What do non-UK dopers think of UK Prime Ministers?

Mirroring a thread about US presidents. Obviously, UK Prime Ministers will not ba as well known across the world as the POTUS, but what do/did non-UK dopers think of:


That’s probably as far back as most can go, but by all means add others.

Here is an interesting site for information on Prime Ministers, by the way.

Blair – I kind of liked him when he was Clinton’s bitch, but now that he’s Bush’s bitch ™, I’ve got to wonder what his problem is.

Major – total nonentity. How long was he PM?

Thatcher – what a scary, fascist, '80s kind of figure she was! A reluctant admiration for her – she knew where she stood and took care of business – but obviously I come from the other extreme of the political spectrum.

Prior to her, I didn’t pay enough attention to international politics to have any opinions.

I’m probably culturally biased against any UK Prime Minister regardless of stature.
I can only remember the first 3 and these are only opinions not at all based on facts/citations etc.

Blair is a slimy git. I don’t like the way he can say so much without saying anything of substance. His manner of public speaking really annoys me.
Major seems to have been mostly harmless.
Thatcher was a demon.


Seven years (90 - 97), amazingly, which I guess adds weight to your assessment of him.

Wellsir, being from Texas an all…
I rekkon’ we’s could kick all of their Engleesh arsses perdy good.


I. Loathe. Blair.

I guess you haven’t met many polititians. The above describes them all.

I don’t think I have ever witnessed a polititian reply to a question with an answer to that question. (as opposed to an answer to some other question they weren’t asked)

I don’t know all that much about british politics, but I know I liked Blair a hell of a lot more before he decided to follow Bush into Iraq…starting to remind me way to much of the Lone Ranger and Tonto. Only this time the stupid sidekick is speaking with a british accent and being the stupid sidekick to a guy with a Texas accent, which kind of makes my head hurt.

All I learned about Prime Ministers was from watching Yes, Minister & Yes, Prime Minister. Although I didn’t get a lot of the political references, I did get the idea that government is pretty much the same on both sides of the pond. Sad as that may be.

Francis Urquhart will always have a special place in my heart.

James Harold Wilson was the greatest PM on your list. I have to say that, as we’re both former students of Jesus College, Oxford.

But seriously, I do think Wilson was my favorite on the list. The worst, I think, was Major, who during the last couple years of his premiership could do no right. His administration lurched from scandal to disaster to embarrassment, and even his own party tried to wash their hands of him. Thatcher was obviously the “most hated” on this list, but among certain American Reaganites is probably the “most loved”: obviously YMMV on her. (BTW, she went to Somerville College, Oxford.) Callaghan was for me the non-entity on this list, becoming PM almost by accident after a long career in various ministerial roles and crashing out after The Winter of Discontent. Heath I remember more as The Grand Old Man of the Tory party.

And Blair? (St. John’s College, Oxford–Oxon 3, Tabs 0!) Came to power acclaimed by all. Slowly losing his aura of invincibility, not just because of his “toadying” to the U.S., as The Guardian might put it, but also because I think such unrealistic expectations were put on him from the start. Annoyingly squeaky-clean–the only male politician in the UK you can’t imagine could ever be implicated in a sex scandal. Like Thatcher, seems to lead his party wherever he wants, even if the rest of it doesn’t want to go there. I was at a lecture where Roy Jenkins (late leader of the Social Democrats) was speaking. A friend of mine asked him what he thought of Blair. Lord Jenkins rolled his eyes and said nothing. I think that’s what a lot of the Establishment have always thought of him. Now a lot of the press and the public are starting to feel that way too.

Anyway, that’s one American’s 2p.

Lord Palmerston!

Pitt the Elder!
Blair – Winner
Major – Loser
Thatcher – Winner
All the others previous, including Churchill’s second term – Losers
Atlee – A Winner, as no one to this day dominates the UK’s budget more. A winner, but a major moron whose policies eventually sunk the UK as a major power. Also helped ruin the UK’s industrial base. Stalin’s bitch, etc, etc.

So, those three are important because they wield tremendous power and were able to truly shake up an ossified system. Because they have these skills/abilities, their opinions/actions on the world stage count, and are heard, studied, and analyzed. When John Major voiced an opinion, the world laughed. When Thatcher or Blair do, the world may or may not like what it hears, but it listens. The U.K. is far, far more inluential today, internationally speaking, than it was in 1994.

An extra special loser goes to the PM who came within an inch of ending the Royal Navy’s fixed wing naval aviation. God, what a disaster that would have been for the U.K.


I dunno, I always preferred James Hacker.

Blair: Is he aware that he’s prime minister in the UK and not the US? Otherwise he’s the most sympathetic of the three British PMs I can remember - but the competition is pretty light.
Major: Grey man. Grey suit. Sums it up.
Thatcher: I do admire one thing she did. When Gorby came to power, she realized she could “do business with this man.” I have to give her that. But in every other way, she was beyond scary.

I’m not really old enough to remember anyone before Maggie, who was evil. Not vaguely uncaring evil, but truly, ‘sacrifice-them-all-unto-my-career’ evil. Very similar to Reagan or the Bushes in the US.

Major? A caretaker PM who was only around because there wasn’t an opposition. A nil-all draw in the circumstances. Just a guy who wasn’t up to the job.

Blair looks like he’s too busy ensuring his job and his place in the world to actually do what he’s supposed to be doing. Kinda like a guy I could mention currently living out on a point in Kirribilli.

Blair - I was actually caught up in the excitement when Blair came to power. In his 2nd term he has become more presidential and arrogant. Labour will remain in power for a while yet but whether Blair remains is starting to look in doubt.

Major - yawn Sorry I’ve forgotten what i was talking about. What was it again?

Thatcher - CUNT of the highest order.

I am somewhat stunned by how negative these posts have been. If you took out the names of the PMs and looked at the adjectives being used to describe them, you might conclude that we were talking about Hitler and Mussolini.

I don’t think Blair Is anyone’s “bitch.” I know he’s been portrayed as a lap dog in the media, but I prefer to make my own judgments rather than to let a George Michael song make my mind up for me. I think Blair represents a move to the left for the UK after 20 years of conservative rule. Britain has done quite well for itself during his time as PM. He is behind the invasion of Iraq which I do not support, but to suggest he is taking his orders from Bush is stupefying.

Major was “dull” an apparently unforgivable flaw in this thread.

Thatcher has been called “evil” and “beyond scary” here. Seriously, was she THAT bad? Did she round up people in the streets and execute them? Was she the Ayatollah Khomeni? Saddam Hussien? Kim Il Sung? Pol Pot? Leonid Breznyev? All those guys were in power in 1979, the same year she became PM. Sure she made mistakes. Her poll tax suggestion was a major blunder. She was too conservative for my sensibilities, but to use the terminology being bandied about in this thread is unjustifiably hostile. It reminds me of The Young Ones when every ridiculous situation was followed by the line “this is all your fault, Thatcher!!!”