Ramsay MacDonald was thrown out of the Labour Party in 1931, for forming a multi-party government with the Tories and Liberals. His name is now rarely uttered in Labour circles. Lord Kenneth Morgan, historian and Labour peer, told me that he once mentioned MacDonald’s name in the House of Lords and heard other Labour members hissing at the very sound of his name.
From a firebrand founder of the Labour Party and admired orator to the party's first prime minister, MacDonald cut an impressive figure in his earlier years. But, after 1931 he was disowned and ridiculed. One aspect which attracted considerable adverse attention towards the end of his life was his habit of speaking in long rambling sentences with little meaningful content. By contrast, his writing in his diary (now held at the National Archives at Kew), which he kept right to the end of his life, remained lucid and clear. MacDonald seems to have been displaying the typical symptoms of someone suffering from fluent aphasia resulting from a stroke.
A modern understanding of MacDonald’s medical history might go some small way towards thawing the remaining Labour hostility to him, and to coalition government.