Something To Start The Week Off Well

 

Thatcher’s the best!

New poll names ex-Tory leader as greatest prime minister

A new poll by ComRes for the Independent on Sunday and the Daily Mirror shows that Margaret Thatcher the most respected leader of the past five decades

A new poll by ComRes for the Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror newspapers has revealed that the former Tory leader, Margaret Thatcher, is still the nation’s best leader since 1964, according to the public.

The poll gives the former prime minister, now Lady Thatcher, a whopping 23 point leader over the current Tory leader David Cameron, and a 13 point lead over the second top choice, Harold Wilson.

The poll asked members of the British public: ”In your opinion, is David Cameron a better or worse Prime Minister than —?” and named each of the prime ministers since Harold Wilson.

Embarrassingly, though not unpredictably, the last Labour leader, Gordon Brown, scored -17 points, coming last behind John Major and James Callaghan. The full list after polling breaks down as follows:

1 Margaret Thatcher +23

2 Harold Wilson +10

3 Tony Blair +4

4 Edward Heath +1

=5 David Cameron 0

=5 James Callaghan 0

7 John Major -4

8 Gordon Brown -17

 

 

 

Don’t think I need say anymore do I?

 

 

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57 Responses to Something To Start The Week Off Well

  1. Bandicoot says:

    Yes, you do.

       3 likes

    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Actual debate not your strong suit, is it, Bandicoot? Another drive by sneer expert.

         13 likes

  2. PhilO'TheWisp says:

    No, and nor will the BBC say anything either. Wrong agenda, move on.

       35 likes

  3. It's all too much says:

    Strange isn’t it how some “push polls’ (‘everyone is starving and needs food banks in the North’, 80% of children are in poverty’ etc) get extensive air time on the BBC.

    This will get the proverbial

    ***tumbleweed***

       40 likes

    • Dan Ash says:

      First of all not “everyone is starving and needs food banks….” But isn’t it shameful that an increasing number of people do them? And surely the rise of foods banks is far more important and thus newsworthy than a poll about historical figures. You get stuff like this all the time. Best film, song, tv programme etc. No wonder they don’t make headlines.

         0 likes

      • Wild says:

        “isn’t it shameful that an increasing number of people do [need] them?”

        Since when have the Left cared about wealth creation – except as something they are against? Poverty and Socialism go hand in hand.

           3 likes

      • johnnythefish says:

        So tell us what has changed so dramatically since 2010 that this well-publicised increase in food banks has warranted? The number of unemployed? Benefits? Inflation? Immigration? Please let us know, because it’s a mystery to me.

           0 likes

  4. Frank Words says:

    I just looked at the list and felt very depressed.

       3 likes

    • richard D says:

      Yep – How the hell did Harold Wilson get that sort of rating ? Couldn’t possibly be because of the BBC Parliament channel running a 5-hour marathon love-fest (along with all the positive sound-bites in the advertising of said eulogy) for this reputed Soviet sympathiser in the last few days, could it ?

         30 likes

      • Frank Words says:

        Quite. And Ted Heath. (and Bliar)

           13 likes

        • Amounderness Lad says:

          Heath is simple to explain, Frank. The gullible Europhiles will always praise him to the rafters for enslaving us to the EUSSR with his slick lies.

             8 likes

      • london calling says:

        How? Wisdom of the sheeple. “Nostalgia” for times gone by. Britain under Harold Wilson was a much nicer place to live than Britain “ruined by Blair” under Cameron. Its all relative.

           3 likes

  5. Fred Sage says:

    Of course she was!

       15 likes

  6. Guest Who says:

    The expectant new MP for Eastleigh and his Shadow Leading boss might find this less than helpful in complement to their views, and how they synergise with the population they so believe they are destined to rule.

       8 likes

  7. chrisH says:

    Nothing tells you more about what kind of giant a principled, hard working woman with vision, courage, convictions and a knowledge of the Old Testament Mrs T was and is…than to compare her to the lavender sachets, sandbags, windbags and shoehorns that trail her in this poll.
    At least Callaghan knew that he was wading through shite, and had done an honest days work way back.
    The rest of `em are Calvin Kleined landfill.
    Send foe Mark Thatcher for Gawds sake…we`ve got satnav nowadays, so there`s no excuse!

