Leeds nostalgia: Churchill calls for election and bemoans loss of India

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“Where the socialists, in this grave hour, pursue pernicious policies, we are bound to arouse the people to a sense of their danger.”

So said Winston Churchill on October 4, 1947, as he challenged the Government to call a general election. He argued they were ‘ruling without the consent of the people’.

He was speaking at the finale of the Conservative Conference in Brighton and he received a tumultuous round of applause from those gathered.

And referring to the ‘calamity of India’, he said: “I fear I must express my forebodings, that calamity impends upon India. Alas, I am not wrong. You can judge for yourselves how far this forecast has already been fulfilled.

“In this melancholy tale of the casting away of the British Empire in India, and of the misfortunes and slaughter which are falling upon it peoples, all the blame cannot be thrown on one party.

“But the Socialist Government, on gaining power, threw themselves into the task of destroying our long-built-up and splendid structure in the East with zeal and gusto.”

The Labour Government which was swept to power in 1945, headed by Clement Attlee, was the first Labour majority government in the UK and it was a transforming government, introducing among other things, the Welfare State, which spawned the modern day NHS, along with other reforms based on the Beveridge Report of 1942.

For the Tories, it was the first time they had lost the popular vote since 1906.

In other news, a drive from Holme was fined £15 by magistrates after being found guilty of pushing his wife’s great aunt down the stairs and then out of their house in her underclothes and causing her a fractured wrist in the process.