United Kingdom

Michael Foot

Michael Foot

(1913 – 2010)

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United Kingdom

Michael Foot

Michael Foot
(1913 – 2010)

In memory of

Michael Foot

(1913 – 2010)
About Michael
This is an online memorial dedicated to the life of Michael Foot. Michael Mackintosh Foot was a British Labour politician and writer, who was a Member of Parliament from 1945 to 1955 and from a by-election in 1960 until 1992. He was also the Leader of the Opposition from 1980 to 1983.
A figurehead of what was later called Old Labour, he was a passionate supporter of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, state ownership of major industries and British withdrawal from the European Economic Community.
Michael Foot was born in Plymouth, Devon, and educated at Plymouth College Preparatory School and Leighton Park School in Reading. He then went on to read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Wadham College,
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About Michael
Oxford. Michael Foot was the President of the Oxford Union. He also took part in the ESU USA Tour (the debating tour of the USA run by the English-Speaking Union). On graduating in 1934, he took a job as a shipping clerk in Liverpool. Michael Foot was profoundly influenced by the poverty and unemployment that he witnessed in Liverpool, which was on a different scale from anything he had seen in Plymouth. A Liberal up to this time, Michael Foot was converted to Socialism by Oxford University Labour Club president David Lewis and others: "... I knew him [at Oxford] when I was a Liberal [and Lewis] played a part in converting me to socialism." Michael Foot joined the Labour Party and first stood for parliament at
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About Michael
the age of 22 in the 1935 general election, when he contested Monmouth. During this election Foot criticised the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, for seeking rearmament. In his election address Michael Foot contended that "the armaments race in Europe must be stopped now". Michael Foot also supported unilateral disarmament, after multilateral disarmament talks at Geneva had broken down in 1933.
Following Labour's 1979 general election defeat by Margaret Thatcher, Michael Foot was elected Labour leader in 1980, beating the right's candidate Denis Healey in the second round of the leadership election (the last leadership contest to involve only Labour MPs). Michael presented himself as a compromise candidate
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About Michael
capable, unlike Healey, of uniting the party, which at the time was riven by the grassroots left-wing insurgency centred around Tony Benn. The Bennites demanded revenge for the betrayals, as they saw them, of the Callaghan government, and pushed the case for replacement of MPs who had acquiesced to them by left-wingers who would support the causes of unilateral nuclear disarmament, withdrawal from the Common Market and widespread nationalisation. (Benn did not stand for the leadership: apart from Foot and Healey, the other candidates – both eliminated in the first round – were John Silkin, a Tribunite like Foot, and Peter Shore, an anti-European right-winger.)
When he became leader, Foot was
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About Michael
already 67 and frail – and almost immediately after his election as leader was faced with a massive crisis: the creation in early 1981 of a breakaway party by four senior Labour right-wingers, Roy Jenkins, Shirley Williams, David Owen and William Rodgers (the so-called "Gang of Four"), the Social Democratic Party. The SDP won the support of large sections of the media, and for more than a year its opinion poll ratings suggested that it could at least overtake Labour and possibly win a general election, as the Tories were proving unpopular due to the economic policies of prime minister Margaret Thatcher which had seen unemployment reach a postwar high.
On 23rd July 2006, his 93rd birthday, Michael Foot
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About Michael
became the longest-lived leader of a major British political party, passing Lord Callaghan's record of 92 years, 364 days.
A staunch republican (though actually well-liked by the Royal Family on a personal level) and proponent of an elected upper house, Michael Foot had always rejected honours from the Queen and the government, including a knighthood and a peerage, on more than one occasion. This was the opposite view of his brothers, who accepted peerages and a knighthood.
Michael Foot passed away on the 3rd March 2010. This is a tribute to his life and his political career. May he rest in peace.
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Michael Foot - tribute extract

Michael Foot

This is an online memorial dedicated to the life of Michael Foot. Michael Mackintosh Foot was a British Labour politician and writer, who was a Member of Parliament from 1945 to 1955 and from a by-election in 1960 until 1992. He was also the Leader of the Opposition from 1980 to 1983.
A figurehead of what was later called Old Labour, he was a passionate supporter of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, state ownership of major industries and British withdrawal from the European Economic Community.
Michael Foot was born in Plymouth, Devon, and educated at Plymouth College Preparatory School and Leighton Park School in Reading. He then went on to read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Wadham College,...

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Rest in peace Michael
I first met Michael at ****
My sincere condolences to all friends and family of Michael
My fondest memory of Michael was ****
Michael used to really enjoy ****
What I will miss the most about Michael is ****
Michael inspired me to ****
Michael changed my life by ****
If I had to sum up what Michael meant to me it would be ****
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