       7 likes

  8. chrisH says:

    One woman in Downing St trumps all thoseto Bea camp sacks of shite then?
    And now over Bea Campbell…Polly Toynbee…Hatty Harman,
    Annie Lennox, Laura half Penney…come on gels

    “Sistas are doin` if 4 themselves!”
    Oh dear…best move on!

       11 likes

    • Demon says:

      It’s blatantly obvious why the omission of Mrs T causes such disbelief, but I can’t see why they are worrying about Shirley Williams, whose achievements are virtually zero.

         2 likes

  9. Dan Asah says:

    Of course Margaret Thatcher is the best leader in any country at any time.
    Just think, without her we might not have bankers playing casino capitalism with our money. Still good to know that we’ve been brought to the brink of bankruptcy by good people on the inside rather than those horrid miners led by that ghastly Mr Scargill. They tried to ruin the county of course, but just shows how incapable the lower orders are. It takes breeding to to bring a nation to it’s knees.

       2 likes

    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Dan, you should be grateful for Mrs. Thatcher. If she hadn’t closed all those coal mines, just think of how bad global warming would be now! The Maldives would be completely under water, the ice caps would have already melted, and worldwide famine and war would be well under way thanks to the extreme weather variations.

      If you don’t want your planet destroyed, you should be thanking Gaia every day for her time in office.

         2 likes

      • Dan Aah says:

        David.
        I understand and agree with your arguments about global warming. However Thatcher’s battle with the miners was nothing to do with environmental issues. In fact to help dismantle the industry her government was importing low grade”dirty” coal from Europe. With the added carbon footprint of long distance transportation.
        Her battle was based on class and crushing communities, people she called “the enemy within”. That’s to say working class people with the temerity to stand up and be heard.
        By the way, what has the BBC done to upset an American? Downton Abbey was sent to you by ITV!

           2 likes

        • David Preiser (USA) says:

          Her intentions are beside the point. If she hadn’t done it, the planet would already be well on its way to doom. I’m surprised anyone would trade a class war victory over the survival of the planet we all share.

          Regarding Downton Abbey, apparently some of your fellow travelers over here don’t like the way some of the toffs who inherited their wealth and privilege are made to appear as decent human beings and not the vile, inbred, dim-witted oppressors that they are.

          The ITV origin doesn’t mean anything to us because we see it on BBC America, and even though a lot of its programming is ITV and C4 stuff they license (possibly based on some deal they have because half those shows are produced in BBC-owned facilities anyway), it’s all advertized here as BBC, so that’s how we see it.

          Bonus giggle from this Forbes article about it:

          One of the first things one notices, if one is a regular viewer of BBC productions, is that Downton is unusually ideologically and religiously balanced.

          YCMIU.

             2 likes

          • Dan Aah says:

            Her intentions are not beside the point for this forum. We are after all talking about great leaders. And in my opinion anyone who divides a nation to the degree she did, rather than bring it together, is not a great leader. It may not have been her intention to do that, but it was the result.

            And while with the miners strike we mustn’t forget one of the most remarkable pieces of anti-union, pro-Tory BBC reporting ever, when they re-wrote the events at Orgreave.
            I bet that piece of BBC bias doesn’t get much coverage on this site.

            Finally, while I agree with some of your views on the environment, I doubt that the saving of a few UK mines would have us at the apocalyptic stage you suggest just yet.

            Your implication is that Thatcher is some sort of environmental heroine. That’s a new and highly inventive argument.

               1 likes

            • David Preiser (USA) says:

              Blair divided the nation as well, as have so many leaders. Although of course that depends on one’s perspective in many cases.

              This site would benefit if you could provide some evidence and a bit of analysis about that pro-Tory revisionism.

              Any thoughts on that Forbes piece?

