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From Mr Roy Colbran.
Sir, I wonder what criteria the academics used in assessing Clement Attlee as the most successful prime minister since the war (“Brown languishes among the bottom three of postwar premiership league”, August 2). Undoubtedly Attlee was a highly honourable man who had to handle our terrible national financial situation after the war while trying to maintain a defence commitment as a great power. Nevertheless the great failure of his government was in doing nothing to create, or even to see the need to create, the conditions to encourage enterprise and innovation so desperately needed at the time to rebuild the country. In contrast they believed in control and penal taxation. I still remember the feeling of relief, as a then 20-year old, after the change of government in 1951 when the burden of regulation began to be lifted.
Even so, the legacy of their attitude persisted and I suggest the policies of that government set us back several years on the road to recovery. In the light of some of Luke Johnson’s recent comments about the need to encourage enterprise, politicians can never be reminded of this too often.