Denis Healey
Overview
 
Denis Winston Healey, Baron Healey CH
Order of the Companions of Honour
The Order of the Companions of Honour is an order of the Commonwealth realms. It was founded by King George V in June 1917, as a reward for outstanding achievements in the arts, literature, music, science, politics, industry or religion....

, MBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

, PC
Privy Council of the United Kingdom
Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign in the United Kingdom...

 (born 30 August 1917) is a British
British people
The British are citizens of the United Kingdom, of the Isle of Man, any of the Channel Islands, or of any of the British overseas territories, and their descendants...

 Labour politician
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

, who served as Secretary of State for Defence
Secretary of State for Defence
The Secretary of State for Defence, popularly known as the Defence Secretary, is the senior Government of the United Kingdom minister in charge of the Ministry of Defence, chairing the Defence Council. It is a Cabinet position...

 from 1964 to 1970 and Chancellor of the Exchequer
Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

 from 1974 to 1979.
Healey was born in Mottingham
Mottingham
Mottingham is a district of south London, England; located at the convergence of the London Borough of Bromley, the London Borough of Lewisham and the London Borough of Greenwich...

, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, but moved with his family to Keighley
Keighley
Keighley is a town and civil parish within the metropolitan borough of the City of Bradford in West Yorkshire, England. It is situated northwest of Bradford and is at the confluence of the River Aire and the River Worth...

 in the West Riding of Yorkshire
West Riding of Yorkshire
The West Riding of Yorkshire is one of the three historic subdivisions of Yorkshire, England. From 1889 to 1974 the administrative county, County of York, West Riding , was based closely on the historic boundaries...

 when he was five. His middle name is in honour of Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

.

Healey was one of three siblings. His father was an engineer
Engineer
An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems. Engineers design materials, structures, machines and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality,...

 who worked his way up from humble origins studying at night school
Night School
Night School is a school that holds classes in the evening or at night, and is usually intended for continuing and adult learning and to accommodate people who work during the day.Night School may also refer to:...

.
Quotations

I think the Services can be rightly very upset at the continuous series of defence reviews which the Government has been forced by economic circumstances—and maybe economic mistakes too—to carry out... : On BBC Television's Panorama programme (22 January, 1968).

Once we cut defence expenditure to the extent where our security is imperilled, we have no houses, we have no hospitals, we have no schools. We have a heap of cinders. : Speech in the House of Commons (Hansard, 5 March, 1969, Col. 551).

We are all agreed on a massive extension of public ownership. : Speech in York (2 June, 1973).

We shall increase income tax on the better off so that we can help the hundreds of thousands of families now tangled helplessly in the poverty trap by raising the tax threshold and introducing reduced rates of tax for those at the bottom of the ladder. I warn you, there are going to be howls of anguish from the rich. But before you cheer too loudly let me warn you that a lot of you will pay extra taxes too. : Speech to the Labour Party Conference at Blackpool (1 October, 1973).

It has never been my nature, I regret to admit to the House, to turn the other cheek. : Speech in the House of Commons (Hansard, 18 December, 1974, Col. 1620).

No country would suffer more than Britain from an international trade war, since we depend more on world trade than any of our competitors. That is why we cannot accept the proposal made in some quarters that we should seek to solve our problems through imposing import controls for a long period over a whole range of manufactured consumer goods. : Speech in the House of Commons (Hansard, 17 December, 1975, Col. 1409).

They must be out of their tiny Chinese minds. : Attacking left-wing critics of spending cuts, implying they were Maoist (The Daily Telegraph, 24 February, 1976).

By the end of next year, we really shall be on our way to that so-called economic miracle we need. :In an Ministerial broadcast on the Budget (6 April, 1976).

If we can keep our heads—and our nerve—the long-awaited economic miracle is in our grasp. Britain can achieve in the Seventies what Germany and France achieved in the Fifties and Sixties. :The Sunday Telegraph (4 July, 1976).

The alternative to getting help from the IMF would be economic policies so savage I think they would produce riots in the streets, an immediate fall in living standards and unemployment of three million. : On ITN's News at Ten (29 September, 1976).