                 2 likes

              • Dan Aah says:

                Blair did indeed divide a nation. But don’t ask me to defend him. His openly stated admiration Thatcher says it all…

                I’m not sure I understand your ref to pro-Tory revisionism. Are you saying that you don’t know the Orgreave story?

                http://www.users.ic24.net/~terrynorm/Justice/newsletter_oct2002.htm

                As for the Forbes article, it’s a “so what” piece for me. The man likes Downton and writes a nice fluffy piece. He probably likes the notion that the upper classes treated the lower order well and I’m sure some of them did. I think I’ve only seen one, maybe two Downton’s all the way through so am no expert, but it struck me as a Disneyfication of history.

                   1 likes

                • John wood says:

                  This version from Wikipedia – which is probably more balanced than your sources.

                  Initially the strike played out like most others, and the strikers played football for a while. But as more numbers arrived on both sides, tensions began to rise. The first casualty was a police officer, PC Akers, who was hit in the face by a brick at about 8am, and taken to hospital[citation needed]. The commander of the police presence, Assistant Chief Constable Anthony Clement, deployed a protective cordon of long-shielded police in front of his standard officers- a fairly standard practice in such encounters.

                  At much the same time, the lorries arrived to fetch the coke. This was the cue for the “push,” in which the miners charged towards the police in an attempt to break the lines. Shortly afterwards, Clements ordered the mounted police forwards. This tactic successfully delivered a retreat by the striking miners, and the horses stopped about 30 yards ahead of the police line before withdrawing. This allowed a space for the lorries to pass on their business, and escalated the tension on the field.

                  A second push was followed by a second mounted response, but this time the whole police line advanced the 30 yards. Increased stone throwing heightened the tension[citation needed] and the miners were warned that if they did not retreat 100 yards, short shield squads would be deployed.

                  Short shield squads (police in riot gear, with batons and short shields) were a new development and would represent an offensive rather than defensive approach to riot control. This would be new to the UK if employed.

                  When the miners did not move back, a third mounted advance was initiated, with the short shield squads in pursuit. The result of this third advance was general panic amongst the strikers, and an increasing amount of hand to hand fighting between the two sides[citation needed].

                  Having repelled the picket line, the police withdrew again to their original positions. The miners moved forwards again, this time with more stone-throwing[citation needed].

                  At 9:25, the fully laden lorries began to leave the plant. This was the cue for another push by the strikers. This push was less friendly than the previous one, and again, the miners were pushed back.

                  Following a show of defiance by NUM leader Arthur Scargill, who walked in front of the police lines for a few moments, there was a lull in the proceedings, and most of the picketers headed to Orgreave village for refreshments. Those that were left sunbathed. The police on the other hand were hot in their uniforms, and a breakdown in logistics had left many without a drink for several hours. However, many police (including the long shields) were stood down during the lull.

                  What happened next is the subject of some debate. The police claim that a lorry tyre was rolled to within 20 yards of their line, and that stones started to be thrown again. Another account blamed an argument between miners and police. Given that the confrontation was not dying down, the police chose to make further charges.

                  This advance was more substantial than before, and left the now outnumbered pickets with no option but to cross the railway line. While most made it to the bridge, others had to scramble down the embankment and across the rails.

                  Some miners tried to fight police officers but were arrested, and fighting escalated to the point where miners were being beaten with batons. The police soon reached the bridge, taking and holding the field side. Here they were bombarded by missiles, with the miners utilising a nearby scrap-yard. A car was dragged from the yard, put across the road and set alight.

                  The option now for the police was either to withdraw into the field and risk another push by the miners, or to advance into the village and chase off the hostile strikers. After three short-range charges (during which Arthur Scargill was one of the injured), an advance was ordered. The miners were forced into the village with a new police line forming.

                  But stone-throwing continued, and so about 20 mounted police were ordered to advance. This finally resulted in the dispersal of the crowds, although several police officers ran in pursuit and reportedly[who?] attacked some of the fleeing miners.

