2017-07-25 11:15:58 UTC
In December 1937, Clement Attlee visited the embattled Spanish Republic as
head of a British Labour delegation which also included "Red Ellen"
Wilkinson. "When leaving Spain in [Prime Minister Juan] Negrin's personal
aircraft, the Labour delegation were pursued by an Italian plane and forced
to nosedive to escape its guns."
Suppose the plane carrying Attlee had been shot down or crashed, killing all
aboard. Who would succeed Attlee as Leader of the Labour Party? Herbert
Morrison? An able man, but Ernest Bevin hated him. ("When a MP said to
Bevin that 'Morrison was his own worst enemy', he replied, 'Not while I'm
alive he ain't.' http://spartacus-educational.com/TUmorrison.htm ) Also,
Morrison would have lost an important supporter woth the death of Wilkinson
(widely believed to be his lover). Arthur Greenwood? Roy Jenkins states that
Greenwood was "a more outgoing personality and better speaker than his leader
[Attlee]" but as Jenkins diplomatically put it, "He had as great a propensity
to alcohol as had Churchill himself, but he held it less well..."
https://books.google.com/books?id=kkxgBwAAQBAJ&pg=PA601 (Greenwood does not
seem to have made an exhibition of himself the way George Brown later would,
but that he drank too much was well-known.)
Whoever is chosen, does Labour still win in 1945 (my guess is Yes--however
great a war leader Churchill had been, people no longer trusted the
Conservatives, whom they blamed for the interwar failures) and if so, how
does the Labour Government of this ATL differ from Attlee's?
(BTW, even after the Labour delegation left Spain, it was not out of trouble:
"lightning struck their plane on the flight between Paris and Croydon."
https://books.google.com/books?id=5fA_CwAAQBAJ&pg=PA330 Maybe that would be
a better POD for a fatal plane crash than the Italian airplane shooting it
down or causing it to crash in Spain, which could complicate realtions
between the UK and Italy. Though I suppose most British Conservatives would
feel that anyone visiting Spain to support the Republic did so at his or her