Monday, June 26, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Harold Wilson (1916 – 1995)


Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1964 to 1970, and again from 1974 to 1976.
Harold Wilson
May I say, for the benefit of those who have been carried away by the gossip of the last few days, that I know what's going on. [pause] I'm going on, and the Labour government's going on.
Wilson quotes
'I thought', said Nye, 'that you were a Yorkshireman but your Dad has been telling me all about Manchester. Where were you born, boy?' With a Yorkshireman's natural pride, I said, thinking of Sheffield's steel, 'Yorkshiremen are not born; they are forged.' 'Forged were you?' said Nye in that musical Welsh lilt of his, 'I always thought there was something counterfeit about you!'
Wilson
This Party needs to protect itself against the activities of small groups of inflexible political persuasion, extreme so-called left and in a few cases extreme so-called moderates, having in common only their arrogant dogmatism. These groups, equally the multichromatic coalitionist fringe or groups specifically formed to fight other marauding groups, these groups are not what this Party is about. Infestation of this kind thrives only, and can thrive only, in minuscule local parties.




Wilson Harold quotes
He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.
Wilson Harold
Harold was, above all else, a great political survivor, a fine politician if, perhaps, never truly a statesman.
Harold Wilson quotes
We've got a job to do. We can only do that job as one people, and I'm going right in to start that job now.
Harold Wilson
The boldest experiment in civilised government that Britain has ever seen.
Wilson Harold quotes
A week is a long time in politics.
Wilson
In all our plans for the future, we are re-defining and we are re-stating our Socialism in terms of the scientific revolution. But that revolution cannot become a reality unless we are prepared to make far-reaching changes in economic and social attitudes which permeate our whole system of society. The Britain that is going to be forged in the white heat of this revolution will be no place for restrictive practices or for outdated methods on either side of industry.
Wilson Harold
Hughie, get your tanks off my lawn.
Harold Wilson
We have taken steps which have not been taken by any other democratic government in the world. We are taking steps with regard to prices and wages which no other government, even in wartime, has taken.




Harold Wilson quotes
Yet people who benefit from all this now viciously defy Westminster, purporting to act as though they were an elected government; people who spend their lives sponging on Westminster and British democracy and then systematically assault democratic methods. Who do these people think they are?
Harold Wilson
I get a little nauseated, perhaps, when I hear the phrase 'freedom of the press' used as freely as it is, knowing that a large part of our proprietorial press is not free at all.
Wilson quotes
I know I speak for everyone in these islands, all parties, all our people, when I say to Mr. Smith tonight: "Prime Minister, think again".
Wilson Harold
The school I went to in the north was a school where more than half the children in my class never had any boots or shoes to their feet. They wore clogs, because they lasted longer than shoes of comparable price.
Wilson Harold quotes
On 5 September, when the TUC unanimously rejected wage restraint, it was the end of an era, and all the financiers, all the little gnomes in Zürich and other finance centres about whom we keep on hearing, had started to make their dispositions in regard to sterling.
Harold Wilson
I have always said this of Tony: he immatures with age.
Harold Wilson quotes
David Dimbleby: You couldn't - you couldn't set our minds at rest on the vexed question of what the Sunday Times did actually pay you for the book?
Harold Wilson: No, I don't think it's a matter of interest to the BBC or to anybody else.
Dimbleby: But why ..
Wilson: If you're interested in these things, you'd better find out how people buy yachts. Do you ask that question? Did you ask him how he was able to pay for a yacht?
Dimbleby: I haven't interviewed ...
Wilson: Have you asked him that question?
Dimbleby: I haven't interviewed him.
Wilson: Well, has the BBC ever asked that question?
Dimbleby: I don't know ...
Wilson: Well, what's it got to do with you, then?
Dimbleby: I imagine they have ..
Wilson: Why you ask these question, I mean why, if people can afford to buy ?25,000 yachts, do the BBC not regard that as a matter for public interest? Why do you insult me with these questions here?
Dimbleby: It's only that it's been a matter of ..
Wilson: All I'm saying, all I'm saying ..
Dimbleby: ... public speculation, and I was giving you an opportunity if you wanted to, to say something about it.
Wilson: It was not a matter of speculation, it was just repeating press gossip. You will not put this question to Mr. Heath. When you have got an answer to him, come and put the question to me. And this last question and answer are not to be recorded. Is this question being recorded?
Dimbleby: Well it is, because we're running film.
Wilson: Well, will you cut it out or not? All right, we stop now. No, I'm sorry, I'm really not having this. I'm really not having this. The press may take this view, that they wouldn't put this question to Heath but they put it to me; if the BBC put this question to me, without putting it to Heath, the interview is off, and the whole programme is off. I think it's a ridiculous question to put. Yes, and I mean it cut off, I don't want to read in the Times Diary or miscellany that I asked for it to be cut out. [pause]
Dimbleby: All right, are we still running? Can I ask you this, then, which I mean, I .. let me put this question, I mean if you find this question offensive then ..
Wilson: Coming to ask if your curiosity can be satisfied, I think it's disgraceful. Never had such a question in an interview in my life before.
Dimbleby: I .. [gasps]
Joe Haines (Wilson's Press Secretary): Well, let's stop now, and we can talk about it, shall we?
Dimbleby: No, let's .. well, I mean, we'll keep going, I think, don't you?
Wilson: No, I think we'll have a new piece of film in and start all over again. But if this film is used, or this is leaked, then there's going to be a hell of a row. And this must be ..
Dimbleby: Well, I certainly wouldn't leak it ..
Wilson: You may not leak it but these things do leak. I've never been to Lime Grove without it leaking.
Harold Wilson
From now on, the pound abroad is worth 14 per cent or so less in terms of other currencies. That doesn't mean, of course, that the Pound here in Britain, in your pocket or purse or in your bank, has been devalued.
Wilson Harold
Smethwick Conservatives can have the satisfaction of having topped the poll, of having sent a Member who, until another election returns him to oblivion, will serve his time here as a Parliamentary leper.


© 2009–2013Quotes Privacy Policy | Contact