Thursday, February 01, 2007

Top Ten Postwar Prime Ministers

As I have promised, following Paul Linford's list:

Clement Attlee

Brought forward a radical agenda which included the formation of the NHS.

Harold Wilson

Did not bring us into Vietnam, in spite of pressure from the Johnson administration, founded the Open University, kept things together during the EEC Referendum, and managed to keep the country together after devaluation, although he should have devalued just after the 1966 election.

Harold Macmillan

A stout believer in Kensyan orthodoxy (when it worked) and a firm European and Atlanticist

James Callaghan

Didn't panic once during the IMF crisis and sided with Denis Healey, as opposed to Tony Crossland.

Tony Blair

Low unemployment, national minimum wage, New Deal. Labour since 1997 has presided over them all, although it's best for a proper assesment on Blair after he has left office.

Sir Alec Douglas Home

Nice guy, perhaps the nicest in No 10, but he was only there for 363 days. Scrapped Retail Price Maintenance.

Edward Heath

I am no Federalist, but I agree with Britian joining the EEC and Heath should be congratulated on that. He also realised, albeit too late, the damage an unfettered free market can do, although he brought no real alternatives from the centre, which was what was needed.

John Major

Perhaps he would have been a far better PM in a different time, but he tried to marry Thatcherism with corporate interventionism, as well as not reacting swiftly over Black Wednesday and for that he suffered

Margaret Thatcher

Aside from her dictatorial manner and regarding three million unemployed as a price worth paying, she did redeem her incompetence over the Falklands invasion (although the sinking of the Belgrano was perhaps unessesary) and stood up to the likes of Scargill, although more should have been done to help the coal industry

Sir Winston Churchill

A good consensious PM, but in ill health and past his best. If 1940-1945 counts I would put him at No 1.


Adrian Mole said...

Thank goodness Thatcher stood up to Scargill. Fantastic of you to hop in bed with the Right rather than the Left, you truly are the picture of the current Labour movement.
i particularly like your appraisal of churchill. i would hazard a guess that 1940-5 should count.
Idiots for Labour summed you up to perfection

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I agree with Adrian,

Applauding Thatcher for standing up to Scargill was a disgraceful statement. Thatcher's decision to close the mines was a political decision not an economic one. It resulted in the destruction of one the finest and most modern mining industries in the world, along with destroying many working class communities and importing coal from abroad instead - and Scargill predicted all of this. I suggest you read the following fine book: 'The Enemy Within' by Seamus Milne - it might shake you out of yr intellectual straight jacket.
Additionally how the hell can you have Churchill and Thatcher (I hate and admire her in equal measure) below James Callaghan and Alex Douglas Hume - yr such an intellectual pigmy!!!

Anonymous said...

For standing up to Scargill!!!

We can go on about Scargills tactics till the cows come home. But the fact remains that Thatcher wanted a fight with thr NUM. The British Coal industry was one of the most modern and efficient in the world. But that wasn't the point.

I come from an area which was blighted by those times. And even now many communities are suffering. Areas that had a sense of community spirit and solidarity, where nieghbours looked out for each other (ironically values the Tories like to trumpet as 'British')riddled with high umemployment and drug addiction.

Quite frankly she shouldn't make it in the bottom 10 either.

Paul Burgin said...

I would like to point out that I do think that Thatcher decimated the coal industries and that was a disgrace, as I more or less pointed out, but that Scargill likewise was looking for a fight with the government, any government, in order to make his point.

C4' said...

Applauding Thatcher for standing up to Scargill was a disgraceful statement. Thatcher's decision to close the mines was a political decision not an economic one.

Why must you make this blog a house of LIES?!?

Maggie is the greatest PM of all time!

Paul Linford said...

I too would take the view that Thatcher's handling of the Strike represented the most inglorious episode of her premiership.

The Strike had nothing to do with economics. It was an entirely political confrontation between two protagonists who were determined to destroy eachother. Had either or both of those two protagonists been different, we would still have an indigenous coal industry and scores of pit villagers, not least in the area where I started my career, would still be the vibrant, thriving communities they once were.

Anonymous said...


All Scargill did was try to defend the industry and its associated communities from destruction - how the hell is that picking a fight Burgin.

It had nothing to do with making a point against the Government. Scargill stood up and said the Tories wanted to destroy the miners because they saw them as the enemy within, they had never forgiven them for toppling the Heath Government - even though in fact it was the democratic decision of the people that through out Heath. The majority of the Labour and Trade Union leadership chose to do nothing; I applaud Scargill for trying to defend a valuable industry and its people. In the end he was justified, as everything he predicted would happen – did happen!!!

Paul Burgin said...

So why did Scargill not ballot his members?