Encyclopedia
Denis Winston Healey, Baron Healey CH
Order of the Companions of Honour
The Order of the Companions of Honour is an order of the Commonwealth realms. It was founded by King George V in June 1917, as a reward for outstanding achievements in the arts, literature, music, science, politics, industry or religion....

, MBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

, PC
Privy Council of the United Kingdom
Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign in the United Kingdom...

 (born 30 August 1917) is a British
British people
The British are citizens of the United Kingdom, of the Isle of Man, any of the Channel Islands, or of any of the British overseas territories, and their descendants...

 Labour politician
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

, who served as Secretary of State for Defence
Secretary of State for Defence
The Secretary of State for Defence, popularly known as the Defence Secretary, is the senior Government of the United Kingdom minister in charge of the Ministry of Defence, chairing the Defence Council. It is a Cabinet position...

 from 1964 to 1970 and Chancellor of the Exchequer
Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

 from 1974 to 1979.

Early life

Healey was born in Mottingham
Mottingham
Mottingham is a district of south London, England; located at the convergence of the London Borough of Bromley, the London Borough of Lewisham and the London Borough of Greenwich...

, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, but moved with his family to Keighley
Keighley
Keighley is a town and civil parish within the metropolitan borough of the City of Bradford in West Yorkshire, England. It is situated northwest of Bradford and is at the confluence of the River Aire and the River Worth...

 in the West Riding of Yorkshire
West Riding of Yorkshire
The West Riding of Yorkshire is one of the three historic subdivisions of Yorkshire, England. From 1889 to 1974 the administrative county, County of York, West Riding , was based closely on the historic boundaries...

 when he was five. His middle name is in honour of Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

.

Healey was one of three siblings. His father was an engineer
Engineer
An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems. Engineers design materials, structures, machines and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality,...

 who worked his way up from humble origins studying at night school
Night School
Night School is a school that holds classes in the evening or at night, and is usually intended for continuing and adult learning and to accommodate people who work during the day.Night School may also refer to:...

. His paternal grandfather was a tailor
Tailor
A tailor is a person who makes, repairs, or alters clothing professionally, especially suits and men's clothing.Although the term dates to the thirteenth century, tailor took on its modern sense in the late eighteenth century, and now refers to makers of men's and women's suits, coats, trousers,...

 from Enniskillen
Enniskillen
Enniskillen is a town in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. It is located almost exactly in the centre of the county between the Upper and Lower sections of Lough Erne. It had a population of 13,599 in the 2001 Census...

 in Ireland
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

. Healey was educated at Bradford Grammar School
Bradford Grammar School
Bradford Grammar School is a co-educational, independent school in Frizinghall, Bradford, West Yorkshire. Headmaster, Stephen Davidson is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference . The school was founded in 1548 and granted its Charter by King Charles II in 1662...

. In 1936 he won an exhibition
Exhibition (scholarship)
-United Kingdom and Ireland:At the universities of Dublin, Oxford and Cambridge, and at Westminster School, Eton College and Winchester College, and various other UK educational establishments, an exhibition is a financial award or grant to an individual student, normally on grounds of merit. The...

 to Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College , founded in 1263, is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England but founded by a family with strong Scottish connections....

, to read Greats
Literae Humaniores
Literae Humaniores is the name given to an undergraduate course focused on Classics at Oxford and some other universities.The Latin name means literally "more humane letters", but is perhaps better rendered as "Advanced Studies", since humaniores has the sense of "more refined" or "more learned",...

 where he was involved in Labour politics, although he was not active in the Oxford Union Society. At Oxford Healey joined the Communist Party
Communist Party of Great Britain
The Communist Party of Great Britain was the largest communist party in Great Britain, although it never became a mass party like those in France and Italy. It existed from 1920 to 1991.-Formation:...

 in 1937 during the Great Terror
Great Purge
The Great Purge was a series of campaigns of political repression and persecution in the Soviet Union orchestrated by Joseph Stalin from 1936 to 1938...

 but left in 1939 in protest over the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, named after the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, was an agreement officially titled the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union and signed in Moscow in the late hours of 23 August 1939...

. Also at Oxford, Healey met future Conservative Prime Minister
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

 Teddy Heath
Edward Heath
Sir Edward Richard George "Ted" Heath, KG, MBE, PC was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and as Leader of the Conservative Party ....

