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Lord Emmanuel (Manny) Shinwell


1884 - 1986

Socialist politician. Born in London, Shinwell was brought up in Glasgow, where he worked in the clothing industry. He became active in the trade union movement and was soon a "Radical Clydesider", responsible for organising Glasgow seamen and bringing them out on strike. Elected as the Member of Parliament for Linlithgowshire between 1922 and 1924, and again between 1928 and 1931, Shinwell defeated Ramsay MacDonald (1866 - 1937) for the Seaham Harbour seat (County Durham, England) in 1935. As chairman of the Labour Party from 1942, he wrote the manifesto which gave Labour their great General Election victory of 1945. In this post-war administration he nationalised the mines as Minister of Fuel & Power (1946) but was criticised for the coal shortage in the severe winter of 1947. He went on to serve as Secretary of State for War (1947 - 1951), a position which was re-titled Minister of Defence in his last year of service.

Shinwell was raised to the peerage as Baron Shinwell of Easington in 1970. When he died in 1986 he had become the longest-lived British politician in history.


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