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Aneurin Bevan

Born: 1897
Died:1960

Occupation: Politician

Challenges overcome: Speech Impairment

Successes, Achievements & Awards:

Aneurin Bevan was born in Tredegar, Monmouthshire, in the South Wales Valleys and on the Northern edge of the South Wales coalfield, the son of coal miner David Bevan and Phoebe née Prothero, a seamstress. Both Aneurin Bevan’s parents were Nonconformists; his father was a Baptist and his mother a Methodist. One of ten children, Aneurin Bevan did poorly at school and his academic performance was so bad that his headmaster made him repeat a year. At the age of 13, Aneurin Bevan left school and began working in the local Tytryst Colliery.

Aneurin Bevan also joined the Tredegar branch of the South Wales Miners’ Federation and became a trade union activist. He was head of his local Miners’ Lodge at only 19 years. Aneurin Bevan became a well-known local orator and was seen by his employers, the Tredegar Iron Company, as a troublemaker. The manager of the colliery found an excuse to get him sacked. But, with the support of the Miners’ Federation, the case was judged as one of victimisation and the company was forced to re-employ him. In 1919, he won a scholarship to the Central Labour College in London, sponsored by the South Wales Miners’ Federation. There, he spent two years studying economics, politics, and history. He read Marxism at the college, developing his left-wing political outlook. Reciting long passages by William Morris, Aneurin Bevan gradually began to overcome the stammer that he had had since he was a child. Bevan was one of the founding members of the “Query Club” with his brother Billy and Walter Conway. The club started in 1920 or 1921 and they met in Tredegar. Upon returning home in 1921, he found that the Tredegar Iron & Coal Company refused to re-hire him. He did not find work until 1924 and his employer, the Bedwellty Colliery, closed down only ten months later. Bevan then had to endure another year of unemployment. In 1926, he found work again, this time as a paid union official. His wage of £5 a week was paid by the members of the local Miners’ Lodge. His new job arrived in time for him to head the local miners against the colliery companies in what would become the General Strike. When the strike started on 3 May 1926, Bevan soon emerged as one of the leaders of the South Wales miners. He was a member of the Cottage Hospital Management Committee around 1928 and was chairman in 1929/30.

In 1928, Aneurin Bevan won a seat on Monmouthshire County Council. With that success he was picked as the Labour Party candidate for Ebbw Vale (displacing the sitting MP), and easily held the seat at the 1929 General Election. In Parliament he soon became noticed as a harsh critic of those he felt opposed the working man. His targets included the Conservative Winston Churchill and the Liberal David Lloyd George, as well as Ramsay MacDonald and Margaret Bondfield from his own Labour party (he targeted the latter for her unwillingness to increase unemployment benefits). He had solid support from his constituency, being one of the few Labour MPs to be unopposed in the 1931 General Election and this support grew through the 1930s and the period of the Great Depression in the United Kingdom.
Aneurin married fellow Socialist MP Jennie Lee in 1934. He was an early supporter of the socialists in Spain and visited that country in the 1930s. In 1936 he joined the board of the new socialist newspaper Tribune. His agitations for a united socialist front of all parties of the left (including the Communist Party of Great Britain) led to his brief expulsion from the Labour Party in March to November 1939. But, he was readmitted in November 1939 after agreeing “to refrain from conducting or taking part in campaigns in opposition to the declared policy of the Party.

The 1945 General Election proved to be a landslide victory for the Labour Party, giving it a large enough majority to allow the implementation of the party’s manifesto commitments and to introduce a programme of far-reaching social reforms that were collectively dubbed the ‘Welfare State’ (see 1945 Labour Election Manifesto). These reforms were achieved in the face of great financial difficulty following the war. The new Prime Minister, Clement Attlee, appointed Aneurin Bevan as Minister of Health, with a remit that also covered Housing. Thus, the responsibility for instituting a new and comprehensive National Health Service, as well as tackling the country’s severe post-war housing shortage, fell to the youngest member of Attlee’s Cabinet in his first ministerial position. The free health service was paid for directly through public money. Government income was increased for the Welfare state expenditure by a severe increase in marginal tax rates for wealthy business owners in particular, as part of what the Labour government largely saw as the redistribution of the wealth created by the working class from the owners of large-scale industry to the workers. In 1952 Bevan published In Place of Fear, (which is said to be the most widely read socialist book of the period, according to a highly critical right-wing Labour MP Anthony Crosland), in which the collective principle asserts that… no society can legitimately call itself civilised if a sick person is denied medical aid because of lack of means. —Aneurin Bevan, In Place of Fear, page 100. On the “appointed day”, 5 July 1948, having overcome political opposition from both the Conservative Party and from within his own party, and after a dramatic showdown with the British Medical Association, which had threatened to derail the National Health Service scheme before it had even begun, as medical practitioners continued to withhold their support just months before the launch of the service, Bevan’s National Health Service Act of 1946 came into force. After 18 months of ongoing dispute between the Ministry of Health and the BMA, Aneurin Bevan finally managed to win over the support of the vast majority of the medical profession by offering a couple of minor concessions, but without compromising on the fundamental principles of his National Health Service proposals. Bevan later gave the famous quote that, to broker the deal, he had “stuffed their mouths with gold.” Some 2,688 voluntary and municipal hospitals in England and Wales were nationalised and came under Bevan’s supervisory control as Health Minister.

Bevan said: The National Health Service and the Welfare State have come to be used as interchangeable terms, and in the mouths of some people as terms of reproach. Why this is so it is not difficult to understand, if you view everything from the angle of a strictly individualistic competitive society. A free health service is pure Socialism and as such it is opposed to the hedonism of capitalist society. -Aneurin Bevan, In Place of Fear

In 1951, Aneurin Bevan was moved to become minister of labour. Shortly afterwards he resigned from the government in protest at the introduction of prescription charges for dental care and spectacles. Bevan led the left wing of the Labour Party, known as the ‘Bevanites’, for the next five years. In 1955, he stood as one of the candidates for party leader but was defeated by Hugh Gaitskell. He agreed to serve as shadow foreign secretary under Gaitskell.

In 1959, Aneurin Bevan was elected deputy leader of the Labour Party, although he was already suffering from terminal cancer. He died on 6 July 1960.

Challenges Overcome

Speech Impairment

Disability Definitions

Speech and Language Impairment

Speech and language impairment are basic categories that might be drawn in issues of communication involve hearing, speech, language, and fluency.

A speech impairment is characterised by difficulty in articulation of words. Examples include stuttering or problems producing particular sounds. Articulation refers to the sounds, syllables, and phonology produced by the individual. Voice, however, may refer to the characteristics of the sounds produced specifically, the pitch, quality, and intensity of the sound. Often, fluency will also be considered a category under speech, encompassing the characteristics of rhythm, rate, and emphasis of the sound produced.

A language impairment is a specific impairment in understanding and sharing thoughts and ideas, i.e. a disorder that involves the processing of linguistic information. Problems that may be experienced can involve the form of language, including grammar, morphology, syntax; and the functional aspects of language, including semantics and pragmatics.

www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/
Speech and language impairment. (2015, March 31). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 10:33, May 20, 2015, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Speech_and_language_impairment&oldid=654413208

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Information sources:

Please click on the information links below to find out more.

Aneurin Bevan. (2015, May 10). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 11:17, May 19, 2015, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Aneurin_Bevan&oldid=661634510

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/bevan_aneurin.shtml

 

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