 (as he was then known), whom he succeeded as president of Balliol College Junior Common Room and who was to be a life-long friend and political rival. Healey achieved a double first for his degree, awarded in 1940.

The Second World War

After his degree, he served in the Second World War with the Royal Engineers
Royal Engineers
The Corps of Royal Engineers, usually just called the Royal Engineers , and commonly known as the Sappers, is one of the corps of the British Army....

, in the North African Campaign
North African campaign
During the Second World War, the North African Campaign took place in North Africa from 10 June 1940 to 13 May 1943. It included campaigns fought in the Libyan and Egyptian deserts and in Morocco and Algeria and Tunisia .The campaign was fought between the Allies and Axis powers, many of whom had...

, the Allied invasion of Sicily
Allied invasion of Sicily
The Allied invasion of Sicily, codenamed Operation Husky, was a major World War II campaign, in which the Allies took Sicily from the Axis . It was a large scale amphibious and airborne operation, followed by six weeks of land combat. It launched the Italian Campaign.Husky began on the night of...

 and the Italian Campaign
Italian Campaign (World War II)
The Italian Campaign of World War II was the name of Allied operations in and around Italy, from 1943 to the end of the war in Europe. Joint Allied Forces Headquarters AFHQ was operationally responsible for all Allied land forces in the Mediterranean theatre, and it planned and commanded the...

, and was the military landing officer for the British assault brigade at Anzio. Leaving the service with the rank of Major
Major
Major is a rank of commissioned officer, with corresponding ranks existing in almost every military in the world.When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicator of rank, the term refers to the rank just senior to that of an Army captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel. ...

 after the war – he declined an offer to remain as a Lieutenant-Colonel – Healey joined the Labour Party. Still in uniform, Major Healey gave a strongly left-wing speech to the Labour Party conference in 1945, shortly before the General Election
United Kingdom general election, 1945
The United Kingdom general election of 1945 was a general election held on 5 July 1945, with polls in some constituencies delayed until 12 July and in Nelson and Colne until 19 July, due to local wakes weeks. The results were counted and declared on 26 July, due in part to the time it took to...

 in which he narrowly failed to win the Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

-held seat of Pudsey and Otley
Pudsey and Otley (UK Parliament constituency)
Pudsey and Otley was a parliamentary constituency centred on the towns of Pudsey and Otley in West Yorkshire. It returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, elected by the first past the post system....

, doubling the Labour vote but losing by 1,651 votes. Following this, he was made secretary of the international department of the Labour Party, becoming a foreign policy adviser to Labour leaders and establishing contacts with socialists across Europe. From 1948 to 1960 he was a councillor of the Royal Institute of International Affairs
Chatham House
Chatham House, formally known as The Royal Institute of International Affairs, is a non-profit, non-governmental organization based in London whose mission is to analyse and promote the understanding of major international issues and current affairs. It is regarded as one of the world's leading...

, and of the International Institute for Strategic Studies
International Institute for Strategic Studies
The International Institute for Strategic Studies is a British research institute in the area of international affairs. It describes itself as "the world’s leading authority on political-military conflict"...

 from 1958 until 1961. He was a member of the Fabian Society
Fabian Society
The Fabian Society is a British socialist movement, whose purpose is to advance the principles of democratic socialism via gradualist and reformist, rather than revolutionary, means. It is best known for its initial ground-breaking work beginning late in the 19th century and continuing up to World...

 executive from 1954 till 1961.

Member of Parliament and in government

Healey was elected to the House of Commons
British House of Commons
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also comprises the Sovereign and the House of Lords . Both Commons and Lords meet in the Palace of Westminster. The Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 650 members , who are known as Members...

 as MP for Leeds East
Leeds East (UK Parliament constituency)
Leeds East is a borough constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election.-Boundaries:...

 at a by-election
By-election
A by-election is an election held to fill a political office that has become vacant between regularly scheduled elections....

 in February 1952 with a majority of 7,000 votes, after the incumbent MP Major James Milner
James Milner, 1st Baron Milner of Leeds
Major James Milner, 1st Baron Milner of Leeds, MC, PC was a British Labour Party politician.Milner was educated at the University of Leeds and became a solicitor. He was a major in World War I and was wounded, awarded the Military Cross and bar for his service...

 left the Commons to accept a peerage.

