Was John Major as dull a leader as Spitting Image makes out?

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GRKI98
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[THIS IS A REPOST]

See, I don't exactly understand why John Major is depicted in the show as being as dull as he is. In reality no one could have expected him to live up to the "legendary" status of Thatcher, so the joke that he's grey (literally) seems a bit unnecessary and evident. Or am I missing something?


https://youtu.be/OyU8qmzGsEg?t=24
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999tigger
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Sharp contrast with Thatcher.

Didint have that many outstanding ideas.

Worked with consensus.

Wasnt a great orator.

Seem to have taken over from Thatcher being stabbed in the back than naturally elected on own merits, even when he won the election from his soapbox.
Some views from the time.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...o-1454356.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/talking_point/468759.stm


Not sure he is remembered much these days. He did have the back to basics campaign which was unfortunate.
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LibertarianMP
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He was an ********s.
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Arran90
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John Major is a bit before my time but my mother says that he is the Grey Man. A rather lacklustre and uncharismatic politician. He did earn a minor title of Honest John because as boring and unimaginative as he was a certain section of society believed that he was honest and truthful when it came to economics during the early 1990s recession - we were paying the bill for the Thatcher decade.

I think that John Major is already a fading politician and in time he will be forgotten amongst the public like Alec Douglas-Home or Herbert Asquith are.
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Zarek
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Chosen to block Hestletine. Intelligent, vaguely ethical for a Tory, but devoid of charisma and leadership. The bedroom shegnanigans with Edwina Curry must have been somewhat bizarre too.
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ByEeek
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I think in hindsight he was actually a good PM. It was his sexed up cabinet who seemed unable to keep their willies in their pants and out of the press that was the problem. I also seem to remember various brown paper envelopes stuffed full of cash being passed around rather too publicly. His final few years was one of sleaze and back biting. Bit bit like now, but with more sleaze.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by 999tigger)
Sharp contrast with Thatcher.

Didint have that many outstanding ideas.

Worked with consensus.

Wasnt a great orator.

Seem to have taken over from Thatcher being stabbed in the back than naturally elected on own merits, even when he won the election from his soapbox.
Some views from the time.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...o-1454356.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/talking_point/468759.stm


Not sure he is remembered much these days. He did have the back to basics campaign which was unfortunate.
(Original post by Arran90)
John Major is a bit before my time but my mother says that he is the Grey Man. A rather lacklustre and uncharismatic politician. He did earn a minor title of Honest John because as boring and unimaginative as he was a certain section of society believed that he was honest and truthful when it came to economics during the early 1990s recession - we were paying the bill for the Thatcher decade.

I think that John Major is already a fading politician and in time he will be forgotten amongst the public like Alec Douglas-Home or Herbert Asquith are.
While i agree his government simply gets blended into one long Tory government i'd actually say that history has been pretty kind to him and that he is remembered quite positively. He's been wheeled out to make several speeches for the party in recent years for example.

Personally i think he is extremely underrated whether dull or not. On big issues like foreign policy and the economy his government was a huge success overall.
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999tigger
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(Original post by Rakas21)
While i agree his government simply gets blended into one long Tory government i'd actually say that history has been pretty kind to him and that he is remembered quite positively. He's been wheeled out to make several speeches for the party in recent years for example.

Personally i think he is extremely underrated whether dull or not. On big issues like foreign policy and the economy his government was a huge success overall.
Agree I think he was underrated and he did inherit the one long Tory government that was self imploding at the time. The Q was if he was dull and imo he was.
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L i b
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I'd genuinely love to have John Major back as Prime Minister. He was sensible, understated, liberal and not divisive.

Compared with the charisma of Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher, he may have seemed dull. I genuinely don't care. Give me a dull Prime Minister any day of the week.
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username878267
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(Original post by L i b)
I'd genuinely love to have John Major back as Prime Minister. He was sensible, understated, liberal and not divisive.

Compared with the charisma of Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher, he may have seemed dull. I genuinely don't care. Give me a dull Prime Minister any day of the week.
I like John Major. He seems to be despised by a huge chunk of your current party though.
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L i b
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(Original post by Bornblue)
I like John Major. He seems to be despised by a huge chunk of your current party though.
The EU referendum didn't make him popular with the Brexiteers, but he's done a fair turn at party events over the years before that and always seemed pretty popular.
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ScottishBrexitor
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He signed the Maastricht treaty, the ******* should be tried for treason.
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MagicNMedicine
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(Original post by L i b)
I'd genuinely love to have John Major back as Prime Minister. He was sensible, understated, liberal and not divisive.

Compared with the charisma of Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher, he may have seemed dull. I genuinely don't care. Give me a dull Prime Minister any day of the week.
Major was a different calibre of politician than you get today. In today's politics he would never have been able to get to No.10. He was from a working class family in Brixton, didn't go to university, worked his way up through a career in banking and being a local councillor and got to the top through being steadily promoted because people rated him as being good at his job.