                  More stoning resulted in a further charge down Rotherham Lane, during which a photographer who was helping an injured miner narrowly missed a baton strike, with the incident being one of many caught on camera. Lesley Boulton, a member of Women Against Pit Closures, was the subject of this iconic photograph taken by John Harris, which showed her before a mounted police officer in the act of attempting to strike her with his baton. Her arm is raised, and she has a surprised expression on her face.[2]

                     0 likes

                • David Preiser (USA) says:

                  So no analysis, Dan, but the link you cite has the BBC saying it was an accident but your source claims was deliberate because Tony Benn (!) told Thatcher’s enemies that some disgruntled union members from the BBC said they were ordered to do it?

                  Let’s see now, this was in 1991. According to ex-BBC Director General and current CEO of the New York Times, Mark Thompson, that was when the BBC had a massive left-wing bias”. He went on to say this about the very BBC NJ members Benn refers to: “….journalistically, staff were quite mystified by the early years of Thatcher.” 1991 would be around the middle of her premiership, so I guess you fell the BBC had figured her out by then and rushed to support her.

                  Whom do you believe? If you don’t buy their “an editorial error made in haste” excuse, I think a lot of people here might have some stories to share with you.

                     1 likes

                  • Demon says:

                    1991 was the start, or early period, of Major’s premiership.

                       1 likes

                    • David Preiser (USA) says:

                      Damn, you’re right. I keep forgetting how long Major actually lasted. So the BBC must have made a 180-degree bias turn when Thatcher was removed?

                         0 likes

                • David Preiser (USA) says:

                  PS: the Forbes piece was an open goal, man.

                     1 likes

            • Albaman says:

              Thatcher has a rather unique claim to fame in the history of Scottish football. On attending the 1988 Scottish Cup Final she managed to unite the supporters of both teams who roundly welcomed here with a chorus of “maggie maggie get tae f***”. This was accompanied by the brandishing of 70, 000+ red cards in her direction.

              The visit was also mentioned at PMQ’s with Alex Salmond asking: “Is the Prime Minister aware of the findings of last week’s Glasgow Herald opinion poll, which showed that the political effect in Scotland of her visit to the Scottish cup final and her epistle to the Caledonians was to increase Scottish National party support to its highest level for 10 years? Will the Prime Minister demonstrate her extensive knowledge of Scottish affairs by reminding the House of the names of the Moderator of the General Assembly, which she addressed, and the captain of Celtic, to whom she presented the cup?”

              Showing her legendary sense of humour Thatcher responded: “I had a very good day in Scotland. Whatever the Hon. Gentleman tries to say, Scotland’s economy and people are benefiting enormously from the way in which the Government are handling them.”

                 6 likes

        • Dysgwr_Cymraeg says:

          Dan, the labour party had 13 years in which to reopen at least some of those mines and reconstruct those shattered downtrodden communities. How many did they manage? Oh, really? .

             4 likes

          • Dan Ash says:

            Dysgwr, why bring up Labour? Have I mentioned them? You assume I support the party and will defend them. Why?
            As for the “shattered downtrodden communities” you mention, I can’t be certain, but your tone appears sneering. Perhaps you could clarify.
            Thanks

               2 likes

            • wallygreeninker says:

              The truth is that when people like the power workers brought the country to a halt they ended up going back to work because people put bricks through their windows and their kids were beaten up on the way to school. The miners were powerful because they lived in out of the way places where they had no non-miner neighbours who could get at them. Such a stranglehold was intolerable and in the end they overplayed their hand.

                 4 likes

              • Dan Ash says:

                In support of your argument, could I see some evidence that power workers and others went back to work after mob rule forced them to abandon their legitimate industrial action.

                   2 likes

                • wallygreeninker says:

                  Not mob rule: in the sixties and seventies public opinion was quite frequently the only limiting factor on trade union power.

                     3 likes

                  • Dan Ash says:

                    Bricks being hurled through windows and children beaten up on the way to school. And you say that’s not mob rule? I hope you didn’t stand for police commissioner in your area because your idea of law and order scares me!
                    Sorry to bring it up again, but where is your evidence that this direct action public opinion forced workers back to work.