He supported the moderate side in the Labour Party during the series of 1950s splits. He was a supporter and friend of Hugh Gaitskell
Hugh Gaitskell
Hugh Todd Naylor Gaitskell CBE was a British Labour politician, who held Cabinet office in Clement Attlee's governments, and was the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition from 1955, until his death in 1963.-Early life:He was born in Kensington, London, the third and youngest...

 and, when Gaitskell died in 1963, he was horrified at the idea of Gaitskell's volatile deputy, George Brown
George Brown, Baron George-Brown
George Alfred Brown, Baron George-Brown, PC was a British Labour politician, who served as the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party from 1960 to 1970, and served in a number of positions in the Cabinet, most notably as Foreign Secretary, in the Labour Government of the 1960s...

, leading Labour, saying "He was like immortal Jemima; when he was good he was very good but when he was bad he was horrid". He voted for James Callaghan
James Callaghan
Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, KG, PC , was a British Labour politician, who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1976 to 1979 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1976 to 1980...

 in the first ballot and Harold Wilson
Harold Wilson
James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, KG, OBE, FRS, FSS, PC was a British Labour Member of Parliament, Leader of the Labour Party. He was twice Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the 1960s and 1970s, winning four general elections, including a minority government after the...

 in the second. Healey thought Wilson would unite the Labour Party and lead it to victory in the next general election. He didn't think Brown was capable of doing either. He was appointed Shadow
Shadow Cabinet
The Shadow Cabinet is a senior group of opposition spokespeople in the Westminster system of government who together under the leadership of the Leader of the Opposition form an alternative cabinet to the government's, whose members shadow or mark each individual member of the government...

 Defence Secretary after the creation of the position in 1964. When Labour won the 1964 election
United Kingdom general election, 1964
The United Kingdom general election of 1964 was held on 15 October 1964, more than five years after the preceding election, and thirteen years after the Conservative Party had retaken power...

 Healey served throughout the government as Secretary of State for Defence
Secretary of State for Defence
The Secretary of State for Defence, popularly known as the Defence Secretary, is the senior Government of the United Kingdom minister in charge of the Ministry of Defence, chairing the Defence Council. It is a Cabinet position...

. He cut defence expenditure, cancelling the TSR-2 aircraft and withdrawing from East of Suez
East of Suez
The phrase East of Suez is used in British military and political discussions in reference to imperial interests beyond the European theatre ....

 commitments. He authorised expulsion of Chagossians from the Chagos Archipelago
Chagos Archipelago
The Chagos Archipelago , is a group of seven atolls comprising more than 60 individual tropical islands in the Indian Ocean; situated some due south of the Maldives archipelago. This chain of islands are the southernmost archipelago of the Chagos-Laccadive Ridge a long submarine mountain range...

 and allowed building of the United States military base at Diego Garcia
Diego Garcia
Diego Garcia is a tropical, footprint-shaped coral atoll located south of the equator in the central Indian Ocean at 7 degrees, 26 minutes south latitude. It is part of the British Indian Ocean Territory [BIOT] and is positioned at 72°23' east longitude....

. He remained defence secretary for the party's near six years of Government and was Shadow Defence Secretary after Labour's defeat in June 1970.

Healey was appointed Shadow Chancellor in April 1972 after Roy Jenkins
Roy Jenkins
Roy Harris Jenkins, Baron Jenkins of Hillhead OM, PC was a British politician.The son of a Welsh coal miner who later became a union official and Labour MP, Roy Jenkins served with distinction in World War II. Elected to Parliament as a Labour member in 1948, he served in several major posts in...

 resigned in a row over the European Economic Community
European Economic Community
The European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) The European Economic Community (EEC) (also known as the Common Market in the English-speaking world, renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993The information in this article primarily covers the EEC's time as an independent...

