By Kirsty McHugh, OUP UK
Following yesterday’s sad news that Michael Foot, left wing firebrand, passionate campaigner for nuclear disarmament, and former leader of the UK’s Labour party, has died at the age of 96, I today bring you some of his best quotations from the Oxford Dictionary of Political Quotations.
Our condolences to Mr Foot’s family and friends.
“Think of it! A second Chamber selected by the Whips! A seraglio of eunuchs.”
in the House of Commons, 3 February 1969
“Disraeli was my favourite Tory. He was an adventurer pure and simple, or impure and complex. I’m glad to say that Gladstone got the better of him.”
in The Observer, 16 March 1975, ‘Sayings of the Week’
“It is not necessary that every time he rises he should give his famous imitation of a semi-house-trained polecat.”
on Norman Tebbit, Conservative politician, in the House of Commons, 2 March 1978
“He’s passed from rising hope to elder statesman without any intervening period whatsoever.”
on David Steel, then Leader of the Liberal Party, in the House of Commons, 28 March 1979
“A speech from Ernest Bevin on a major occasion had all the horrific fascination of a public execution. If the mind was left immune, eyes and ears and emotions were riveted.”
in his biography Aneurin Bevan, vol 1 (1962)