You know it’s a real shame, it really is. John Major’s recent speeches at the Law Society and the London School of Economics were witty, intellectual, informative and genuinely interesting - for anybody who only saw one or the other. Unfortunately, for my 18 Doughty Street colleague and cameraman Ben Jacques filming his speech at the Law Society for Conservative Future and his debate with Elinor Goodman at the LSE was like listening to a broken record.
Gags about how Tony Blair’s and New Labours famous slogan “Education, Education, Education” was first used by Lenin in 1917, and how he didn’t mean it either, went down like a lead balloon with Ben second time around, as did his oh so amusing anecdote about No.10 spokesmen, who were career civil servants and trustworthy under his leadership, but who would now make wise men check the calendar when No.10 says Friday follows Thursday.
Anyway, if you want to watch the great man in action at the Law Society watch 18DS at 7.30pm tonight. Here's a 15 minute extract.
John Major's period as Prime Minister with a small majority, compared to Blair's large majority shows just how resilient, strong and decent Major was. By far the best Conservative leader in the last fifty years.
Sorry Iain, but I couldn't make head nor tail of that post. I think that must go down as a 'brain-dump' or 'stream of consciousness' post.
Heavens, didn't you ever have to listen to Portillo at dinners when he was a Minister? Talk about same old, same old.
Ah, that's better. Thanks for the clip, it's great to have the chance to see events like this.
Why anyone should want to listen (?) to John Cones Black Wednesday Maasticht Major beats the hell out of me. Still there is no accounting for taste.
"Why anyone should want to listen (?) to John Cones Black Wednesday Maasticht Major beats the hell out of me."
- because he is a decent man who has plenty to say about the current bunch of semi-crooks?
- because having been at the centre of government for a decade his reflections will be informed and relevant?
- because he saw the danger which NuLab and its half-baked devolution schemes posed to the Union long before many of us did?
- because being one of the first people to be nailed by a pack of lies from Alisdair Campbell he has insights into their poisonous spin machine?
Enjoyed watching John Major's speech on Doughty street.
Steven Hammond programme was excellent too, thought he was very impressive.
Iain, always find these one to one interviews interesting, and its a refreshing change from the confrontational style of interviewers like Paxman. Any chance of getting Guido on to discuss his blog and the rise of the political blogsphere in general? Just promise you will be gentle with him!
If it's a good speech why change it?
Just change the audience.
Television killed the Music Halls precisely because too many people got to see the show. Hence the end of travelling artistes. Mind you some were not all they were cracked up to be...
There's a lesson there, Iain
I am sorry pj but your defence just makes me laugh. Major sounded like and was a joke. No wonder the Beeb interviews him so often.
Politician recycles speech shock. Iain, I think this piece was rather graceless.
This reminded me why I found Major so annoying as did millions of others.
Blind ambition driven by a vacuous intellect (John Prescott with sentences). What a disaster after Thatcher. That woman's Achilles' heel was trusting high offices of state to oleagenous self-satisfied incompetents like Major, Baker and Lawson who engineered all her failures.
I believe more people voted for the Conservatives under John Major than for any other party in British history.
I don't think millions did find him annoying, his personal rating was better than that of the rabble which was in his party. Thatcher was unable to stay loyal to the Conservative Party in the 1990s, taking opportunity to do him down, where he spent most of the decade sorting her mistakes out. Major on the other hand has remained loyal to the Conservative Party since his departure, which shows greater strength than Thatcher's disloyalty.
"the great man" ?
Sorry Iain, I thought this was about John Major?
A lot of people do think John Major was a great Prime Minister. One million people wrote to him in 1997 after his Election defeat. Frankly, I voted Labour in that election, because of the arrogance of some in his party. Major as a man outshone his party.
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