Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Michael Foot

I'm currently reading (Lord) Kenneth O. Morgan's fascinating authorised biography of Michael Foot, the former Labour minister, writer and leader from 1980-83. Foot: A Life reveals that one of Foot's early influences was, oddly enough, the Liberal historian and politician Sir George Otto Trevelyan. Sir George served as Secretary for Scotland for a few months in 1886 and again from 1892-95. Foot, of course, started life as a Liberal supporter; his father Isaac and brother Dingle were both Liberal MPs, the latter representing Dundee. At one point, inspired by Trevelyan's life of Charles James Fox, Foot considered his own attempt at a biography of the great Liberal leader.

Trevelyan supported Scottish home rule, or devolution, during his time at the Scottish Office, and created the Scottish Grand Committee in 1894, so it's fitting that as Lord President in the Labour governments of 1974-79 Foot was in charge of Wilson and Callaghan's devolution proposals.


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