Once again he's in the news. Once again his name is plastered across the front pages of the national newspapers. Once again he is accused by his Labour colleagues of splitting the party ranks. Once again he has given his opponents scope to make political capital out of his manoeuvres. His supporters applaud, his enemies jeer, he is at the same time a political opportunist, a public-spirited citizen, a Russian agent, and a man of principle. Mr. Aneurin Bevan, the enigma of British politics, has returned to the arena.
The first shot was fired in the House of Commons on Tuesday, 15th April. In the debate which followed Mr. Eden's announcement "that he and Mr. Dulles were ready to examine the possibilities of a defence pact in South-East Asia" (News Chronicle, 14/4/54), "Mr. Bevan has brusquely forced his way to the dispatch box to announce stringent criticism of a proposal which Mr. Attlee had, to a large degree, accepted" (News Chronicle, 15/4/54).