Aneurin Bevan Quotes | Quotes by Aneurin Bevan

1It is not possible to create peace in the Middle East by jeopardizing the peace of the world.

2He seems determined to make a trumpet sound like a tin whistle.

3The language of priorities is the religion of socialism.

4The purpose of getting power is to be able to give it away.

5How can wealth persuade poverty to use its political freedom to keep wealth in power? Here lies the whole art of Conservative politics in the twentieth century.

6Freedom is the by-product of economic surplus.

7You call that statesmanship. I call it an emotional spasm.

8Listening to a speech by [Neville] Chamberlain is like paying a visit to Woolworth's, everything in its place and nothing above sixpence.

9Reactionary: a man walking backwards with his face to the future.

10There can be no immaculate conception of socialism.

Aneurin Bevan Quotes

11It is an axiom, enforced by all the experience of the ages, that they who rule industrially will rule politically.

12What should be the glory of the profession is that a doctor should be able to meet his patients with no financial anxiety.

13We should not be pushing out figured when the facts are in the opposite direction.

14In Germany democracy died by the headman's axe. In Britain it can be by pernicious anaemia.

15We could manage to survive without money changers and stockbrokers. We should find it harder to do without miners, steel workers and those who cultivate the land.

16Why should I question the monkey when I can question the organ grinder.

17The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with faith to fight for it

18I know that the right kind of leader for the Labour Party is a desiccated calculating machine who must not in any way permit himself to be swayed by indignation. If he sees suffering, privation or injustice he must not allow it to move him, for that would be evidence of the lack of proper education or of absence of self-control. He must speak in calm and objective accents and talk about a dying child in the same way as he would about the pieces inside an internal combustion engine.

19The worst thing I can say about democracy is that it has tolerated the right hon. Gentleman for four and a half years.

20He has the lucidity which is the by-product of a fundamentally sterile mind.

Aneurin Bevan Quotes

21I have never regarded politics as the arena of morals. It is the arena of interest.

22Reading is not a duty, and has consequently no business to be made disagreeable.

23This is my truth, tell me yours.

24You don't have to gaze into a crystal ball when you can read an open book.

25Virtue is its own punishment.

26He brings to the fierce struggle of politics the tepid enthusiasm of a lazy summer afternoon at a cricket match.

27The hero's need of the people outlasts their need of him.

28The Prime Minister has an absolute genius for putting flamboyant labels on empty luggage.

29This island is made mainly of coal and surrounded by fish. Only an organizing genius could produce a shortage of coal and fish at the same time.

30Damn it all you can't have the crown of thorns and the thirty pieces of silver.

Aneurin Bevan Quotes

31A Society in which the people's wants do not exceed their possessions is not a Socialist society.

32Politics is a blood sport.

33Advertising is 'an evil service'.

34There are two ways of getting into the Cabinet - you can crawl in or kick your way in.

35[Winston Churchill] never spares himself in conversation. He gives himself so generously that hardly anyone else is permitted to give anything in his presence.

36The Tories always hold the view that the state is an apparatus for the protection of the swag of the property owners ... Christ drove the money changers out of the temple, but you inscribe their title deed on the altar cloth.

37I read the newspapers avidly. It is my one form of continuous fiction.

38If freedom is to be saved and enlarged, poverty must be ended. There is no other solution.

39The Prime Minister wins debate after debate and loses battle after battle. The country is beginning to say that he fights debates like a war and the war like a debate.

40I would rather be kept alive in the efficient if cold altruism of a large hospital than expire in a gush of warm sympathy in a small one.

Aneurin Bevan Quotes

41Fascism is not in itself a new order of society. It is the future refusing to be born.

42No amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin.

43Trade unions are islands of anarchy in a sea of chaos.

44He has the lucidity which is the by-product of a fundamentally sterile mind. He does not have to struggle... with the crowded pulsations of a fecund imagination. On the contrary he is almost devoid of imagination.

45Discontent arises from a knowledge of the possible, as contrasted with the actual.

46Stand not too near the rich man lest he destroy thee - and not too far away lest he forget thee.

47We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run down.

48Soon, if we are not prudent, millions of people will be watching each other starve to death through expensive television sets

49I welcome this opportunity of pricking the bloated bladder of lies with the poniard of truth

50The Tories, every election, must have a bogy man. If you haven't got a programme, a bogy man will do.

Aneurin Bevan Quotes

51There is only one hope for mankind - and that is democratic Socialism.

52No society can legitimately call itself civilized if a sick person is denied medical aid because of lack of means.

53Now, the vicissitudes that afflict the individual have their source in society. It is this situation that has given currency to the phrase social forces. Personal relations have given way to impersonal ones. The Great Society has arrived and the task of our generation is to bring it under control. The study of how it is to be done is the function of politics.

54I know that the right kind of political leader for the Labour Party is a desiccated calculating machine.

55He [Winston Churchill] is a man suffering from petrified adolescence.

56Poor fellow, he suffers from files.

57Not even the apparently enlightened principle of the 'greatest good for the greatest number' can excuse indifference to individual suffering. There is no test for progress other than its impact on the individual.

58I am not going to spend any time whatsoever in attacking the Foreign Secretary. If we complain about the tune, there is no reason to attack the monkey when the organ grinder is present.