Sunday, 12 November 2017

Shy, undramatic and without a trace of egotism

Gosh it has been proving hard to get Gail out of bed these last few dark and frosty mornings.

In truth, usually she is up and raring to go while I am still curled up snug and sleepy. But the combination of a sinus infection (Gail's Achilles heel, if that is not too medically confusing a metaphor) combined with what she says is a most fascinating book, have meant the roles have been reversed - one suspects temporarily - this week.

So the subject of the book that's been keeping me from my customary early attendance in Duthie Park is former UK Prime Minister, Clement Attlee. Perhaps you have heard of him, perhaps not.

Well it seems that when Attlee was deputy to Winston Churchill during the Second World War, he was considered by some as Churchill's lapdog. Leaving aside the implied slur against lapdogs (a status to which I aspire), this, according to biographer John Bew, was very much not the case, and Mr Attlee was in fact most influential despite (perhaps because of) being "shy, undramatic and without a trace of egotism".

Post-war this supposedly meek and ineffectual man defeated Churchill in the general election and became Prime Minister, and his Labour government introduced the National Health Service and laid the foundations of the modern welfare state.

Oh yes, and I should also mention that as a young man Attlee fought bravely and with distinction in the World War One, and was injured in the Battle of Hanna in Mesopotamia (now Iraq).

Not bad for a 'lapdog', I say!

And what a contrast, in both style and achievement, to certain of today's politicians on either side of the Atlantic..

PS from Gail: do we get a prize today for efforts in making the most unpromising subject matter 'dog relevant'???


  1. Bertie,
    Thanks for the information on the book. Looks like a must read.

  2. Hari OM
    I think there is a prize for posting when 'under the weather' at all!!! It was also rather interesting... Looking good in your blue Bertie lad. Presents the remembrance poppy pawfectly. Hugs and wags and a bit of POTP for Gail... YAM-aunty xxx

  3. Gail gets the prize for blogging well while ill, and you get the prize for looking lovely in your blue jumper with poppy!

  4. Gail should get a prize. Attlee sounds more like an underdog than a lapdog. We join you in remembering our soldiers today.

  5. First...OMCs Gail we are sorry about your sinus infection...Dad gets them a lot too.
    Kitty kisses to you snout.
    Dad loves anything about Mr. Churchill I will pass on this info.
    Bertie your sweater and poppy are stunning.
    Gail wins our prize for "most devoted pet staffer blogging while stuffy with sinuses"
    Hugs madi your bfff

  6. Well, lapdog was mentioned several times but there was no actual photo of a lapdog although BB seems eager to give it a go. I do think his new vest looks smart. Is this yarn from the neighboring sheep? It's a lovely shade of blue.
    Bonnie, the wee Scottie

    1. The sweater in fact dates back a few years and is knitted from some aran wool that had been lying around in Gail's cupboard for a couple of decades...

  7. Furst of all we have to say that your handsome jumper looks fabulous on you Bertie! Yes, we know all about those books. Our mom is reading waaaay too much!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  8. Oh Bertie (sigh) you look sooo handsome in your blue sweater, and the Poppy adds just the right touch of colour.

    Inca xx

  9. I wonder what Mr Attlee would finks of the NHS now?
    Get well soon Gail
    And Bertie, did i mention how debonaire you look in your jumper? That poppy is the pawfect touch on this Rememberance Sunday
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

  10. SHE has been reading all weekend and IGNORING us! And SHE's not even sick. Sounds like an interesting book. A Quiet Achiever. Bertie you look handsome and as you look ready, you should go to Duthie Park for a long run!

  11. Prizes all around! Bertie was being so very handsome and patient and Gail, who put together such an informative post while recuperating from her sinus infection!
    Jakey, Arty & Rosy

  12. There's nothing wrong with snuggling in bed for a while, Bertie. Try to enjoy it!

  13. Very clever of you, Bertie! And I am glad to see that you are sporting a poppy, especially after the BBC management debacle!