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What do people think of our four most recent Prime Ministers?
09/12/2013 08:38:00


I spotted this piece of polling in an email that was sent to me by The Spectator, which I thought readers of this blog might be interested in.

Thinking about the four Prime Ministers that came before David Cameron, who was 'a great PM'?

Margaret Thatcher 23%

Tony Blair 5%

John Major 1%

Gordon Brown 1%

Who was 'a terrible PM'?

Gordon Brown 32%

Margaret Thatcher 22%

Tony Blair 21%

John Major 8%

In other words, Margaret Thatcher is something of a Marmite figure - lots of people think she was great, but a similar number think she was terrible.

Five times as many people think Tony Blair was terrible as think he was great.

For John Major, that figure is eight times as many (but he doesn't seem to stir up strong opinions either way).

And for Gordon Brown? 32 times as many.


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Readers' Comments

On 09/12/2013 11:34:00 Pauline Giles wrote:
Margaret Thatcher was an amazing woman who gave people like me to be where I am today. She broke the male cartel, but sadly those jealous men plotted her downfall! She was misunderstood by the masses who had no idea about politics or the importance of voting! Sadly in this respect this country has got no better! Basic Politics should be a part of the curriculum in Yr10/11 How do MPs think at 18 a child has any clue unless educated in its complexities and consequences on how to vote?

There are too little women in Government! The men sitting there have no clue about budgetting for a family! No idea how a family runs! Yet they are making the decisions for millions of families every day!

Margaret was down to earth, worked in her Dads shop, was clever enough to see that the Unions (all run by men) were no offay with the change in production and the ensuing barrage of foreign merchandise soon to flood the UK!

It was not Margaret who killed industry in the UK it was the greedy Unions and their 'Everybody out' mentality when they held this country to ransom.

Margaret saw we were not going to be able to compete with foreign imports ! Out labour costs were too high and strikes were rife killing production.

My father was a Docker! A staunch Labour voter! He nearly butst a bloodvessel when I came home pre-election sporting a blue rosette. Margaret had at the age of 18 instilled in me my right to choices, my right to be who and what I wanted to be!

My biggest regret was no meeting her to say Thank You, she was a truly great leader! Knew her mind and spoke it!

Please please somebody take notice of what I am saying and implement Politics into our curriculum!

In the words of Winston Churchill 'Give us the tools and we will finish the job' if you don't supply the tools, how will the voters of tomorrow ever understand what is required of them!

I could debate this all day long! For most Margaret was marmite but she got things done and this country would be in a sorry state now had we not had her input x

On 09/12/2013 15:35:00 Anthony Miller wrote:
Gordon Brown - Clumsy

Margaret Thatcher - Heartless

Tony Blair - Warmonger

John Major - Failure

On 10/12/2013 09:37:00 Grahame wrote:
I guess it depends on what you mean by "great".

When I was at school I was told that the first thing you do when writing an essay (and before anyone asks, no I haven't written an essay since leaving school!) is to define your terms. The survey question doesn't define "great" but I have my own definition (as will other readers).

I'd say a Prime Minister might be a great one (more than just competent or popular) if he/she had:

1. Vision

2. A clear sense of purpose (including how to get things done)

3. An ability to communicate these and to convince people that they should work together in unity for a common cause.

A Prime Minister is unlikely to be considered great if he/she is reactive/negative, has no clear idea of what they want to achieve and polarises public opinion by (however inadvertently) setting groups of people against each other.

I am not suggesting that politics or politicians should be bland. When people feel passionately about something they may well express themselves strongly and with equal passion. But there is no point in antagonising the people you wish to persuade by provocative rhetoric. I do not want Government by rhetoric or bigotry. I want Government by reason and explanation.

I have not seen the edition of the Spectator in which the full results of the survey appeared. Perhaps there is a definition or examples of "greatness" in any accompanying article.

On 11/12/2013 13:54:00 Jim wrote:
The one thing Cameron and Brown have in common is that they never won a general election. Major, Blair and Thatcher all got majorities and were able form proper governments.

The 22% who thought Thatcher was a "terrible PM" are just ignorant, ungrateful or both.




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