 (Common Market). At the Labour conference on 1 October 1973, he said, "I warn you that there are going to be howls of anguish from those rich enough to pay over 75% on their last slice of earnings". In a speech in Lincoln on 18 February 1974, reported in The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

the following day, Healey went further, promising he would "squeeze property speculators until the pips squeak" and said Lord Carrington, the Conservative Secretary of State for Energy, had made £10m profit from selling agricultural land at prices 30 to 60 times as high as it would command as farming land. He was later widely reported as saying that Labour would "tax the rich until the pips squeak", which Healey denied. When accused by colleagues including Eric Heffer
Eric Heffer
Eric Samuel Heffer was a British socialist politician. He was Labour Member of Parliament for Liverpool Walton from 1964 until his death. His working-class background and consciousness fed in to his left-wing politics, but to an extent disguised the depth of his knowledge: with 12,000 books in...

, left-wing MP for Liverpool Walton
Liverpool Walton (UK Parliament constituency)
Liverpool, Walton is a borough constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first-past-the-post system of election.-Boundaries:...

, of putting Labour's chances of winning the next election in jeopardy with his tax proposals, Healey said the party and the country must face the consequences of Labour's policy of the redistribution of income and wealth; "That is what our policy is, the party must face the realities of it".

Healey became Chancellor of the Exchequer
Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

 in March 1974 after Labour's narrow election victory. His tenure is divided into Healey Mark I and Healey Mark II. The divide is marked by his decision, taken with Prime Minister James Callaghan
James Callaghan
Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, KG, PC , was a British Labour politician, who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1976 to 1979 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1976 to 1980...

, to seek an International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

 (IMF) loan and submit the British economy to the IMF supervision. The loan was negotiated and agreed in November and December 1976 and announced in Parliament on 15 December 1976. Within some parts of the Labour Party the transition from Healey Mark I (which had seen a proposal for a wealth tax
Wealth tax
A wealth tax is generally conceived of as a levy based on the aggregate value of all household holdings actually accumulated as purchasing power stock , including owner-occupied housing; cash, bank deposits, money funds, and savings in insurance and pension plans; investment in real estate and...

) to Healey Mark II (associated with a government specified wage control) was regarded as betrayal. Healey's policy of increasing benefits for the poor meant those earning over £4,000 per year would be taxed more heavily. Healey’s first budget was strongly progressive, with increases in food subsidies, pensions, and other benefits.

Shadow Cabinet and retirement

Healey's bushy eyebrows and soft-spoken wit earned him a favourable reputation with the public. When the media were not present, his humour was equally caustic but more risqué: "These fallacies [pronounced 'phalluses'] are rising up everywhere", he retorted at a meeting of Leeds University Labour Society. The impressionist Mike Yarwood
Mike Yarwood
Mike Yarwood, OBE is an English impressionist and comedian. He was one of Britain's top-rated entertainers, regularly appearing on television from the mid 1960s to the early 1980s. He left Bredbury Secondary Modern School in 1956 and worked as a messenger and then salesman at a garment warehouse...

 coined the catchphrase "Silly Billy", which Healey had never said until that point, but he adopted it and used it frequently. Healey's direct speech made enemies. He attacked left-wing opponents as "out of their tiny Chinese minds" early in 1976, meaning to imply that they were Maoist, but offending the Chinese
Han Chinese
Han Chinese are an ethnic group native to China and are the largest single ethnic group in the world.Han Chinese constitute about 92% of the population of the People's Republic of China , 98% of the population of the Republic of China , 78% of the population of Singapore, and about 20% of the...

 community. The controversy led to a poor performance when he fought for the Labour leadership
Labour Party (UK) leadership election, 1976
The Labour Party leadership election of 1976 occurred when former leader Harold Wilson resigned as Party Leader and Prime Minister.In the first ballot, held on 25 March, six candidates vied for the leadership: Employment Secretary Michael Foot; Foreign Secretary Jim Callaghan; Home Secretary Roy...

 on Harold Wilson
Harold Wilson
James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, KG, OBE, FRS, FSS, PC was a British Labour Member of Parliament, Leader of the Labour Party. He was twice Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the 1960s and 1970s, winning four general elections, including a minority government after the...

's resignation. He obtained 30 votes in the first ballot on 25 March, and 38 in the second on 30 March. He was eliminated from the election and supported James Callaghan in the final ballot on 5 April. Callaghan was elected as the new prime minister and leader of the Labour Party, and retained Healey as chancellor.

