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Best PM under Universal Suffrage Watch

  • View Poll Results: Who is the best Prime Minister of the Universal Suffrage period?
    Ramsay MacDonald
    0
    0%
    Stanley Baldwin
    0
    0%
    Neville Chamberlain
    0
    0%
    Winston Churchill
    11.63%
    Clement Attlee
    41.86%
    Anthony Eden
    0
    0%
    Harold MacMillan
    0
    0%
    Alec-Douglas-Home
    0
    0%
    Harold wilson
    2.33%
    Edward Heath
    2.33%
    James Callaghan
    0
    0%
    Margaret Thatcher
    34.88%
    John Major
    0
    0%
    Tony Blair
    4.65%
    Gordon Brown
    2.33%
    David Cameron
    0
    0%

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    (Original post by Tuerin)
    You can argue that the backbenchers were wrong to rebel against Major, but that doesn't really confront the weaknesses in Major's leadership that invited the rebellion anymore than saying the unions were wrong to be so abrasive acquits Heath of his own weakness in dealings with them. I just think that a Tory not being able to control the unions is one thing; not being able to control their own party is quite another.

    To say Heath didn't 'do anything with' his party behind him is pretty ambitious. He was a very successful prime minister overall.
    Perhaps but Major did actually call them out, he resigned and sacked 8 back benches. The reason it continued was because his opposition (Portillo probably at the time) was a coward who was happy to watch and encourage the destruction of his own party from within but not willing to face Major directly. Heath may have had success elsewhere but rather than calling them out he gave them something like a 27% pay rise, that is extreme capitulation.

    I accept that Thatcher had an easier time facing the unions than Heath (they signed their death warrant with the 1979 winter strikes and then hung themselves following Scargill in 1984) and it may just be the type of conviction politics that i believe in but when i think of Major i think of somebody who was pragmatic and broadly successful despite a party in civil war, when i think of Heath i think of failure and weakness.

    There are times when your intentions are what matter, but equally there are times when you must be judged on your actions and not words.
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    I voted in terms of skill and for Harold Wilson.

    The reason is, essentially, most of Attlee's reforms would have happened whoever led Labour, had it been Morrison, Bevin or Cripps running the party and Attlee as a PM was quite detached.

    Harold had massive skill, holding together a party diverging leftwards and rightwards simultaneously with strikes, massive economic problems (many of which not his fault), overseeing social reforms (some of which he personally disagreed with but went along with demonstrating keeping his personal and political life separate), and retaining the nationalised industries.

    But above all - he gave the Beatles an MBE each.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    Perhaps but Major did actually call them out, he resigned and sacked 8 back benches. The reason it continued was because his opposition (Portillo probably at the time) was a coward who was happy to watch and encourage the destruction of his own party from within but not willing to face Major directly. Heath may have had success elsewhere but rather than calling them out he gave them something like a 27% pay rise, that is extreme capitulation.

    I accept that Thatcher had an easier time facing the unions than Heath (they signed their death warrant with the 1979 winter strikes and then hung themselves following Scargill in 1984) and it may just be the type of conviction politics that i believe in but when i think of Major i think of somebody who was pragmatic and broadly successful despite a party in civil war, when i think of Heath i think of failure and weakness.

    There are times when your intentions are what matter, but equally there are times when you must be judged on your actions and not words.
    I thought we were judging on actions

    I think you're polarising them far too much: 'when I think of Major I think of somebody who was pragmatic and broadly successful...when I think of Heath I think of failure and weakness'

    This is an extremely slanted view against Heath. I don't deny that his handling of the unions was weak, all I was saying was that for all he did in Europe especially - something you are in favour of - and his general representation of the turquoise Tory that you seem to emulate (along with Major), I wouldn't have thought that his trouble with the unions would block your praise of him when Major, who you lavish with praise, faced similar problems from within his own party.
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    (Original post by Tuerin)
    I thought we were judging on actions

    I think you're polarising them far too much: 'when I think of Major I think of somebody who was pragmatic and broadly successful...when I think of Heath I think of failure and weakness'

    This is an extremely slanted view against Heath. I don't deny that his handling of the unions was weak, all I was saying was that for all he did in Europe especially - something you are in favour of - and his general representation of the turquoise Tory that you seem to emulate (along with Major), I wouldn't have thought that his trouble with the unions would block your praise of him when Major, who you lavish with praise, faced similar problems from within his own party.
    On individual issues i'm sure that most prime ministers have done something that i agree or disagree with and so i'm not diminishing what he did in Europe however when i judge these people overall i judge capitulating to the unions to be much worse than struggling to flush out an enemy within (ironically i love Portillo now but he seems to have matured).
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    On individual issues i'm sure that most prime ministers have done something that i agree or disagree with and so i'm not diminishing what he did in Europe however when i judge these people overall i judge capitulating to the unions to be much worse than struggling to flush out an enemy within (ironically i love Portillo now but he seems to have matured).
    Fair enough, although it's funny that you refer to Major's Tory enemies as the 'enemy within' when those exact words were used by Thatcher to refer to the unions! Portillo is good on This Week, very measured and doesn't seem at all bitter which I find you can sense with Heseltine on QT sometimes. I don't know as much about the contemporary Tory party as I'd like. My areas are more the beginnings of Labour and Libs/Cons from Gladstone/Disraeli to WWII.
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    (Original post by Tuerin)
    Fair enough, although it's funny that you refer to Major's Tory enemies as the 'enemy within' when those exact words were used by Thatcher to refer to the unions! Portillo is good on This Week, very measured and doesn't seem at all bitter which I find you can sense with Heseltine on QT sometimes. I don't know as much about the contemporary Tory party as I'd like. My areas are more the beginnings of Labour and Libs/Cons from Gladstone/Disraeli to WWII.
    That's the beautiful thing about the saying, you refer to a micro or macro scale. I would presume that is because the party in general has swung his way so he can feel justified in his position and away from Heseltine, in addition Portillo actively had an opportunity to challenge Major whilst Heseltine missed his primary opportunity and simply became a tool in her final hours (had he have challenged in 1988 or 1989 he would probably have become Prime Minister).
 
 
 
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