Okay put this down


Okay, put this down as utterly irrelevant trivia, certainly in the context of American politics. But it’s stuck in my head.

Clement Attlee was Labour Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1945-1951, also Deputy Prime Minister in Winston Churchill’s wartime national unity government. It was under Attlee’s government that most of the British welfare state was created. And, depending on your judgment of Tony Blair’s premiership, he is arguably the most successful Labour Prime Minister in UK history.

These days, former Prime Ministers are often ennobled and thus given a seat in the House of Lords. However it’s virtually always as ‘life peers’, i.e., they’re ‘Lords’ for their lifetimes but their eldest child doesn’t inherit the title. Half a century ago, however, it was still common for ex-Prime Ministers to become hereditary peers. (Winston Churchill actually declined the offer to become hereditary ‘Duke of London.’)

And — yes, I’m getting back to the point — when he retired from the House of Commons in 1955 Attlee was ennobled as Earl Atlee and Viscount of Prestwood as an hereditar peer.

Now, today the title is held by Atlee’s grandson John Atlee, 3rd Earl Attlee. And Atlee sits in the House of Lords as a member of the Conservative Party.

So, Clement Attlee’s grandson sits in the House of Lords as a Tory!

That’s all I got. But it’s just too much of an irony for me, just had to pass it on.