The vintage image on one of those new photo membership cards – Churchill and Lloyd George as Liberal colleagues

There has been considerable interest in the series of new photo party membership cards. When you sign up these days, you can choose from a range of around a dozen cards featuring photos of Liberal and Liberal Democrat heroines and heroes, past and present.

One of the images is a cropped version of the photo above, taken on Budget Day, April 27th 1910 and in Getty Images library. The caption reads:

Winston Churchill listens attentively to David Lloyd George, Chancellor of the Exchequer, while walking in Central London with him, his wife and his parliamentary aide on Budget Day. Left to right: Margaret Lloyd George, David Lloyd George, Winston Churchill and Mr Clarke .

Here’s another photo of the famous two, this time from July 1st 1919, captioned:

British Prime Minister Lloyd George and Secretary for War and Air Winston Churchill outside number 10 Downing Street, London.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist and member of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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This entry was posted in Party policy and internal matters and Photo feature.


  • Isn’t the lesson of Churchill* that if you want to achieve great things you have to leave the Liberals and join the Conservative Party?

    *to be honest, Churchill, although he was a magnificent wartime leader, gifted orator and writer, in most other aspects of his political life represented the worst kind of venality, hypocrisy and cruelty we still find in politics today. He was driven out of more constituencies in disgrace than George Galloway. Truly a man whose strengths just about tolerated his considerable weaknesses.

  • Paul Pettinger 13th May '15 - 11:29am

    Lloyd George helped destroy the Party through personal ambition – it’s time to reconnect with our values, rather than fetishise individuals

  • Bring back frock coats, I say.

  • Jeremy Hargreaves 13th May '15 - 12:21pm

    We need more hats like that at #ldconf – especially Mrs Lloyd George’s

  • Michael Rees-Antonio 13th May '15 - 12:23pm

    Lloyd George naively assumed that the politics of coalition during a crisis would apply when the crisis had abated. There is definitely a recently reinforced lesson in this!

  • Lloyd George knew my father.

    Actually that’s almost correct; my father knew LG’s (male) personal secretary

  • TCO & Jeremy: Yes, the hats & frock coats are excellent.

    Paul, g, & Michael: Good LORD guys can you not just go “yeah, cool photo”?

    Oh god I’m turning into a shut-up-and-deliver-leaflets type


    I’ll go away now.

  • Michael Rees-Antonio 13th May '15 - 12:57pm

    Haha, apparently not! Point taken though! And yes it’s a great photo! 🙂

  • There’s a Gladstone one too!

  • Stephen Hesketh 13th May '15 - 1:13pm

    Paul Pettinger13th May ’15 – 11:29am
    “Lloyd George helped destroy the Party through personal ambition – it’s time to reconnect with our values, rather than fetishise individuals”

    I fully agree with you Paul.

    Nore was he the only one to have a tilt at it.

    Checks and balances must be introduced into our constitution to prevent this befalling the party for a third time.

  • Blimey guys, stop sweating the small stuff! So it may be a curious choice of LG pic, but I think we probably have plenty of big stuff to worry about that, you know, involves people not dead for the last 50 years.

    PS. My wife went for the Ashdown option when she rejoined last night. Oh no, is that going to start an Ashdown thread going?

  • Ruth Bright 13th May '15 - 3:01pm

    Poor old Margaret Lloyd George with her cheating husband and her daft hat. Are there any more inspiring Liberal women to adorn our membership cards? 😊

  • Paul Pettinger 13th May '15 - 3:03pm

    I agree Stephen H. As much as we should clarify our values, our internal democratic structures also failed and need to be more robust.

  • Eddie Sammon 13th May '15 - 3:37pm

    I have never seen the second photo before. Yes, they are cool photos.

    Perhaps the party could take more inspiration from the likes of Lloyd George. Clearly the Clegg strategy has failed, but it doesn’t mean the Grimond one is the way forward. In some ways Grimond failed too.

    I am still a bit of a “Cleggite”, but I don’t want to get the blinkers on and pretend nothing was wrong.


