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chimborazo
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Posts: 445
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“Best” Prime Ministers the UK never had

Thu Aug 12, 2021 6:55 pm

Here in the UK We’ve had some proper jokers over the last few decades (and a current PM who is generally accepted takes the biscuit, even though he is popular). Who do you think would have been a good leader of the UK but never quite made it for one reason or another?

My view:

Paddy Ashdown

Michael Portillo

David Milliband

I think these three are honourable people and, while I don’t generally align with their politics (cards on the table- Portillo would be my “natural” closest match), I think they all would have made great leaders.

Your thoughts/suggestions?
 
bennett123
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Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

Re: “Best” Prime Ministers the UK never had

Thu Aug 12, 2021 7:39 pm

I recall seeing Paddy Ashdown and asking him if he was prepared to increase income tax to fund his commitments.

He said that he believed that he would not need to do so, However, if he needed to do so then he would. All I ask is a straight answer. The other two parties simply promise the earth without the required funding, then hope the electorate will not notice.
 
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Aesma
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Re: “Best” Prime Ministers the UK never had

Thu Aug 12, 2021 7:45 pm

The main problem I'd say is who is gonna be next and will (s)he be better than BoJo ?

Shouldn't be a bar too high to pass but you never know.
 
chimborazo
Topic Author
Posts: 445
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:51 pm

Re: “Best” Prime Ministers the UK never had

Thu Aug 12, 2021 8:23 pm

Aesma wrote:
The main problem I'd say is who is gonna be next and will (s)he be better than BoJo ?

Shouldn't be a bar too high to pass but you never know.


I suspect it will be Rishi Sunak.

Whoever it is I would love them to stand up and say: I don’t care if I get re-elected and I will do what is necessary for the country I want to advance, not what is popular for getting votes right now. A dream I know… party politics system will preclude it but, if they are able to put meaningful policies forward, they would get through on a majority across the house IF the policy was good, not based on necessarily satisfying their own group. Saying that, an amount of opposition would vote against because it’s THEM, not relevant to the merit of the policies themselves.

Side note: I had hopes that David Cameron would do this when I heard his speech after becoming PM but we know how that worked out.
 
chimborazo
Topic Author
Posts: 445
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Re: “Best” Prime Ministers the UK never had

Thu Aug 12, 2021 8:30 pm

bennett123 wrote:
I recall seeing Paddy Ashdown and asking him if he was prepared to increase income tax to fund his commitments.

He said that he believed that he would not need to do so, However, if he needed to do so then he would. All I ask is a straight answer. The other two parties simply promise the earth without the required funding, then hope the electorate will not notice.


And you got one (I think). Can live with that. I’m in the “upper middle” income section that get hit hardest with earnings tax increases. I don’t mind if there are actual, tangible benefits in doing so (for the country, not as an individual). But there generally aren’t.
 
DNDTUF
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Re: “Best” Prime Ministers the UK never had

Wed Aug 18, 2021 5:11 pm

I agree with Ashdown, Milliband and Portillo (although I've never voted Tory and never will). I would also add the late Shirley Williams - she was quite a trailblazer and staunchly centrist. I also have admiration for Harriet Harman, during her caretaker leadership of the Labour party she seemed extremely competent and I liked her debating skills. Recently, I've been wondering how things would have played out if May and BoJo's premierships had been inversed. I think there is a case to be made that BoJo would have dealt with the Brexit fiasco rather more quickly (whether competently or not is another question) and May's cool, methodical style would have been better suited to the Covid-19 crisis.
 
Virtual737
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Re: “Best” Prime Ministers the UK never had

Wed Aug 18, 2021 5:15 pm

DNDTUF wrote:
I've never voted Tory and never wil


Why not? I've never voted Labour but I wouldn't say it will never happen. It might even say it's unlikely, but if their track record on delivering on promises became good enough to trust and their policies were overall the best match for what I thought was best for the UK then I would vote for them.
 
DNDTUF
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Re: “Best” Prime Ministers the UK never had

Wed Aug 18, 2021 5:24 pm

Virtual737 wrote:
DNDTUF wrote:
I've never voted Tory and never wil


Why not? I've never voted Labour but I wouldn't say it will never happen. It might even say it's unlikely, but if their track record on delivering on promises became good enough to trust and their policies were overall the best match for what I thought was best for the UK then I would vote for them.


There would need to be a radical shift in direction for me to vote Tory. The current government even makes Harry Enfield's "Tory Boy" look like a competent politician. I guess it comes down to me being a Europhile and in favour of Scottish independence. I'm not a dyed-in-the-wool leftist and may even be tempted to the centre-right but constitutional matters would have to align for me to make the switch.
 
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scbriml
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Re: “Best” Prime Ministers the UK never had

Wed Aug 18, 2021 8:00 pm

IMHO, the best Tory PM the UK never had was Chris Patten.
 
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Aesma
Posts: 14747
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Re: “Best” Prime Ministers the UK never had

Thu Aug 19, 2021 1:23 am

Virtual737 wrote:
DNDTUF wrote:
I've never voted Tory and never wil


Why not? I've never voted Labour but I wouldn't say it will never happen. It might even say it's unlikely, but if their track record on delivering on promises became good enough to trust and their policies were overall the best match for what I thought was best for the UK then I would vote for them.


So I'm guessing you just vote for nobody lately, if "delivering on promises" is something that matters to you ?
 
Virtual737
Posts: 1212
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:16 am

Re: “Best” Prime Ministers the UK never had

Thu Aug 19, 2021 2:11 am

Aesma wrote:
Virtual737 wrote:
DNDTUF wrote:
I've never voted Tory and never wil


Why not? I've never voted Labour but I wouldn't say it will never happen. It might even say it's unlikely, but if their track record on delivering on promises became good enough to trust and their policies were overall the best match for what I thought was best for the UK then I would vote for them.


So I'm guessing you just vote for nobody lately, if "delivering on promises" is something that matters to you ?


You would guess wrong. I stated that I would consider voting for Labour based on a number of factors, including their ability to deliver on promises.
 
B777LRF
Posts: 2885
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:23 am

Re: “Best” Prime Ministers the UK never had

Sat Aug 21, 2021 7:38 am

Surprised nobody has mentioned Winston yet. The man may not have won the war, but he flatly refused to lose it.
 
CranfordBoy
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:42 pm

Re: “Best” Prime Ministers the UK never had

Sat Aug 21, 2021 12:13 pm

Of the current crop of MPs (from all parties), I can only think of two: Rory Stewart and Johnny Mercer. Both principled and honest individuals who have had "proper" jobs before entering politics and don't care about upsetting their own party to tell it like it is. Johnny Mercer even described BoJo's goverment as a "shit show" last year.

But then: principles and honesty rarely gets a politician to the top.
 
Reinhardt
Posts: 444
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:05 pm

Re: “Best” Prime Ministers the UK never had

Mon Aug 23, 2021 1:45 pm

Yup agreed, Chris Patten or actually either of the Millibands. At the time everyone made fun of Ed, but considering how he speaks in Parliament these days he is light years ahead of most Government ministers and most of the Labour "up and coming" Shadow ministers. However David should have been voted leader of the Labour party quite clearly, and I firmly believe he would have won an election, and we wouldn't be in the mess we are today.
 
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Kiwirob
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Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:16 pm

Re: “Best” Prime Ministers the UK never had

Mon Aug 23, 2021 5:40 pm

B777LRF wrote:
Surprised nobody has mentioned Winston yet. The man may not have won the war, but he flatly refused to lose it.


Winston was PM, twice, this is about people who would have made good PM's but never got the job.

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