Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, KG, OBE, 11 March 1916 – 24 May 1995
Harold Wilson was born in Huddersfield where this statue is on display. He attended Royds Hall Grammar School, Huddersfield and Jesus College Oxford where his intellect enabled him to become a don at the age of 21. He wrote ‘A New Deal for Coal’ before becoming an MP for Ormskirk.
When Hugh Gaitskell died in 1963, Wilson was one of the main contenders for the party leadership and defeated his more right-wing rivals George Brown and James Callaghan. As leader he won a narrow margin of 4 seats in the 1964 elections.
Quotations and Sayings of Harold Wilson
- This Wont Affect the Pound in Your Pocket
- Wilson coined the name of the charity ‘War on Want’
- Thirteen years of Tory mis-rule…..
- A week is a long time in Politics
- The white heat of the technological revolution.
- Robert Maxwell the original Bouncing Czech
- Given a fair wind, we will negotiate our way into the Common Market, head held high, not crawling in. Negotiations? Yes. Unconditional acceptance of whatever terms are offered us? No.
- The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.
- I’m an optimist, but an optimist who carries a raincoat.
- And like many Yorkshire folk ‘If I had the choice between smoked salmon and tinned salmon, I’d have it tinned, with vinegar.’
- I’ve buried all the hatchets. But I know where I’ve buried them and I can dig them up again if necessary.
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Other Wilson Facts
- Harold Wilson was the youngest minister since Pitt and Prime Minister at 48.
- Harold Wilson was created the first Chancellor of the University of Bradford in 1966 a position he held for 20 years.
- In Wilson’s resignation honours list he caused some consternation with what was called the Lavender list and honours included Lord Kagan, the inventor of Gannex, who was eventually imprisoned for fraud.
- In his period as prime minister Harold Wilson saw reform of the divorce laws, the legalisation of abortion and homosexuality the advent of the Open University and the abolition of capital punishment. Wilson kept Britain out of the Vietnam War despite American pressure to join them.