Whodathunkit? Michael Portillo says David Lloyd George is a hero of his

Michael Portillo has bought a brand new red “pixelated” jacket for a new series of “British Railway Journies”, available on BBC iPlayer.

In Episode 15, available on iPlayer for the next 29 days, the man with arguably the best job, and the worst jackets, in the world travels by chuff-chuff from Criccieth to Caernarfon.

Just near Criccieth, at Llanystumdwy, where David Lloyd George grew up, he meets the great man’s grandson, Bengy Carey Evans at the David Lloyd George museum. Bengy Carey Evans recalls that his grandfather never took credit for anything and said:

I didn’t win the war. Three things won the war: The blockade. The women. And the remarkable courage of the British troops. That’s what won the war.

At Lloyd George’s grave,Michael Portillo intones:

Here lies David Lloyd George. You may be surprised that he is a hero of mine, since his politics and mine were very different. He was personally responsible for social reform, for waging the Great War, for writing the peace. A statesman carries to his grave all his successes and all his failures. The important thing is to make a difference. He did.

* 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 Liberal History.


  • John Marriott 20th Jan '18 - 9:23pm

    You probably remember the old song “Lloyd George knew my father, father knew Lloyd George”. Well my grandfather knew Ramsey McDonald when he was one of Leicester’s two MPs. The other was a Liberal as the two parties did a deal to keep the Tories out of the town.

    Both men were, in their own way, political heavyweights, who, when their powers started to wane, went down a few blind alleys. Ramsey Mac succumbed to the blandishments of the upper classes in the National Government while Lloyd George was a guest of Adolf Hitler at Berchtesgaden. I think he saw the light afterwards.

    While Liberals today quite rightly revere Lloyd George with all his well known faults, Macdonald, who, like the Welsh Wizard, rose from humble beginnings to lead the first Labour Government, is largely reviled today by the Labour Movement. It just shows you in which party tolerance lies.

  • Just an aside the Lloyd George Museum at Llanystumdwy was recently threatened with closure by Gwynedd Council, but was saved largely through the efforts of Welsh LD members of the Assembly (pre 2016 elections).
    Please make an effort to go there and visit the museum and help keep it open, it’s well worth it. Perhaps the only drawback to the museum is there is too much dwelling on the negative campaign materials of the time against Lloyd George, and virtually none representing the campaigning for the things which he fought for and was a central figure to.

  • Richard Underhill 22nd Aug '19 - 9:06am

    Steve Pape 20th Jan ’18 – 2:48pm
    Portillo’s comments on the Conservative Party on Andrew Neil’s former late night chat show were that he is no longer a member. He also commented adversely about the cost of Trident.
    His two-part series on the Tory Party had interviews including Boris Johnson, Tony Blair and Nigel Farage. Ken Clarke commented that the questions had “a Eurosceptic tinge”, which Portillo did not deny or rephrase.
    Portillo blamed the Tories troubles on Europe. Another view is that they are divided. PM John Major had commented on disloyalty among cabinet members by calling them “bastards”, but ‘phoned Michael Howard to say that he did not intend to include him in the comment. Portillo commented that he did not receive an equivalent ‘phone call. Michael Howard was amused.

  • Richard Underhill 13th Apr '20 - 2:46pm

    Michael Choo Choo Portillo, one of John Major’s ‘bastards’, has been delving in the Archives.
    Under the 50 year rule, since reduced to 30 years, state secrets remained secret.
    So why were the Olympics not boycotted in 1936? Portillo accesses the files.
    Were the Rolling Stones using illegal drugs? Portillo accesses the files.
    Was there spying against a future King? (Edward VIII) yes.
    What do we know about Jack the Ripper? He wrote a letter forecasting the removal of an ear from a future victim. Portillo accesses the files, but no conclusion.
    What did the USAF find out about Unidentified Flying Objects? When people wrote to the S of S for Defence what did he reply?
    BBC2 @16.45 4, etc March

  • Richard Underhill. 13th Apr '20 - 2:53pm

    13th Apr ’20 – 2:46pm
    The 50 year rule continued to apply after 1945, allowing ex-PM Winston Churchill to access papers he had written himself. One of his memoirs consists of little else. What other people were doing about his requests and orders can be deduced from the frequency with which he wrote again on the same subject, such as deployment in Egypt.

  • Richard Underhill 13th Apr '20 - 3:10pm

    13th Apr ’20 – 2:46pm
    One of the issues is about Home Secretary Winston Churchill, an MP in a Liberal Government and an American black boxer who thought he had been treated with racial discrimination.
    ISBN 0-7126-0977-6 The Unforgivable Blackness, paperback, pages 126-128 covers the alleged risk of riot in the UK and the USA.
    Black musician Miles Davis also had views.
    The fight did not happen.
    Jack Johnson always thought that he had been badly treated.

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