Michael Foot
in English radicalism in the twentieth century
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Foot came from a Nonconformist Devonian family, imbued with English radical values and culture. Originally a Liberal, Foot became a socialist as a young man. His socialism was based upon the egalitarian morality of New Testament Christianity, with its emphases upon fairness, justice and a commitment to human rights. He became an MP in 1945 and was a prominent left-wing backbencher and respected parliamentary orator. He had a long parliamentary career, culminating in his senior roles in the Callaghan Government of the late 1970s, and subsequently as Leader of the Opposition Labour Party in the early 1980s. Foot was a lifelong activist in the peace movement and was one of the founders of CND in 1958 and a regular Aldermaston Marcher. A journalist by profession, he was also an accomplished author and knowledgeable bibliophile. Foot was almost universally liked and respected personally; and he exemplified the English radical strand in the Labour Party.

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