Best Prime Minister we never had

Best Prime Minister the UK never had?

  • Lord Beaverbrook

  • John Profumo

  • Enoch Powell

  • Reginald Maudling

  • Michael Heseltine

  • Cecil Parkinson

  • Randolph Churchill

  • Kier Harding

  • Oswald Mosley

  • George Brown

  • Tony Benn

  • Tony Crosland

  • Ton Greenwood

  • Roy Jenkins

  • David Owen

  • Herbert Samuel

  • John Simon

  • Jo Grimmond

  • David Steel


Results are only viewable after voting.
None of the above:
1900-1925 Richard Burdon Haldane;
1925- 1935 J.R. Clynes/ Austen Chamberlain;
1935-1945 Philip Cuncliffe-Lister /Lord Woolton;
1945-1955 Herbert Morrison/ A V Alexander;
1955-1965 R A Butler;
1965-1975 Roy Mason;
1975-1985 William Whitelaw;
1985-1995 Richard Needham/Patrick Mayhew/ Frank Field/Norman Tebbit;
1995-2005 Donald Dewar/John Reid/Michael Howard;
 
And that is leaving out people like F H Keeling, Raymond Asquith, Edward Horner, Roger Bushell and Ronald Cartland who displayed much early promise but perished in the two World Wars
 
JEREMY CORBYN
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Forgive me I don't want to start a fight, but why on earth would it be Jeremy Corbyn of all people? He lead Labour to its biggest electoral defeat since the Thirties and under his leadership anti-semitism has been seriously enabled in the Labour Party.

On an unrelated note, Hugh Gaitskell and Roy Jenkins would probably be my top picks for Best PM (we never had).
 
Forgive me I don't want to start a fight, but why on earth would it be Jeremy Corbyn of all people? He lead Labour to its biggest electoral defeat since the Thirties and under his leadership anti-semitism has been seriously enabled in the Labour Party.

On an unrelated note, Hugh Gaitskell and Roy Jenkins would probably be my top picks for Best PM (we never had).
Mostly his social policies. This isn't about their popularity on them getting in, it's how they'd change the government, IMO.
 
Mostly his social policies.
Ok I can agree with you on his social policies: National Education Service, National Care Service, and affordable Social Housing would be great.

But his constitutional/foreign policy views are quite crumby. He wants to get rid of the monarchy (bad), is in favour of unilateral nuclear disarmament (bad), has said he would get rid of the Army (bad), is in favour of a second independence referendum in Scotland (bad), and has yet to take a strong position on Brexit except that he doesn't like the Tories deals (bad).
 
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I know Tony Benn is a leftie.

Any chance he’s also a believer in . . . solid medium step, get feedback, see how it works out, another solid medium step? Heck, some things might work better than first estimates!
 
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I know Tony Benn is a leftie.

Any chance he’s also a believer in . . . solid medium step, get feedback, see how it works out, another solid medium step? Heck, some things might work better than first estimates!
As a medium ranking Minister when the facts on the ground didn't match his opinions, he tried to change the facts to the extent of breaking Parliamentary rules and being economical with the actuality to the extent that his Permanent Secretary had to go over his head to the Prime Minister Harold Wilson who shifted him to another department and never gave him any further promotion. Not what you would call early promise.
 
I'm no expert on British politics but I've heard Denis Healey and Peter Shore described as part of this category.
Peter Shore is a much overrated figure IMHO. His anti-EU stance makes him popular as a might have been with Labour Leavers but virtually all sources (including Harold Wilson) agree that he wasn't very good or capable in Ministerial office.
Healey was certainly papabile and would have been a good PM, probably slightly better than Harold Wilson (paranoid, funny friends and quite possibly corrupt) or James Callaghan ( stooge of the Trade Unions followed by Chester Allan Arthur style conversion on reaching the top job) but he was a senior Cabinet minister in both their administrations. Probably a slightly less bad 1970s than OTL with Healey at the helm but not significantly better or transformative either.
 
But his constitutional/foreign policy views are quite crumby. He wants to get rid of the monarchy (bad), is in favour of universal nuclear disarmament (bad), has said he would get rid of the Army (bad), is in favour of a second independence referendum in Scotland (bad), and has yet to take a strong position on Brexit except that he doesn't like the Tories deals (bad).
I wouldn't nominate Corbyn for this is in a million years, but it is worth saying that a lot of that is a mischaracterisation of what he would actually do as PM. Abolishing the monarchy and the nuclear deterrent are personal viewpoints which did not become party policy -though he said he would not use trident if he became PM. The idea he wants to get rid of the army comes from one speech in 2012 in which he said:
Wouldn't it be wonderful if every politician around the world instead of taking pride in the size of their Armed Forces did what Costa Rica have done and abolished their Army, and took pride in the fact they don't have an Army.
So whilst he did sound favourable towards the idea, it is not clear whether he was saying Britain should unilaterally disband its armed forces, or whether all countries should do it multilaterally, which has significantly different consequences for national security.

Putting that to one side for a moment, it is worth adding that Labour was not in favour of getting rid of the army under his leadership. In fact, it pledged to meet the defence spending target of 2% of GDP, which was more than the previous leadership, and indeed, most other NATO countries pledged.
 
In a timeline, I had the Labour party overwhelmed by massive entryism- in the nineteen -twenties.
From the British Legion. How else are you going to get the Land Fit for Heroes built?
Prime Minister Earl Haig...
 

Coulsdon Eagle

Monthly Donor
I see no mention of John Smith in there.
I joined Labour under John Smith, having been a non-member voter for 15 years. I remember feeling crushed when he died suddenly. He would get my vote.

Historically, to succeed Attlee, Ernest Bevin - a giant in Labour's history.

No Robin Cook? Or, since her time has passed, Yvette Cooper?

I'd put all these above Bennie, the old soak George Brown or Crosland as better options as a Labour PM.

Before my time, and I don't like what I read about him, but RA Butler was always considered in the running for the leadership of the Conservatives in the 50's & 60's (which alos meant becoming PM). Does anyone support him?
 
As a medium ranking Minister when the facts on the ground didn't match his opinions, he [Tony Benn] tried to change the facts to the extent of breaking Parliamentary rules . . .
In other words, business as normal! :openedeyewink:

And I’ll give you another example, safety rules in a chemical plant. If a company says, we have good interplay between theory and practice, they mean they supervise and monitor their employees and make sure they follow the rules. It would be vanishingly rare to actually change the rules to reflect practice and experience. For example, deciding, okay, this part is some chickenshit stuff we can relax about, whereas this other stuff is the important stuff we should be even more serious about. Well, we can’t do this in part because we have external commitments. We have policies and practices we’ve put in writing, we have the EPA inspecting, we have legal liability. It’s far better to have the rules even if we know the enployees only partially follow them [except it’s not]. And when everything’s a priority, it’s just another way of saying nothing is a priority. [a friend of mine works in a plant, but I don’t]

And similar external commitments in politics, right?
 
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