Tuesday, October 17, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

James Callaghan (1912 – 2005)


UK politician; Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1976–1979).
James Callaghan
He was very emotional, and he said to us "a lot of you are very clever people; you've had university education which I never had, and you would have made a success of whatever walk of life you had gone into. But always remember that it was the Labour Party which put you where you are." Even some of us who had no time for him before the election found it very moving.
Callaghan quotes
The commentators have fixed the month for me, they have chosen the date and the day. But I advise them: "Don't count your chickens before they are hatched." Remember what happened to Marie Lloyd. She fixed the day and the date, and she told us what happened. As far as I remember it went like this: 'There was I, waiting at the church–' (laughter). Perhaps you recall how it went on. 'All at once he sent me round a note. Here's the very note. This is what he wrote: "Can't get away to marry you today, my wife won't let me."' Now let me just make clear that I have promised nobody that I shall be at the altar in October? Nobody at all.
Callaghan
If we have to prove our Europeanism by accepting that French is the dominant language in the Community, then my answer is quite clear, and I will say it in French in order to prevent any misunderstanding: Non, merci beaucoup.




Callaghan James quotes
We used to think that you could spend your way out of a recession and increase employment by cutting taxes and boosting government spending. I tell you in all candour that that option no longer exists, and in so far as it ever did exist, it only worked on each occasion since the war by injecting a bigger dose of inflation into the economy, followed by a higher level of unemployment as the next step.
Callaghan James
Never let me hear anyone say again that a Socialist State cannot provide outlets for those with initiative. The rewards given to ability in the U.S.S.R. at all levels are far greater than those given to the employed in capitalist Britain. I have seen it and it works.
James Callaghan quotes
A leader must have the courage to act against an expert's advice.
James Callaghan
Meantime I say to both sides of industry, 'Please don't support us with general expressions of good will and kind words, and then undermine us through unjustified wage increases or price increases. Either back us or sack us.'
Callaghan James quotes
David Rose (ITN reporter): Industrial relations and picketing. What about the TUC putting its house in order?
James Callaghan: The media's always trying to find what's wrong with something .. Let's try and make it work.
Rose: What if the unions can't control their own militants? So there are no circumstances where you would legislate?
Callaghan: I didn't say anything of that sort at all. I'm not going to take the interview any further. Look here. We've been having five minutes on industrial relations. You said you would do prices. I'm just not going to do this .. that programme is not to go. This interview with you is only doing industrial relations. I'm not doing the interview with you on that basis. I'm not going to do it. Don't argue with me. I'm not going to do it.
Callaghan
Jim Callaghan was a formidable opponent, one who could best me across the dispatch box. In other circumstances he would have been a successful prime minister. He was a superb party manager. Despite our disagreements, I always respected him because I knew he was moved by deep patriotism.
Callaghan James
I have not the slightest doubt that the economic measures and the Socialist measures which one will find in the countries of Eastern Europe, will become increasingly powerful against the unco-ordinated, planless society in which the West is living at present.
James Callaghan
I think there is a case for opening a national debate on these matters.




James Callaghan quotes
A leader has to appear consistent. That doesn't mean he has to be consistent.
James Callaghan
For 338 paragraphs the Franks report painted a splendid picture, delineated the light and the shade, and the glowing colours in it, and when Franks got to paragraph 339 he got fed up with the canvas he was painting and chucked a bucket of whitewash over it.
Callaghan quotes
When we reject unemployment as an economic instrument — as we do — and when we reject also superficial remedies, as socialists must, then we must ask ourselves unflinchingly what is the cause of high unemployment. Quite simply and unequivocally, it is caused by paying ourselves more than the value of what we produce. There are no scapegoats.
Callaghan James
Unilateral disarmament by Britain is opposed to our country's best interests, could begin the unravelling of NATO and therefore jeopardise the stability of Europe.
Callaghan James quotes
We can truly say that once the Leader of the Opposition had discovered what the Liberals and the SNP were going to do, she found the courage of their convictions. So, this evening, the Conservative Party, who want the Act repealed and oppose even devolution, will march through the Lobby with the SNP, who want independence for Scotland, and with the Liberals, who want to keep the Act. What a massive display of unsullied principle! The minority parties have walked into a trap. If they win, there will be a general election. I am told that the current joke going round the House is that it is the first time in recorded history that turkeys have been known to vote for an early Christmas.
James Callaghan
Well, that's a judgment that you are making. I promise you that if you look at it from outside, and perhaps you're taking rather a parochial view at the moment, I don't think that other people in the world would share the view that there is mounting chaos.
James Callaghan quotes
It is quite clear from what has been said and written that, time after time after time, there has been a conspiracy between the Conservative Front Bench in this House and the inbuilt Conservative majority in the House of Lords to defeat legislation that has passed through the House of Commons...I warn the House of Lords of the consequences...it is our strong view that the House of Lords should recall that its role is not that of a wrecking chamber, but of a revising chamber. In recent weeks, it has been wrecking legislation passed by this House.
James Callaghan
The Soviet Union's propaganda clearly wishes to use public opinion in this country to get the West to reduce its own arms while doing nothing themselves. In this way they would gain nuclear superiority. This is simply not on.
Callaghan James
Now that the House of Commons has declared itself, we shall take our case to the country.


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