                       2 likes

                    • wallygreeninker says:

                      You sound like an argumentative bore who doesn’t really have much of an acquaintance with a period I lived through. Think I’ll terminate this discussion here.

                         3 likes

                    • johnnythefish says:

                      Well said, it’s not the 70s I remember either, which basically was the unions bringing the country to a halt almost daily.

                      None of Thatcher’s legislation has been reversed by any later government.

                      And blaming Thatcher for the banking crisis? What a laugh. Northern Rock had nothing to do with casino banking (in the investment banking, sub-prime sense)and everything to do with lack of supervision – which was doing quite nicely under the B of E until Crash came along and relieved them of their role. Cue: the likes of Northern Rock go crazy with their lending (125% mortgages anybody?) with no visible means of balance sheet support.

                      But then, most of the experts on Thatcher we have to listen to these days weren’t even born when she came to power.

                         1 likes

  10. Dan Ash says:

    wallygreeninker, sorry to have angered you by asking for some facts rather than accepting your rant as, what you call, “The truth”.
    I am old enough to remember the 60′s & 70′s so do have some understanding of that period.
    BTW, when you were a child, did you take your ball home when you were losing the game?

       1 likes

    • chrisH says:

      Hi dan.
      You seem a courteous chap, so I shall continue in that spirit.
      I was a Guardian reading oaf and classic Lefty schoolteacher throughout the Thatcher era. I hated her, Tebbit and all the rest of them.
      Then I had kids, lived through what Majors lot did to the country and became something biggish in the Green Party up north.
      I then got a top job when my local Labour Council(that has a big part to play in the rise of new labour…an awful lot of names I could give you!), and got to experience what Labour meant, how they got to power in 97, and what they did to opponents for my 5 years under them.
      My “Orwell In Barcelona” period-not that I`d dare to compare myself to that titan!
      I came south, and know full well what Labour are up to.
      This does not excuse much of the useless Tories in their policies, nor defend their near-homogenous crew in power…I`d not defend much of what they`re doing at all.
      That said, they did not crash the car into a brick wall, whilst joyriding around Millbank or Upper St..they did not then pour petrol on the wreck, set fire to it, sneer at the fire brigade that struggle to find the hoses…nor want me to ask them back into my house to ensure that the taps that they left running have not been turned off.
      No sir…Labour did that!
      The BBCs/Guardians continual rewrite of our recent history is an ongoing disgrace worthy of Beria-why the hell do we have to pay for it?
      No-Labour are International Socialists, basically set for a lavender Hitler to schmooze us into their version of hell if they can do so…not necessarily on purpose at all times, but they`ll do it if we let the b***ers back.
      At this stage, thank God we still have the likes of Orwell getting BBC analysis, the likes of Hitchens, Phillips and Scruton getting the occasional airing….but for how long Dan?
      Hope you`ll keep writing…too many smash and grab troll types tend to major on real trivia when they get on here. You seem to have views I/we could relate to…can I give you the open goal of Lansley and NHS reforms, which are/were absolutely useless and not in manifestos?…see, I`m no Tory supporter, any more that you are Labour!
      Do we agree that the recent “Thatcher should be dead” stuff is a scandal that the BBC(for some reason) seem not to want to cover…why not Dan?…why on earth not?

         4 likes

      • Dan Ash says:

        Substitute Labour for Lover and you paint a picture of a once beautiful relationship gone sour. I can’t comment on the stories you talk about though I do wonder why the police were not informed.
        As for the BBC/Guardian rewriting history, you’ve lost me there. Let’s stick to the BBC as this is an anti Beeb site. If you’re saying there are programmes and arguments you disagree with then good. That’s how it should be. I don’t agree with all I hear either.
        As for Thatcher should be dead, do you mean the t-shirts at the party conference?

           0 likes

        • johnnythefish says:

          Dan,

          Above, you say: ‘Her intentions are not beside the point for this forum. We are after all talking about great leaders. And in my opinion anyone who divides a nation to the degree she did, rather than bring it together, is not a great leader. It may not have been her intention to do that, but it was the result.