  • tony dawson 13th May '15 - 3:47pm

    @Eddie Sammon:

    “I am still a bit of a “Cleggite”, but I don’t want to get the blinkers on and pretend nothing was wrong.”

    Then whatever you might agree with Nick Clegg on, you are certainly NOT a ‘Cleggite’.

  • David Evans 13th May '15 - 4:06pm

    Eddie, How would you express Jo Grimond’s failure? It seems just seems a very curious thing to say unless you have something specific in mind.

  • Eddie Sammon 13th May '15 - 4:18pm

    Thanks Tony.

    Hi David, well if we take the long-term vision of creating a successful party of the non-socialist left then that has failed. I don’t know why that strategy was ditched, others will know more, but for whatever reason it was.

    From what I’ve seen the 1966 election didn’t look like a roaring success either. I’m not diminishing, just offering a different perspective.

    Best regards

  • Tony Greaves 13th May '15 - 5:46pm

    What a pair of Rogues.

  • David Evans 13th May '15 - 6:29pm

    Eddie, Indeed I find your points curious. I think Jo’s vision of realignment of the left was going pretty well until 2008. Ups and downs it’s true, but accusing a man of failure for the actions of those after he was dead is a tad harsh, don’t you agree?

    Likewise a 1966 failure – vote down 2.6% 🙁 Seats up 25% – the birth of targeting! 🙂

  • David Evans 13th May '15 - 6:30pm

    Missed a ? out – apologies

    Likewise a 1966 failure? – vote down 2.6% :- Seats up 25% – the birth of targeting! :-

  • Eddie Sammon 13th May '15 - 6:46pm

    Lol, I don’t regard the man as a failure (that would be harsh!), I’m just trying to downplay the attractiveness of going down that path again.

    As I said the other day (although most wouldn’t have seen it of course): I read up on Grimond recently after becoming frustrated with the middle of the road strategy and was quite impressed. However, ultimately I am not a believer!


  • For anyone interested in the facts not just pictures —

    It is 100 years this month since Churchill was thrown out of the Wartime Coalition Cabinet because of his incompetent and amateurish complicity in the Gallipoli disaster.   

    “…The Battle of Gallipoli became a slaughter and quickly morphed into a stalemate just as bloody, just as pointless as that on the Western Front. In the first month after storming the peninsula, the Allies lost 45,000 men. The ill-fated Gallipoli Campaign lasted nine months before the evacuation of the last Allied troops in January 1916. 

    Each side sustained 250,000 casualties with 46,000 Allied troops and 65,000 Turkish troops dead.

    The invasion had been scuttled by incompetence and hesitancy by military commanders, but, fairly or unfairly, Churchill was the scapegoat. 

    The Gallipoli disaster threw the government into crisis, and the Liberal prime minister was forced to bring the opposition Conservatives into a coalition government. As part of their agreement to share power, the Conservatives wanted Churchill, a renegade politician who had bolted their party a decade earlier, out from the Admiralty. In May 1915, Churchill was demoted to an obscure cabinet post.”

  • peter tyzack 14th May '15 - 10:59am

    we forget that Churchill drove the development of mustard gas manufacture from 1916, involving the unpleasant and untimely deaths of many young people who worked on the manufacturing and bomb filling lines at Avonmouth(Bristol). Whilst they(mostly teenagers) were paid more than their friends at other factories, what they were doing and the sickness and injuries they suffered were shrouded by the Official Secrets Act. They had to put up with awful conditions and a complete lack of any protective gear ‘because there was a war on’.

  • peter tyzack 14th May ’15 – 10:59am

    Yes indeed. Churchill was also especially keen to use poison gas in his campaign of bombing raids on the Kurds in Iraq in the 1920s.
    He was prevented from doing so by some rather sensible civil servants who thought that a hideous war crime on a massive scale would not necessarily be the best way to win the hearts and minds of the population of that part of the world.
    Unfortunately the lesson was lost on Tony Blair in 2002/3.

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