[[caption-width-right:220:A fine moustache]]
->''"He wishes to do the right thing...Today 23 years ago dear [[QueenVicky Grandmama]] died. I wonder what she would have thought of a Labour Government!"''
->King George V
James Ramsay [=MacDonald=] was a British politician and twice Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the first Labour Prime Minister in 1924.
His first government was a minority government that lasted about 9 months. [=MacDonald=] took the post of Foreign Secretary as well as Prime Minister and made it clear that his main priority was to undo the damage which he believed had been caused by the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. In order to try and get an overall majority he called an election, and then one of the biggest scandals of the age hit: the Zinoviev letter. This falsified document made it look like [=MacDonald=] had been trying to establish a communist government in the [=UK=]. Labour actually gained votes in the election, but many Liberal supporters switched to supporting the Conservatives, handing the latter victory.
Labour came back to power in 1929 but then got swept away by The Great Depression and [=MacDonald's=] insistence that the government did not use deficit spending to stimulate the economy. In 1931 he formed a "National Government" with the Conservatives, but only a handful of Labour politicians followed him; the Labour Party kicked him out and labelled him a traitor. In the 1931 election, the National Government won the biggest landslide in British history and [=MacDonald=] was left in the peculiar situation of being a socialist politician steering an Conservative-dominated government.
His health deteriorated during the rest of his premiership and most of the actual power got handed to StanleyBaldwin, handing the Premiership over in 1935. [=MacDonald=] stayed in government until 1937 and died later that year.
!RamsayMacDonald in fiction:
* One ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' episode shows him arriving in Downing Street after his election victory, and promptly removing his clothes to reveal somewhat... specialised underwear.
* EtTuBrute: Despite the fact he led them into power for the first time, [=MacDonald=] was reviled in the Labour Party for many years for throwing them under a bus in order to form the National Government with the Tories.
* LandslideElection: The 1931 general election made a complete mockery of the adversarial system, with the parties in [=MacDonald's=] National Government taking 67% of the vote and winning 554 of the 615 seats. The Tories alone won more than half of the vote - the only time any party has done so under universal suffrage.
* TheManBehindTheMan: By the time he resigned due to ill health, StanleyBaldwin was effectively in charge.
* ShotgunWedding: Averted. This trope is what his parents had ''hoped'' to force by his birth. Unfortunately, mid-19th century Lossiemouth had gotten wise to this trick and his grandmother forbade them from marrying, and so [=MacDonald=] was born out of wedlock--the first and so far only PM with that "distinction".