          Can you suggest a way she could have done what she had to do, which was basically to curb out-of-control union power (including Scargill’s determination to bring the government down) in a more touchy-feely, inclusive sort of way, which is what you seem to be suggesting? That is not meant as sarcasm, by the way, but I get sick of hearing criticism of Mrs T from people – especially young actors and pop stars who think they’re being politically trendy – who weren’t even born when she was elected, let alone had to endure the misery wrought by the perpetual strikes of the 70s.

             0 likes

          • Dan Ash says:

            I don’t think anyone would ever accuse Thatcher of wanting to be touchy-feely. Appointing Ian MacGregor to head the Coal Board was an act of aggression. The man was openly hostile to unions. Did she ever seriously try to reach out to the communities she was about to decimate? She could have done what Hesseltine did (against Thatchers wishes by all accounts) in Liverpool when he took regeneration seriously. Instead she left mining communities to rot in a morass of unemployment.
            But it’s not just the miners strike. Look at the poll tax -a divided nation. Scotland rejecting her policies on mass. The north of England feeling (rightly or wrongly) neglected. I lived in the north then btw and I would say rightly.
            My point is that she never appeared to want dialogue.
            As for pop stars, if you’re in anyway concerned about their ramblings then you need, as the saying goes, to get out more.

               1 likes

            • Guest Who says:

              I was very much enjoying these exchanges, though some of the old cherry vulture guard, if still around, must be finding it hard to resist getting out the non-existent rule book on what constitutes ‘on-topic’.
              I was also wondering when the generously-credited courtesy start to slip.
              ‘you need, as the saying goes, to get out more’
              Or not.

                 2 likes

            • johnnythefish says:

              A slip, indeed. They just can’t resist it, can they?

              What a splendid revision of history, Dan, straight out of the BBC text book, where the miners were the helpless victims rather than than the stormtroopers of the union strike movement who could be found dishing out their own unique brand of democracy on every picket line up and down the country, supporting every Luddite cause held dear by the union movement in their protection of jobs and decadent working practices. Remember Wapping? Probably not.

              Scargill, by the way, never held a national ballot, he was that confident of his cause. Or has that disappeared down your own personal memory hole, too?

              Then there were the car workers. And the dockers. And the power workers. And the railwaymen. And the…..you get the drift. The country was in the grip of an extreme-left union movement (Jack Jones and the KGB, hmm?) and was going down the pan very rapidly (‘sick man of Europe’, and all that).

              Harsh medicine was needed and that was bound to cause strife. Again, I ask, how was she supposed to do it?

              FYI I live in the north, always have done, come from real working class roots and was brought up on a diet of common sense, good manners and hard work, and will be going out shortly – thanks.

                 2 likes

    • wallygreeninker says:

      I probably would have at 1.25 in the morning. The conversation was beginning to remind me of what Ian MacGregor said of Arthur Scargill in that book that was ghost written for him byRodney Tiler: ‘The Enemy within.’:”A man who is blind to the facts is not selective in his affliction. He is blind to all the facts.”

         0 likes

      • chrisH says:

        24/7 work this eh Mr inker?
        Been up since 4am, so due a sleep.
        Thanks for covering the night shift!
        Too true that tiredness isn`t good for me at my age…hardly going to listen to one of Jon Snows socks like Owen Jones , when we had REAL Labour types like O Farrell and Johnny Marr.
        Am I forbidden to say that he`s not done a tune since 1987, and so he should be pathetically grateful that Cameron at least is polite enough not to say so.
        Brown killed the Arctic Monkeys eh?…whatever happened to THEM once Gordie held them close?…urgh.

           1 likes

      • wallygreeninker says:

        correction: ‘The Enemies within.’ The subject of trade unions and public opinion was discussed in Anthony Sampson’s ‘Anatomy of Britain’ while the background to the power workers strike was given in the newspapers, no doubt at the time their action coincided with a miner’s strike, in late 1973 or 1974.

           0 likes

      • Dan Ash says:

        So please show me some facts.

           0 likes

  11. Oscar says:

    Hello. Great job. I did not imagine

    this. This is a great story. Thanks!

       0 likes