits to continue its existence.

The human fascination with greed and selfishness feeds this situation. We produce countless products that no-one really needs or wants, but the mass media’s constant advertising methods make us believe we cannot do without them. There must be an answer before total destruction.