His long-serving deputy at the Treasury, Joel Barnett, in response to a remark by a third party that "Denis Healey would sell his own grandmother", quipped, "No, he would get me to do it for him". On 14 June 1978, Healey likened being attacked by the mild-mannered Sir Geoffrey Howe in the House of Commons
British House of Commons
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also comprises the Sovereign and the House of Lords . Both Commons and Lords meet in the Palace of Westminster. The Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 650 members , who are known as Members...

 to being "savaged by a dead sheep". Nevertheless, Howe appeared and paid warm tribute when Healey was featured on This Is Your Life
This Is Your Life
This Is Your Life is an American television documentary series broadcast on NBC, originally hosted by its producer, Ralph Edwards from 1952 to 1961. In the show, the host surprises a guest, and proceeds to take them through their life in front of an audience including friends and family.Edwards...

in 1989. The two have been friends for many years.

Labour lost the general election
United Kingdom general election, 1979
The United Kingdom general election of 1979 was held on 3 May 1979 to elect 635 members to the British House of Commons. The Conservative Party, led by Margaret Thatcher ousted the incumbent Labour government of James Callaghan with a parliamentary majority of 43 seats...

 to the Conservatives (led by Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...

) in May 1979, following the Winter of Discontent
Winter of Discontent
The "Winter of Discontent" is an expression, popularised by the British media, referring to the winter of 1978–79 in the United Kingdom, during which there were widespread strikes by local authority trade unions demanding larger pay rises for their members, because the Labour government of...

 in which Britain had been brought to a virtual standstill by endless public sector strikes. Unemployment had now risen to 1,500,000 compared to less than 1,000,000 in 1974, prompting a Conservative election campaign centred on the theme "Labour Isn't Working". Despite Labour's dismal record on the economy and unemployment, Healey blasted the Conservative campaign as "selling politics like soap powder".

When Callaghan stepped down as Labour leader in November 1980, Healey was favourite to win the Labour Party leadership election
Labour Party (UK) leadership election, 1980
The British Labour Party leadership election of 1980 was held following the resignation of James Callaghan. Callaghan had been Prime Minister 1976—1979 and had stayed on as leader of the Labour Party for eighteen months in order to oversee an orderly transition to his favoured successor, Denis...

, decided by Labour MPs. He took support from the right of the party for granted. In one notable incident, Healey was reputed to have told the right-wing Manifesto Group they must vote for him as they had "nowhere else to go." When Mike Thomas
Michael Thomas (politician)
Michael Stuart Thomas, known as Mike Thomas, is a former British politician, identified with the Labour Party until 1981 and thereafter with the Social Democratic Party. He became well known for his role in both the establishment of the SDP and then in the SDP's subsequent demise...

, the MP for Newcastle East
Newcastle upon Tyne East (UK Parliament constituency)
Newcastle upon Tyne East is a borough constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election....

 defected to the Social Democratic Party
Social Democratic Party (UK)
The Social Democratic Party was a political party in the United Kingdom that was created on 26 March 1981 and existed until 1988. It was founded by four senior Labour Party 'moderates', dubbed the 'Gang of Four': Roy Jenkins, David Owen, Bill Rodgers and Shirley Williams...

 (SDP), he said he had been tempted to send Healey a telegram saying he had found "somewhere else to go". Four Labour MPs who defected to the SDP in early 1981 said they voted against Healey to land the Labour Party with an unelectable left-wing leader and so help their new party.

Healey was elected deputy leader
Deputy Leader
A deputy leader in the Westminster system is the second-in-command of a political party, behind the party leader. Deputy leaders often become deputy prime minister when their parties are elected to government. In opposition, deputy leaders often lead Question Time sessions when the party leader is...

 to the newly-elected Labour leader Michael Foot
Michael Foot
Michael Mackintosh Foot, FRSL, PC was a British Labour Party politician, journalist and author, who was a Member of Parliament from 1945 to 1955 and from 1960 until 1992...

