R. H. Tawney was a name to conjure with in the Labour movement in my young days. He held a unique position as not only its mentor but, in a sense, its conscience. All section and almost all individuals in the snake-pit of the Labour party had confidence in him: a sage and a good deal of a secular saint, he was above factions, let alone ambition, a natural conciliator though a fearless and upright man. He was perhaps a great man as well as a good man, Hugh Gaitskell said the best man he had ever known.
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