He took over in a difficult economic situation but the economy was much more stable under his time in office than it was in Thatcher's, which has been bust, boom and bust again. Also he progressed the N Ireland peace process and probably would have taken that further but for relying on the Ulster Unionists to keep his small majority going in the Commons, he set things up well for Blair to finish the job.

The media liked to take digs at him about being dull and whatever, but Major always conducted himself very well and I thought he came over impressively as a statesman. He obviously was not part of the British 'establishment' but as a world leader he projected very positive British values - decency, authenticity, sense of fair play, not stooping to belittle others or gutter tactics.

He was the last Conservative leader that was able to connect with the working class vote: in 1992 the Conservatives got more votes than a party has ever recorded at a General Election - more than any of Blair's landslides. It gets forgotten now but at that time Major had a low-key form of the kind of mania Corbyn gets these days, he would rock up in a city centre and stand on his soapbox and address a crowd unscripted - often in poor areas that would seem like natural territories - and he won them round, he wasn't a charismatic speaker but he was very much in touch with people and he understood the working class and those who were not well off.

Major also totally rejected the kind of populism you see in the Conservatives today. These days the Conservatives seem to try to appeal to working class voters by playing to themes of nationalism or xenophobia, trying to smear Labour as unpatriotic, raising fears of Labour wanting immigrants to swamp the country and trying to divide people by creating a narrative of vulnerable people being scroungers. There was never any of that from Major and never any dirty tricks campaigning against Labour. He was PM during the first Gulf War and never tried to make political capital about being a war leader or trying to paint Labour as not taking defence seriously. The nastiness in the Conservative party really came to the fore after the Major era.

In fact the more I think back to what Major was like the more I get annoyed at Theresa May. Look at the nonsense things she says: "Brexit means Brexit", "Strong and Stable", its just meaningless noise when she opens her mouth. If Major got asked a question he could always answer it and even towards the end of his time when his party had broken ranks and was heading for self destruction he was always honest and fair in the way he spoke to the public and actually put himself and his ideas up for being accountable to the voters rather than hiding away and trying to avoid responsibility through soundbites.
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MagicNMedicine
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In fact if you want to see what Major was like, watch this Tory election broadcast from 1992:



Notice how he hasn't bothered getting image consultants to try and make him look powerful or charismatic and notice the lack of soundbites or any negative digs about Labour. In between the parts where he talks about his background and the areas where he grew up, he just explains his positions on various aspects of policy, tax, health, education etc. No pre-rehearsed lines to take or throwing facts and figures around to say we are great and Labour are rubbish. He's just telling the public what his views are so they can decide whether to vote for him.

This kind of integrity has gone out of trend in politics.
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by MagicNMedicine)
In fact if you want to see what Major was like, watch this Tory election broadcast from 1992:



Notice how he hasn't bothered getting image consultants to try and make him look powerful or charismatic and notice the lack of soundbites or any negative digs about Labour. In between the parts where he talks about his background and the areas where he grew up, he just explains his positions on various aspects of policy, tax, health, education etc. No pre-rehearsed lines to take or throwing facts and figures around to say we are great and Labour are rubbish. He's just telling the public what his views are so they can decide whether to vote for him.

This kind of integrity has gone out of trend in politics.
Makes me almost want to vote for him
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RF_PineMarten
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(Original post by MagicNMedicine)
In fact if you want to see what Major was like, watch this Tory election broadcast from 1992:



Notice how he hasn't bothered getting image consultants to try and make him look powerful or charismatic and notice the lack of soundbites or any negative digs about Labour. In between the parts where he talks about his background and the areas where he grew up, he just explains his positions on various aspects of policy, tax, health, education etc. No pre-rehearsed lines to take or throwing facts and figures around to say we are great and Labour are rubbish. He's just telling the public what his views are so they can decide whether to vote for him.

This kind of integrity has gone out of trend in politics.
I'm too young to remember him as prime minister, but I have heard from others that he was the last of the "non pr" prime ministers. What little I have read and watched about him does seem to support that view, especially that video.
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Rakas21
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Major went beyond being a politician and was a true statesman. As a Tory from an even poorer background than him i connect with his sense of aspiration moreso than even Thatcher.
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Major lost all credibility with the ERM and Black Wednesday fiasco, the whole enterprise was his idea as Chancellor and he passionately stood behind it up to Tuesday eve. Mrs. T was talked into joining the mechanism by him, in one of those where she wanted and needed to compromise despite her inner feelings. It was a catastrophic misjudgement by Major, his insistence in joining at the rate the UK did was even impossible to understand by the Germans. It was far too high, we ended up with Lamont banging the table and barking at them that they had to change their interest rates for our benefit later on. Nuts.
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I got the power
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He messed up our railways. :unimpressed:
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Ezisola
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(Original post by I got the power)
He messed up our railways. :unimpressed:
Are you speaking from experience having travelled with British Rail?
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