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  • No Prime Minister

    Over the last few years a few votes for various accolades have been held in the UK. The two I'm thinking of are the Greatest Briton, and the Best Post war PM. Both of those were won by Winston Churchill.

    So that got me thinking, whose the worst PM, from say 1900. So with that in mind I had a brief think back through the last century and pulled up a short list.

    Lloyd George.
    bit of a surprise, as he seemed to be a fairly strong PM. Of course he does have the distinction of WWI to his name. Although to be fair he's not solely responsible.

    Neville Chamberlain
    Widely regarded as the worst PM ever. I do feel kind of sorry for the guy, as he does seem to know how badly he dropped the ball in the late 1930's. Listening to some of his broadcasts early in the war he seems to know what's coming.

    James Callaghan
    Mr "Crisis, what crisis?". Granted I know those weren't his words, but it does sum it up.

    Tony Blair
    The snake oil salesman who wrecked the country and eroded our civil liberties.

    Gordon Brown
    At times he managed to be described as "A worse PM than Chamberlain."

    So what say you? Who wouldn't you vote for, under any circumstances.
    24
    Lloyd George
    4.17%
    1
    Neville Chamberlain
    33.33%
    8
    James Callaghan
    0.00%
    0
    Tony Blair
    41.67%
    10
    Gordon Brown
    20.83%
    5
    Last edited by Listy; 30 May 10, 23:46.
    Winnie says
    ---------------------------------
    "He fell out of a Gestapo car, over a bridge, and onto a railway line. Then was run over by the Berlin Express.

    It was an Accident."
    Herr Flick.

  • #2
    So, wheres Thatcher, the Hen that destroyed the social fabric of great britain, brought high unemployment, reversed social mobility in britain with the rich getting richer and the poor having less and less chances to "make it" and isolated the country within europe?
    Ha, wie so stolz und hehr
    Wirft über Land und Meer
    Weithin der deutsche Aar
    Flammenden Blick.

    Comment


    • #3
      Agree with Kimi but, have to say I am no fan of Blair overall. To be fair, Chamberlain messed up but he also started Britain's rearmament programme and I wonder if some of the current research portraying him as buying time through appeasement doesn't have a point. Can't say much about the other PMs.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Kimi View Post
        So, wheres Thatcher, the Hen that destroyed the social fabric of great britain, brought high unemployment, reversed social mobility in britain with the rich getting richer and the poor having less and less chances to "make it" and isolated the country within europe?
        You will find that it was Blair and Brown who reduced social mobility, increasing the gap between rich and poor.

        Real unemployment (i.e. including those on 'incapacity' benefit) is higher now than at any time during the Thatcher years.

        Baroness Thatcher turned Britain around, rescued the economy from debt, helped win the cold war, stood up to foreign aggression and put pride back into Britain.
        "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Surrey View Post
          Baroness Thatcher turned Britain around, rescued the economy from debt, helped win the cold war, stood up to foreign aggression and put pride back into Britain.
          Exactly why I didn't include her. Although to be fair she did have a major falling out with the Unions (which was needed, as they had far to much power).

          I honestly did consider including her in the list, but as Surrey pointed out, she did take us from the sick man of Europe to one of the top dogs, Even if she had to march around in jackboots on-top of some peoples lives.

          I also considered including John Major. But while he had no spectacular successes. He didn't really have any massive failures, apart from his attack of Beer goggles with Edwina Curry.
          Winnie says
          ---------------------------------
          "He fell out of a Gestapo car, over a bridge, and onto a railway line. Then was run over by the Berlin Express.

          It was an Accident."
          Herr Flick.

          Comment


          • #6
            I think Neville Chamberlain got the rough end of the stick in the history books. His main failing was thinking that he was dealing with someone that would honour his promises, and who only wanted to right some of the wrongs of Versailles.

            Chamberlain did rearm GB and he did declare war when he realised that Hitler wouldn't stop unless he was stopped.

            I remember a quote that went something like - "His mistake was to be a man of peace when a man of war was required". It sums him up pretty well.
            Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

            That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Listy View Post
              Exactly why I didn't include her. Although to be fair she did have a major falling out with the Unions (which was needed, as they had far to much power).

              I honestly did consider including her in the list, but as Surrey pointed out, she did take us from the sick man of Europe to one of the top dogs, Even if she had to march around in jackboots on-top of some peoples lives.

              I also considered including John Major. But while he had no spectacular successes. He didn't really have any massive failures, apart from his attack of Beer goggles with Edwina Curry.
              So that got me thinking, whose the worst PM, from say 1900.
              Should read: So that got me thinking, whose the worst PM, from a list that I personally consider bad PMs.

