Friday, June 12, 2009

Quote of the Day: Denis Healey

"I would rather wonder why I was never Prime Minister than why I was..."
Denis Healey


Anonymous said...

A real shame he wasn't elected Labour leader.

Anonymous said...

I'm old enough to remember Healety as Chancellor. He was a complete butthole.

Anonymous said...

A question that Cameron may well end up asking himself if he carries on the way he is going.

Iain Dale's Ravaged Anus said...

Iain: exactly when are you going to apologise for the false accusations which you made with regard to Nick Griffin? I specifially refer to when you claimed that Griffin admitted that he would not represent his Asian and black constituents - an issue which Griffin has addressed, in unambiguous terms, time and time again since his election in each instance making it clear that he would represent said constituents.

Furthermore, Griffin did not make the assertion which you allege on your Sunday radio show) in the very first place.

Do you have the integrity to admit that you lied and/or deliberately misrepresented him?

Anonymous said...

I vbelieve he said "I would rather PEOPLE wonder ...

Salmondnet said...

Not nearly as big a butthole as chancellor as he was as defence minister. Responsible for the demise of the fixed wing carrier fleet (Falklands anyone?). When the Soviet Union first heard of this plan they thought it was such a daft thing to do it must be western disinformation.

Andy said...

he did say i would rather people wondered why I wasn't primeminister rather than why I was.

Anonymous said...

i think Denis Healey is a pretty cool guy. eh destroys the economy with his insane eyebrows and doesnt afraid of anything.

DespairingLiberal said...

Dale's Ravaged - er, I think the answer you're looking for from your fachist never-never land is "no". Not that it matters - we all know that's exactly what Griffin and your BNP pals think - why not admit it?

Anyway, Griffin also doesn't say he will - when questioned closely on this he always comes out with some typical slippery politician's guff about "he can't do it until this that or other party admits they are wrong about x or y" or until some [insert government race relations body name here] admits they are bastards or whatever.

In other words, despite much ranting about the establishment conspiracies, Griffin is every inch the smooth politician!

I wonder how he will handle his (lavish possibilities for) expense claims in the EU Parliament?

DespairingLiberal said...

Salmondnet - I recall we went for helicopter ships - isn't that actually what we needed, given current war situations? What on earth makes you think (to quote Python) the Soviet's gave a tinker's cuss how many fixed wing aircraft carriers Britain had? Considering the only foe they ever really thought about was the US?

Anonymous said...


I'm afraid you're painfully ill-informed about Cold War maritime policy on both the Soviet and NATO sides. In point of fact, you're pretty clearly ignorant of a lot of basic information about the entirety of the European/North Atlantic military aspects of the Cold War.

You should go away, read some books on the subject (paying particular attention to the role of British ASW assets in securing the Atlantic and to Soviet efforts towards neutralising same) and come back when you know more.

Ian said...

Healey whatever else, was a fairly honest politician and a formidable opponent with an eye for a catch phrase- It was he coined the phrase about Geoffrey Howe's debating skills as to "being savaged by a dead sheep": while claiming that the left "were out of their tiny Chinese minds" His referred to Mrs Thatcher as "Attila The Hen" Cruel but had some style.

I cannot see him lying his way about issue after issue the same way his successors in the modern Labour Party do.

He is also entitled to be called "The Rt.Honourable and Gallant Member"- he was a Beachmaster at Anzio.I gather he was also held in some high regard by the Military and Naval establishment.

We can regard him as a fairly successful Secretary of State for Defence but as Chancellor. Well No-even Gordon/Alistair haven't had to go cap-in-hand to the IMF (yet)

As for being Prime Minister. I think he's got it right. Better to wonder why not than think why did. He could not have dealt with the Unions and their Bully-boys in the late 1970s even had he wanted to. That's were we need Margaret Thatcher

Salmondnet said...

DespairingLiberal: We needed both. Before Healey's depradations we had both, including sealift and helicopters for a full brigade without having to take over merchant ships. Had the fixed wing carriers still existed the Argentinians would almost certainly not have risked the Falklands invasion in the first place, saving much blood and money on both sides.

On the cold war, you are wrong, period. Either you didn't live through it or you are simply ignorant.


I met him in the late mid 60s when he was the Minister of Defence and I was stationed at RAF Odiham,
He wanted to “meet the troops” and I was selected
The prat had just killed the British TSR2 - which was flying - and contracted to buy the American F111 - which was not.
He didn’t like it when I bought up the subject of the TSR2.
A very superior dick-head, indeed.
But like all good labour politicians, he treated the complexities of a major high tech transaction with the same rigour as buying a bag of sweeties from the village shop.
He had bought something that didn't exist, and when it looked as though it never was going to exist and we were running out of time for a new front line strike aircraft – he cancelled. Probably without realising there were eye wateringly huge contract cancellation penalties.
We paid the penalties.
Years later, when we still had no modern front line aircraft, we bought the Phantom.
It was an interim solution, light years behind the TSR2.
Denis Healy single-handedly destroyed the British aircraft industry more effectively than the Kremlin could ever have dreamed possible. It was a shameful episode. Equalled only when as Chancellor, he had to run cap-in-hand to the IMF.
He probably would have been as useless a Prime Minister as he was useless a Minister of Defence and Chancellor.

Stephen Gash said...

Quote of the day: Anonymous said... "I'm old enough to remember Healety as Chancellor. He was a complete butthole."


Maybe Healy should have said "I would rather wonder why I was the second worst chancellor ever than why I was the worst"

Stephen Gash said...


Somebody sent me an email saying that Labour sold the TSR2 project to the Russians for £20,000.

To be fair, the Tories cancelled Black Arrow and the rest of the UK's rocket programme, thus making the UK the only country to cancel a working space programme.

DespairingLiberal said...

Anon 6:16 - I know more than you think, including all the ins and outs of the pathetic wargame scenarios Nato planners dream up to justify their inflated budgets and mega contracts to ever-so-grateful "defence" contractors they later quite-by-chance get a plum job with. Don't be gulled - just because the bull flies think and fast, don't make it real. Nowhere do lies flow faster than in the wacky world of government defence contracting.

DespairingLiberal said...

Autolycus - the TSR2 may have been utterly wonderful (as one might hope it would be, given the humongous amounts of taxpayer's cash spent on it) but even on the MAD logic of tit-for-tat nuclear bombings (see Dr Strangelove for more information) it didn't make sense as it didn't have a weapon, since Macmillan had cancelled it.

You may be crying over a dropped plane but to say it killed off the British aircraft industry is like saying that the Greek invasion of Ancient Egypt killed off a perfectly viable mummy industry. Things move on.

Later on of course all that knowledge went in to the Tornado programme. A sign of deeply failed Brit plane manufacture?

It's all stuff and nonsense really - nucular phantasies from Cold Warriors in search of a New War some place. Busy attacking Muslims?

Michaela said...

"I'd rather people wondered why I wasn't Prime Minister rather than why I was" is the accurate quote.

Mike said...

Healey is ex communist scum and was a useful idiot for the Russians during his political career