Tag Archives: prime ministers

10 for No 10

As David Cameron leaves, it dawns on me that this is the 10th time the Prime Minister has changed in my lifetime. I thought I’d share with you my memories of the other changes.

When I was born, Harold Wilson was PM. I don’t remember him losing out to Ted Heath in the 1970 election because I was just a toddler. Nor do I really remember Wilson really getting back in again in 1974. I have a vague memory of walking along Dell Road in Inverness with my parents as they went to vote, though.

The first change I actually remember was in 1976 when Wilson resigned and Callaghan took over. There was no 24 hour news cycle then, and in fact telly didn’t even go all day. However, I think we were watching General Hospital (the UK version) in the afternoon when the news appeared on screen – James Callaghan is the new Prime Minister. We then got a newsflash in the commercial break.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 15 Comments

Goodbye, David

As David Cameron leaves No 10, his legacy is being scrutinised.  I have to say that I found the glowing tributes coming from his Cabinet colleagues as they entered Downing Street yesterday pretty nauseating.

Much of the news commentary has been way too positive.

I am dreading the inevitable fawning over him that’s going to happen as he faces his last Prime Minister’s Questions. I will not be happy if, as they did for Blair, any of our lot indulge in any applause or standing ovations for him.

Let’s look at some of the key compliments people are paying him:

Stabilise the economy?

Well, do you remember the 1980s when the recession lasted for years because the Tories insisted on cutting public spending beyond what was sensible? Well, this time they were prevented from doing so by the Liberal Democrats in coalition. They wanted to cut further and faster. It was Nick Clegg and David Laws, by and large, who saw that common sense prevailed. Even then, some of their ideas weren’t put into practice because the Tories wouldn’t have it. Some of us felt that even the Liberal Democrats in Government too far but at least the economy was starting to do well. Until, that is, David Cameron’s actions have led to a spectacular crash in the value of the pound. More money was wiped from the country in the days after the referendum than we ever paid to the EU. And that’s only the start.

Same sex marriage?

Well, he didn’t really. The person who drove that through Government was Lynne Featherstone, backed up by Theresa May. Cameron regretted it because of the fuss his backbenchers made. He couldn’t even get half of them to go through the lobbies in support of the measure. Nick Clegg was the first leader to enthusiastically embrace the concept of same sex marriage and did so even ahead of the 2010 election.

He won two elections and a referendum?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 22 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Raw 20th Jun - 5:03pm
    Sorry Bernard, but if you knew anything about cricket you wouldn't call it a ball park.
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 20th Jun - 5:01pm
    Bernard Aris. Your comments about our former Prime Minister Harold Wilson are a right wing tabloid caricature and far removed from the truth...... especially your...
  • User AvatarMichael BG 20th Jun - 4:52pm
    Peter, “After a just a few there wouldn’t be much left in the economy and so the Govt’s deficit would hardly be any different than...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 20th Jun - 4:12pm
    GWYN WILLIAMS: During a war between Egypt and Israel Time magazine reported that a fighter jet had been hit over the Med. and landed on...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 20th Jun - 4:09pm
    Peter Martin, I think when Simon-Wren Lewis says “First, we need a monetary policy that is very relaxed about raising interest rates.” he is suggesting...
  • User AvatarChristopher Haigh 20th Jun - 4:07pm
    @BernardAris- Harold Wilson was an extremely well respected academic and wartime civil servant. He was also extremely personable. The common market entry was a Tory...