Denis Healey Quotes

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Healey’s First Law Of Holes: When in one, stop digging.
Denis Healey
World events do not occur by accident. They are made to happen, whether it is to do with national issues or commerce; and most of them are staged and managed by those who hold the purse strings.
Denis Healey
On December 20, Denis Healey asked Eden in the House of Commons whether Britain had had any foreknowledge of the Israeli attack. “There were no plans got together [with Israel] to attack Egypt,” he replied. Commenting in 1994, Healey remembered: “He told a straight lie.”59 Cabinet members continued to insist that there had been no conspiracy. “The wild accusations of collusion between the British, French, and Israeli Governments which were hurled by the Labour Party had absolutely no foundation in fact,” lied Lord Kilmuir in his 1964 memoirs.60 That afternoon, Eden told the cabinet secretary Sir Norman Brook to destroy all records of Britain’s collusion with Israel. Brook apparently did so the same day.61 The attempt to cleanse the historical record did not work: far too many people knew the truth. As with most cases of the destruction of documents, all it did was make the perpetrators look even more guilty.
Alex von Tunzelmann (Blood and Sand: Suez, Hungary, and Eisenhower's Campaign for Peace)
for the Labour Party – splendid news. That increasingly leftward bound organisation is in process of splitting, and Shirley Williams,fn31 Roy Jenkinsfn32 etc. will found a new Social Democratic Partyfn33 (this oddly repeats events in Oxford circa 1940 when I was chairman of the leftward bound Labour Club and Roy Jenkins led a group to found a new Social Democratic Club. How right he was!). It’s a pity about the Labour Party but given the whole scene the split is best. It is now official Labour policy to leave the Common Market and NATO! And unofficially are likely to abolish the House of Lords instantly and have no second chamber, abolish private schooling etc. And of course (this is perhaps the main point) to have the leadership under the control of the executive committee (and Labour activists in the constituencies) substituting party ‘democracy’ for parliamentary democracy. I blame Denis Healey and others very much for not reacting firmly earlier against the left. A crucial move was when the parliamentary party elected Michael Foot, that wet crypto-left snake, as leader instead of Denis. Now Denis and co. are left behind, complaining bitterly, to fight the crazy left. Shirley still hasn’t resigned from the party so it’s all a bit odd! ‘On your bike, Shirl,’ the lefty trade unionists shout at her!
Iris Murdoch (Living on Paper: Letters from Iris Murdoch 1934-1995)
Later in the evening, Michael spoke highly of Denis Healey’s efforts to maintain party unity during Michael’s brief tenure as leader. Denis had as much love for the party as he did, Michael emphasised and Healey even went out of his way after the 1983 defeat to say that Michael should not be saddled with all the blame.Healey and Michael certainly had their differences, but they worked well together, agreeing to approach Brezhnev and broker a deal that would ease tensions concerning the Cruise missiles in Britain and in other parts of Europe. Michael and Denis were concerned about an escalating Russian response. How to stop this super power competition? “We were protesting about it,” Michael said. “We talked to Brezhnev. We said, ‘What about a zero option? To have no new Cruise missiles on either side of Europe?’” The Tory government claimed the Russians rebuffed Foot and Healey and that “we’d made fools of ourselves,” Michael said. Douglas Hurd in the Foreign Office ridiculed the zero option proposal. “Two weeks later, Reagan came out and used the exact phrase, ‘Why not a zero option?’ The Foreign Office then changed its tune. We had a quite sensible foreign policy,” Michael added, “and we were treated as innocents who did not know what was happening in the bloody world.
Carl Rollyson (A Private Life of Michael Foot)
Sir Richard Turnbull, the penultimate Governor of Aden, once told Labour politician Denis Healey that 'when the British Empire finally sank beneath the waves of history, it would leave behind it only two monuments: one was the game of Association Football, the other was the expression "Fuck off".'   
Niall Ferguson (Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World)
It was the time Tony Benn and Denis Healey were competing for the deputy leadership of the Labour Party. I was pretty leftwing, so was Jill Tweedie and there was this huge feeling that Tony Benn was the villain. Suddenly Michael got to his feet and made this extraordinary speech. Well, you think he’s going to have a heart attack. It’s so impassioned ... a pretty savage attack on Benn.
Carl Rollyson (A Private Life of Michael Foot)
The Prime Minister says that she has given the French President a piece of her mind – this is not a gift I would receive with alacrity.
Denis Healey