Westminster celebrates Lloyd George's birthday

 

The politician, known as the Welsh wizard, rose from humble origins on the Llyn Peninsula to introduce the pension and lead Britain through World War I

David Lloyd George, Britain's only Welsh prime minister, was born 150 years ago today.

He is also the last Liberal prime minister, and Welsh Liberal Democrats at Westminster were determined not to pass up the opportunity to celebrate. At the last count, five separate events are being held at venues ranging from the Lloyd George statue in Parliament Square to the National Liberal Club.

At the statue, the Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin, chaplain to the Commons speaker, led a short service. The Gwalia Male Voice Choir led the "congregation" in Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau as relatives and admirers laid daffodils at the statue.

Among them, Lloyd George's grandson, Viscount Tenby, and Lady Bonham-Carter, great-granddaughter of LG's great Liberal rival Herbert Henry Asquith. "Reconciliation at last," said Lord Roberts of Llandudno, who organised some of today's celebrations.

Viscount Tenby, a teenager when Lloyd George died in 1945, remembered his grandfather as "fun" with a real interest in people matched by few politicians.

Lloyd George's biographer, (Lord) Kenneth O. Morgan praised his role in introducing social benefits.

But what would the Welsh Wizard/Goat - who led a coalition government - have made of today's Liberals in government with the Conservatives at Westminster?

Lord Morgan suggested he wouldn't have had a problem with coalition but he wouldn't have approved of some of the government's welfare policies.

 
David Cornock Article written by David Cornock David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

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  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 58.

    #53 'Boxer didn't hear you complain about people getting jobs because they were masons '
    Bit of a smear. You don't hear me complain about FGM in Somalia. Don't mean that I approve !
    FTR I dislike discrimination: be it Old Etonians, Welsh speakers, public schoolboys, lesbians, born-again Christians, free masons, Old Labour appointing old buddies, medics who went to the 'right' teaching hospitals

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 59.

    #56 'Can the offices of Meri Huws, the Welsh Language Commissioner, be subjected to the same scrutiny.'
    What worries me is that I don't want to scrutinise the work of the Commisar. Her views are sufficiently strident. I want to know what is her constitutional position: she obviously thinks it is to tell WAG what to do. If she is a pressure group - fine. If she is to set policy - not so good.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 60.

    ... Boxer, the following is from a submission sent to the WLC 24 May 2012 ..

    ".. I would dearly love to apply for a job ... Sadly, as an English speaker, I am excluded from applying for this post as only bilingual candidates may apply. This feels like state sponsored discrimination to me .. "

    This is exclusion through positive discrimination ...

    Is a Commissioner for English needed ?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 51.

    #49 ' what can I/we expect in return for taxation and exclusion."
    Personally, the taxation I can oprobably live with. I accept that within a democracy non-cyclists pay for cycle lanes; the non-religious may pay for upkeep of historic churches.
    The exclusion is something else. TBC

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 52.

    #51 Cont Exclusions
    If I work hard for five years to get a PhD (i.e. earn a PhD) and the promotion (over me) goes to someone because his mother spoke Welsh, I am going to be mad, and totally demotivated. Every professional meeting I go to I will be telling them 'Don't even bother to apply; it's a stitch-up. And if I move back to England for promotion, will I appoint \ Welshman ? You guess.

 

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