National politics

UN foundation myth

I thought that Hilary Benn’s speech tonight was bang on. But, on one small detail he was wrong.

Too often Labour types try to lay claim to every positive element of the post war settlement. I have written on this before. In particular Benn said:

It was a Labour government that helped to found the UN at the end of the 2nd World War.

It was not.

The Charter of the United Nations was signed at the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center in San Francisco, on 26 June 1945. The election that ushered in a Labour government took place on 5 July 1945. A facsimile of the charter is here.

You might reasionably suggest that the signing of the UN Charter was an achievement of the wartime coalition government. It might be churlish of me to point out that the coalition was dissolved on the 23rd May and the UN Charter was signed by a caretaker Conservative administration.

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