              You include one lib (I think labour didnt exist back then?) but state "Well, it wasnt all his fault really". then one conservetive "I kind of feel sorry for the guy" and then 3 labour "My god, what a push over, didnt even see the crisis the bloody fool; What a evil little snakeoil salesman; Hes worse than the guy who sold out to hitler ! (and i feel sorry for that guy)"

              So... yeah... i figured you would include saint margaret.

              Listy:
              No, the historical data is there, Thatcher turned great britain into the class based society with comparetively little social movement we see now. I do agree with you though that nobody of the following labour governments did anything to turn that around again.
              Ha, wie so stolz und hehr
              Wirft über Land und Meer
              Weithin der deutsche Aar
              Flammenden Blick.

              Comment


              • #8
                Herbert Asquith was PM during 1914 so he not Loyd George can be "blamed for WWI", but I agree he was to soft on Germany in Versail. Damn the Turks for ruining the career of Churchill as Germany and World needed us (unconditional surrender) policy in 1918.
                Kosovo is Serbian.
                I support United Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
                Behead those who say Islam is violent!

                Comment


                • #9
                  From my pov with Maggie you always knew her postion on a subject. She usually stated it clearly with few if, ands, or buts. She got along to well with our RR who I do not worship.
                  "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                  Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                  you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The reason Thatcher doesn't belong in a worst PM list is she turned Britain's economic decline around.

                    In the 28 years before Thatcher's victory in 1979, British GDP growth was higher than the EU 12 average in just 3 years. For 25 of those 28 years the EU countries grew faster than Britain.

                    In the 28 years after Thatcher came to power, the UK grew faster than the EU 12 average in 18 of them.

                    By the end of the 60s Britain was poorer than the EU average. By 1979 we were much poorer. By 1997 Britain was again richer.

                    Even the things Thatcher gets blamed for are largely the fault of her predecessors. To take unemployment as an example, in the 70s the Labour government borrowed money to prop up loss making nationalised industries to keep unemployment down. That left Britain needing to cut debt in the 80s, and unable to sustain the non-jobs in industries that had failed to modernise in the 70s.

                    British Leyland:



                    By 1979 Ford Europe and Volkswagen were both producing over 10 cars per employee. The previous Labour government had poured money into BL to keep employment up, at a cost of producing new models. By 1979 not only did employment have to shrink to get productivity up, it had to shrink further because BL were producing cars that did not sell in great quantities.

                    The same is true of British Steel:


                    Throughout the 70s British Steel had almost twice as many workers as it needed. Thatcher merely faced economic reality by rationalising the firm.

                    Manufacturing did well in Britain in the 80s. Manufacturing employment didn't, because productivity increased rapidly. The job losses in manufacturing that should have come in the 70s didn't, because Labour used borrowed money to delay the inevitable. That meant losses were higher in the 80s, not just because productivity caught up, but also because markets had been lost in the 70s and debt had to be repaid.

                    The new Conservative/Lib Dem government face a similar task. In the 70s Labour borrowed money to sustain employment in the nationalised industries. The Tories caught the flak for cleaning up the mess.

                    Over the last 10 years Labour borrowed immense amounts of money to sustain employment in public services. The new government will get the flak for reducing public sector workers and reducing the debt Labour have left behind.

                    As to worst PM, Tony Blair. All the others faced very difficult circumstances. Blair took over at a time of stability and plenty. He involved us in stupid wars and allowed his chancellor to bankrupt the country.

                    Brown would win a worst chancellor contest hands down, but the truth is he did almost nothing as PM.
                    Last edited by Hop; 31 May 10, 06:38.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      1) people are giving to much importance to the role of a PM(of course they are always looking for a hero,or a vilain):most PM's are only primus inter pares and have to convince the cabinet,then the cabinet has to convince parliament and then the civil service has to execute the decisions of parliament ?
                      2)the assumption that government is creating riches -work is a flawed Marxist theory:government is not creating anything,when it is trying to create wealth,mostly it is destroing wealth .Public services are known for waste and inefficiency .Individuals are creating wealth .

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Hop View Post
                        The reason Thatcher doesn't belong in a worst PM list is she turned Britain's economic decline around.
                        [...other stuff...]
                        If what you're saying is that Thatcher didnt enter office to make the UK worse in every respect possible, to outlaw singing birds, to slay all cats and drink childrens blood, to destroy britain for the heck of it and to spite every upright briton, then yes, I agree with you. She was not Tony Blair after all.