, but the next year was challenged by Tony Benn
Tony Benn
Anthony Neil Wedgwood "Tony" Benn, PC is a British Labour Party politician and a former MP and Cabinet Minister.His successful campaign to renounce his hereditary peerage was instrumental in the creation of the Peerage Act 1963...

 under the new election system, which included individual members and trade unions. The contest was a battle for the soul of the Labour Party and debated over the summer of 1981 ending with Healey winning by 50.4% to Benn's 49.6% on 27 September 1981. Healey's narrow majority can be attributed to the Transport and General Workers' Union
Transport and General Workers' Union
The Transport and General Workers' Union, also known as the TGWU and the T&G, was one of the largest general trade unions in the United Kingdom and Ireland - where it was known as the Amalgamated Transport and General Workers' Union - with 900,000 members...

 (TGWU) delegation to the Labour Party conference. Ignoring consultation with members, which had shown two to one majority support for Healey, it cast the union's block vote (the largest in the union section) for Benn. A significant factor in Benn's loss, however, was the abstention of 20 MPs from the left-wing Tribune Group, which split as a result. Healey attracted enough support from other unions, constituency parties and Labour MPs to win. Healey was Shadow Foreign Secretary during most of the 1980s, a job he coveted. He was retained in the shadow cabinet by Neil Kinnock
Neil Kinnock
Neil Gordon Kinnock, Baron Kinnock is a Welsh politician belonging to the Labour Party. He served as a Member of Parliament from 1970 until 1995 and as Labour Leader and Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition from 1983 until 1992 - his leadership of the party during nearly nine years making him...

, who succeeded Foot after the disastrous 1983 general election
United Kingdom general election, 1983
The 1983 United Kingdom general election was held on 9 June 1983. It gave the Conservative Party under Margaret Thatcher the most decisive election victory since that of Labour in 1945...

, when the Tories bolstered their majority and Labour suffered their worst general election result in decades.

His views on nuclear weapons were at variance with the unilateral nuclear disarmament policy of the party. After the 1987 general election
United Kingdom general election, 1987
The United Kingdom general election of 1987 was held on 11 June 1987, to elect 650 members to the British House of Commons. The election was the third consecutive election victory for the Conservative Party under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher, who became the first Prime Minister since the 2nd...

, he retired from the Shadow Cabinet, and in 1992 stood down after 40 years as a Leeds MP. In that year he received a life peerage as Baron Healey of Riddlesden
Riddlesden
Riddlesden is a village in the county of West Yorkshire, England, near Keighley and on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. Most of Riddlesden is made up of hills and steep land, like farms and even woodland. However the access to Riddlesden is good as it has close contacts with various main roads. As...

in the County of West Yorkshire
West Yorkshire
West Yorkshire is a metropolitan county within the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England with a population of 2.2 million. West Yorkshire came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972....

. Healey is regarded by some – especially in the Labour Party – as "the best Prime Minister we never had". Denis Healey is a founder member of the Bilderberg Group
Bilderberg Group
The Bilderberg Group, Bilderberg conference, or Bilderberg Club is an annual, unofficial, invitation-only conference of approximately 120 to 140 guests from North America and Western Europe, most of whom are people of influence. About one-third are from government and politics, and two-thirds from...

.

Although he supported Tony Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

 to lead the Labour Party within hours of John Smith
John Smith (UK politician)
John Smith was a British Labour Party politician who served as Leader of the Labour Party from July 1992 until his sudden death from a heart attack in May 1994...

's death in May 1994, he later became critical. During 2004 and 2005, he called on Blair (by then prime minister) to stand down in favour of Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown
James Gordon Brown is a British Labour Party politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 until 2010. He previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 1997 to 2007...

. In July 2006 he argued that "Nuclear weapons are infinitely less important in our foreign policy than they were in the days of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

" and "I don't think we need nuclear weapons any longer".

Personal life

Healey married Edna May Edmunds
Edna Healey
Edna May Healey, Baroness Healey , née Edmunds, was a British writer, lecturer and filmmaker.-Life and career:...

 on 21 December 1945; she died on 21 July 2010, aged 92. They were married for over 60 years, and lived in Alfriston
Alfriston
Alfriston is a village and civil parish in the East Sussex district of Wealden, England. The village lies in the valley of the River Cuckmere, about four miles north-east of Seaford and south of the main A27 trunk road and part of the large area of Polegate...

, East Sussex
East Sussex
East Sussex is a county in South East England. It is bordered by the counties of Kent, Surrey and West Sussex, and to the south by the English Channel.-History:...

.