                        All I'm saying is that this "poll" is bogus. You've got 3 labour who all get a very negative description and 1 tory and 1 liberal, both of whom get a very forgiving description. The two are only included to give this "poll" the illusion of non-partisanship.

                        Btw, you dont have to tell me, a german that Saint Thatcher was the savior of the UK, tell it to those britons who voted her the third most hated brition. Not those that voted for Blair though, he had an agenda to destroy the UK and everything was worse after his premiership.

                        http://www.channel4.com/entertainmen...s/results.html
                        Ha, wie so stolz und hehr
                        Wirft über Land und Meer
                        Weithin der deutsche Aar
                        Flammenden Blick.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by joea View Post
                          To be fair, Chamberlain messed up but he also started Britain's rearmament programme and I wonder if some of the current research portraying him as buying time through appeasement doesn't have a point.
                          There's some recent scholarship I know stressing that appeasement had a basis in previous British foreign policy thinking. I mean Britain had an empire stretching across the globe, and thus as a result had to to contend with several potential threats(including the US). So maintaining peace in Europe would've been in Britain's best long-term interests. Problem was Chamberlain wasn't dealing with a normal statesman.
                          Last edited by Pilsudski; 31 May 10, 11:59.
                          "To be defeated and not submit, is victory; to be victorious and rest on one's laurels, is defeat."
                          --Marshal Józef Piłsudski

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Here's some of what I'm talking about:
                            The adoption of the Thirty Year Rule in 1967 made available many of the papers of the Chamberlain government over the subsequent three years, helping to explain why Chamberlain acted as he did.[222] The resultant works greatly fuelled the revisionist school, although they also included books that strongly criticised Chamberlain, such as Keith Middlemas's 1972 Diplomacy of Illusion (which portrayed Chamberlain as a seasoned politician with strategic blindness when it came to Germany). Released papers indicated that, contrary to claims made in Guilty Men, Chamberlain had neither ignored the advice of the Foreign Office, nor had he disregarded and run roughshod over his Cabinet.[223] Other released papers showed that Chamberlain had considered seeking a grand coalition amongst European governments, like that later advocated by Churchill, and had rejected it on the ground that the division of Europe into two camps would make war more, not less likely.[224] They also showed that Chamberlain had been advised that the Dominions, pursuing independent foreign policies under the Statute of Westminster, had indicated that Chamberlain could not depend on their help in the event of a Continental war.[225] The Chiefs of Staff report, which indicated that Britain could not forcibly prevent Germany from conquering Czechoslovakia, was first publicly known at this time.[226]

                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neville...and_reputation
                            There's still controversy about all this, but this does indicate that Chamberlain had some legitimate concerns to contend with that could've made a more forceful approach to Hitler in 1938 unfeasible. Not to mention much of Britain and Europe as a whole did not want another major war.
                            "To be defeated and not submit, is victory; to be victorious and rest on one's laurels, is defeat."
                            --Marshal Józef Piłsudski

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Surrey View Post
                              ...stood up to foreign aggression...
                              The British and French have been caricaturing each other for several centuries. A modern example is the Pink Panther series of films starring Peter Sellers as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau. In July 1985, five months after the New Zealand government had banned the visit of the Buchanan, fiction became fact. A dozen French agents mounted a covert operation in Auckland, New Zealand, with all the skill and panache of Inspector Closeau. They did succeed in their objective, which was to sink the Rainbow Warrior, mothership of a flotilla bound for Mururoa Island to protest at more French tests. But some of the agents also succeeded in getting caught after they bombed the ship, and in leaving ample evidence of their activities, including the sexual liaisons with local women apparently de rigeur for spies. 'The operation', writes an historian of the French secret services, 'was so ill conceived, so amateurish, that New Zealand police, hardly more than a country constabulary but able to break the case in an eyelash, suspected at first it must be a frame-up.' 'It left a trail so Gallic,' admitted one French agent, 'that the only missing clues were a baguette bread loaf, a black beret and a bottle of Beaujolais.' The affair had its less funny side. A member of the Greenpeace anti-nuclear organisation, Portuguese photographer Fernando Pereira, was killed in the Rainbow Warrior explosion.
                              J. Belich, Paradise Reforged: A History of the New Zealanders, 1880-2000

                              New Zealand, our ally, our kith and kin that died for Britain in two world wars, that the UK had effectively abandoned economically in 1973, suffered an act of war by the French on a British registered ship. They didn't ask Britain to take action against France but the New Zealanders were shocked that the British government did virtually nothing.

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