In 1987 Edna underwent an operation at a private hospital - at odds with Healey's pro-NHS
National Health Service
The National Health Service is the shared name of three of the four publicly funded healthcare systems in the United Kingdom. They provide a comprehensive range of health services, the vast majority of which are free at the point of use to residents of the United Kingdom...

 beliefs. Challenged by Anne Diamond
Anne Diamond
Anne Margaret Diamond is an English radio and television presenter and journalist. She hosted Good Morning Britain for TV-am and the similarly titled Good Morning... with Anne and Nick for BBC1, both with Nick Owen as her co-presenter...

 on TV-am
TV-am
TV-am was a breakfast television station that broadcast to the United Kingdom from 1 February 1983 to 31 December 1992. It made history by being the first national operator of a commercial television franchise at breakfast-time , and broadcast every day of the week for most or all of the period...

, Healey became upset and ended the interview. He then jabbed journalist Adam Boulton
Adam Boulton
Adam Boulton is political editor of the British television channel Sky News, a post he has held since being asked to establish the politics team for the launch of the channel in 1989.-Biography:...

.

The couple had three children, one of whom is the broadcaster, writer and record producer Tim Healey.

Healey was a photographer for many years and enjoyed music and painting. He sometimes played popular piano tunes at public events.

Film, television and theatre

Healey is the only Chancellor to have appeared on BBC One
BBC One
BBC One is the flagship television channel of the British Broadcasting Corporation in the United Kingdom. It was launched on 2 November 1936 as the BBC Television Service, and was the world's first regular television service with a high level of image resolution...

's Morecambe and Wise Show. In 1986 he appeared in series one of Saturday Live. He was portrayed by David Fleeshman in the 2002 BBC production of Ian Curteis
Ian Curteis
Ian Bayley Curteis is a British television dramatist and former television director.In a career as a television dramatist from the late 1960s onwards, Curteis wrote for many of the series of the day, including The Onedin Line and Crown Court. In 1979, two television plays by Curteis were...

's The Falklands Play
The Falklands Play
The Falklands Play is a dramatic account of the political events leading up to, and including, the 1982 Falklands War. The play was written by Ian Curteis, an experienced writer who had started his television career in drama, but had increasingly come to specialise in dramatic reconstructions of...


Music

During Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band, active in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. Formed in 1968, they consisted of guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham...

's 1975 and 1977 concert tours, Robert Plant
Robert Plant
Robert Anthony Plant, CBE is an English singer and songwriter best known as the vocalist and lyricist of the iconic rock band Led Zeppelin. He has also had a successful solo career...

 facetiously dedicated the song "In My Time of Dying
In My Time of Dying
"In My Time of Dying" is a traditional gospel music song that has been recorded by numerous musicians. An early version, titled "Jesus Goin' A-Make Up My Dying Bed", is mentioned in historian Robert Emmet Kennedy's Black Cameos published in 1924, on Louisiana street performers, and also listed in...

" to Denis Healey for the tax exile
Tax exile
A tax exile is one who chooses to leave a country with a high tax burden and instead to reside in a foreign nation or jurisdiction which takes a lower portion of earnings. Going into tax exile is a means of tax mitigation or avoidance.-Legal status:...

 issues the band was facing. During Yes
Yes (band)
Yes are an English rock band who achieved worldwide success with their progressive, art, and symphonic style of rock music. Regarded as one of the pioneers of the progressive genre, Yes are known for their lengthy songs, mystical lyrics, elaborate album art, and live stage sets...

' recording of what was to become the album Tormato
Tormato
Tormato is the ninth studio album by British progressive rock group Yes. Issued as the follow-up to 1977's acclaimed Going for the One, Tormato received less than charitable reviews upon release and its virtues are still a matter of debate for Yes fans and critics...

 (1978), there was an outtake called "Money". On the track, the Yes keyboardist at the time, Rick Wakeman
Rick Wakeman
Richard Christopher Wakeman is an English keyboard player, composer and songwriter best known for being the former keyboardist in the progressive rock band Yes...

, provides a satirical voice-over parodying Healey.

Graphic novels

The 1986 comic Watchmen, set in an alternative present, mentioned a "British Prime Minister Healey".

External links


|-
|-
|-
|-
|-
|-
|-
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK