Based on comments from another thread. My selections: 1. Michael Portillo (Con) 2. Barbara Castle (Lab) 3. John Smith (Lab) I would add Rachel Reeves, but we might yet see that. 0 Vote up! 1 William Hague 2 Michael Portillo 3 Ken Clarke 0 Vote up! I would say Louise Mensch 0 Vote up! Pleasantly surprised at your #2 choice Judo. I didn't think you were a fan? Totally agree on Ken. 0 Vote up! 1 Alistair Darling 2 Leisure Suit Larry 0 Vote up! Denis Healey David Laws Ken Clarke 0 Vote up! David Laws - as in the guy who submitted tens of thousands of fraudulent expenses claims. No thank you. 0 Vote up! That should have been tens of thousands of pounds of fraudulent expenses claims. Over £40k in fact. Should have been put in prison. 0 Vote up! chukka probably 0 Vote up! Heh @ chill 0 Vote up! There’s a book about this. Not many of the above figure. 0 Vote up! Blair (additional term). 0 Vote up! Roy Jenkins 0 Vote up! John Smith Michael Heseltine (from ‘87) 0 Vote up! Mad frankie 0 Vote up! Peter Bone 0 Vote up! Enoch Powell 0 Vote up! Clarke and Healey 0 Vote up! Heh @ Powell. Too funny 0 Vote up! Nick Clegg Dominic Grieve Heidi Allen 0 Vote up! David Owen (although he was wrong about Brexit) Charles Kennedy before the booze got out of control (and would still knock spots off Bozza anyway) 0 Vote up! Clarke Hague Ashdown Milliband, D Kennedy 0 Vote up! Problem with Hague, although he’s bright, is that he came from the eurosceptic, Thatcherite wing and did nothing to drag the party back towards the centre and IDS and Howard (and Cameron) were just as bad, it’s just that Cameron was better at polishing the turd of zombie Thatcherite ideology and persuading people he and the party were more compassionate. The rot set in in opposition. 0 Vote up! Heidi Allen?? 0 Vote up! Enoch Powell is the correct answer. An intellectual titan. 0 Vote up! Not exactly great on the stump though. 0 Vote up! what Judy said. Ken Clarke opposed the Iraq war in 2003. If he'd been picked ahead of IDS in the Con leadership election in 2001, the 2005 election might have been a lot tighter. 0 Vote up! powell is the idea of a gr7 intellect only in the minds of those who pompously self-identify as “alternative thinkers” and believe themselves far cleverer than they actually r, when in reality their responses r uncritical breitbart regurgitations and they r totally in thrall 2 an extremely narrow worldview 0 Vote up! Enoch Powell is the correct answer. An intellectual titan. What is it about Oxford-educated classicist, Nietzsche fan (spurius is right; they’re mostly wrong’uns), imperialist racist Powell that appeals, asimov? Or was this a joke? 0 Vote up! Michael Hesaltine Paddy Ashdown Also agree with Ken Clarke. Not a PM but would have been interesting to see David Milliband’s trajectory if he’d won the Labour leadership 0 Vote up! In what way is being an intellectual titan any kind of qualification for being PM? Consider, in any event, that the only thing anyone remembers intellectual titan enoch powell saying, he was hopelessly and diametrically wrong about 0 Vote up! Powell wasn’t a racist. Anyone who actually knows anything about him and his life this knows this. He was also right about pretty much everything. Ken Clarke is a decent shout. Heseltine is a sneering and snooty aunt. 0 Vote up! Wasn't the title 'best prime minister we never had' originally given to RAB Butler (although I freely admit there may be prior examples of which I am unaware)? 0 Vote up! “hitler. shame about 1940 etc.” [/asimovmode] 0 Vote up! Surprised only one mention for Miliband D. I think he’d have had the biggest impact on where the country ended up now. 0 Vote up! Amazing how many talented politicians there were in the main 3 parties in the 90s, most of whom had had proper careers before politics. Now there is a total dearth of talent on all sides. Why is that? Is it because everyone now has to come through the ‘SPAD > partisan think tank > parachuted into safe seat’ route to get near the cabinet or shadow cabinet now? 0 Vote up! Sir Woke XR Remainer FBPE MBE14 Jan 22 08:22 In what way is being an intellectual titan any kind of qualification for being PM? Consider, in any event, that the only thing anyone remembers intellectual titan enoch powell saying, he was hopelessly and diametrically wrong about Including the bit where he said that by 2000 10% of the British population could be ethnic minorities and that they would be concentrated in the big cities? 0 Vote up! He was no more racist than a large chunk of the country he grew up in (which was, by and large, pretty racist). And he was personally principled in terms of standing up for equality of treatment for non-white colleagues in India. But he was racist. He believed it was very difficult or impossible for non-white people to be British. He believed that West Indians or Asians born in Britain were not British but remained West Indian or Asian. These are racist beliefs. 0 Vote up! Surely the best ones would be people who weren't politicians at all. I propose: Desmond Lynam Alex Ferguson Nick Faldo Emma Raducanu Jimmy Page Smashy out of Smashy and Nicey 0 Vote up! terry , not sure the 'had proper careers before politics' was a common thing in the 80s and 90s. I think the career politician thing has been around forever 0 Vote up! He was very bright and his analysis of the impact of immigration on his constituency and other parts of the West Midlands was in many ways not inaccurate. But his faith in his own intellect and reasoning when applied to mass populations (rather than individual cases) took him down a very dark path. He likely wasn’t particularly racist when it came to people he knew and interacted with, but his entire value system and assumptions were racist. 0 Vote up! amazed to discover that lynam presented the today programme in the 70s 0 Vote up! Including the bit where he said that by 2000 10% of the British population could be ethnic minorities and that they would be concentrated in the big cities? that’s just a bald demographic point the bit where he is wrong is in the “so wot?” 0 Vote up! And the 1964 Smethwick by-election (which was not Powell’s doing, in fairness, but was part of the same cultural struggles and was just down the road) was the nadir of British politics on immigration until Mr Farage got to work and really dragged this country into the gutter. 0 Vote up! Heseltine would have been a good shout but for his role in the treacherous treatment of Lady Thatcher. what this country needs right now is an intellectual Rayndian right winger. Bring back standards. Stop appealing to the lowest common denominator 0 Vote up! what this country needs right now is an intellectual Rayndian right winger. Bring back standards. Stop appealing to the lowest common denominator Unironically this. The country is too far gone though sadly. 0 Vote up! Yes but the middle has been hollowed out and with it any space for intellect. 0 Vote up! Jeremy Corbyn Michael Foot Tony Benn 0 Vote up! Tony Benn not a bad shout - a properly patrician PM with a sense of duty and noblesse oblige. 0 Vote up! The absolute last thing this country needs is an intellectual Randian rightwinger. That’s Jacob Rees-Mogg territory. Rand was a crank and a very shallow thinker. 0 Vote up! Powell’s biggest disappointment was not being Viceroy of India. He was fluent in Punjabi and is on record as saying Indian culture was superior to European. Anyway, the answer is Joseph Chamberlain. 0 Vote up! I’m not a big fan of the line that Mogg is a barmaid’s idea of an intellectual gentleman (apart from anything else, most barmaids I have known are pretty shrewd judges of character and would spot Mogg for the intellectual and social fraud he is a mile off). But Rand is definitely the modern Tory’s (misplaced) idea of a philosopher/intellectual. 0 Vote up! https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/news/2003/jan/06/guard… 0 Vote up! Powell was an intellectual titan, and a very astute politician. Gr8 cabinet minister. He was far too controversial and outspoken to be PM though. Lol @ Tony Benn. Bloody hell. Just imagine. We'd all be speaking Russian by now and living in concrete tower blocks. 0 Vote up! The same, incidentally, applies to Powell's hero Joseph Chamberlain. 0 Vote up! Heh @ the ideas of Ayn Rand 0 Vote up! Being fluent in Punjabi isn’t much help outside Punjab, to be honest. Although I don’t disagree Powell would have loved the Viceroy gig. He was born to be an imperial potentate, not his fault that the Empire was in terminal decline… 0 Vote up! jury’s really doubled down on going alt right hasn’t she, ever since being mocked mercilessly 4 immedi7ly regretting voting brexit 0 Vote up! Dave Davis (instead of Dave Cameron) Dave Miliband (instead of Ed Miliband) Not necessarily the best PMs but would have preferred those outcomes in their respective leadership elections. 0 Vote up! Jeremy Clarkson 0 Vote up! Would Powell have wanted it? He said 'All political careers end in failure'. 0 Vote up! Tony Benn not a bad shout - a properly patrician PM with a sense of duty and noblesse oblige. Given he rejected the idea of aristocracy and all titles I am not sure he would say he had a sense of noblesse oblige - rather a sense of economic and social justice and equality 0 Vote up! Tony Benn mad as march hare 0 Vote up! John Smith - he was sensible and pragmatic, but actually had some principles and a moral compass, which was completely lacking in TB. The world changed after 9/11, so it's unrealistic to think we might not have ended up in 2 wars, most British PM's would have supported the US, whatever their leanings, but things may have played out very differently. He also might not have let GB get away with the whole "off balance sheet" magical thinking that has underpinned outsourcing, PFI, PPP and the other things that have hollowed out and badly damaged huge parts of the public sector and the public finances generally. Portillo is also a good shout, but the problem is that when he might have become PM he was a political zealot with very little common sense and could have been a disaster. He's become far more sensible and pragmatic as he's got older, but he'd never be elected by large chunks of the Tory vote. Ken Clarke would have been a rubbish choice - he's always tended to answer the question he's asked and generally quite honestly, sometimes even saying what he genuinely thinks. Poor character traits in a politician, let alone a PM. 0 Vote up! as i pointed out above ken clarke opposed the iraq war. whether he would have done so as pm is I accept a different question. (and of course even he had won the con leadership, he would have fought the 2005 election as leader not the 2001 election) john smith is hard to comment on because so much of his long career was in opposition and if I remember rightly labour's polling only started sky rocketing after he died 0 Vote up! Surely it's Keith Vaz? 0 Vote up! David Laws an interesting shout. Plausible. John Smith a good call. Heh @ Tony Benn. Portillo less clear. The Portillo that came back from the wilderness was certainly more electable/sound. Not sure his heart was in it by then tho. 0 Vote up! Nigel Farage obviously. 0 Vote up! Great thread by Duxo although I doubt he will be pleased with my choices. Palmerston Hurd (as a counter balance to Thatcher's vagaries and a better alternative to Major) Grieve Yvette Cooper (she was a tall poppy shadowed by the New Labour shrub) 0 Vote up! I'm afraid Palmerston is ineligible. Can you hazard a guess as to why? 0 Vote up! Grieve 🤡🤡🤡🤡🤣🤣🤣🤣🤡🤡🤣🤡 0 Vote up! triggered!!!! 0 Vote up! Heh @ 3 ducks. I’ll have Churchill, please… 0 Vote up! Alan Johnson Yvette Cooper David Gauke Hugh Grant 0 Vote up! David Beckham’s right foot… 0 Vote up! Duxo - By the time he got in, he was practically a dead man walking without much in his wake. The nation missed his leadership in his prime. Also if someone can wish for Blair's fourth term, it is only natural to wish for Palmerston in No 10 during his mid years in politics. 0 Vote up! This is so frustrating. 0 Vote up! Roy Jenkins ffs 0 Vote up! Hugh Gaitskill ffs 0 Vote up! Gaitskell's a good shout. I did think about adding him. 0 Vote up! https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-prime-ministers/steve-richards/978… 0 Vote up! Bernie Grant George Galloway Diane Abbot and of course Jezza. 0 Vote up! Do you do standup as well? 0 Vote up! I contemplated it but I dont think the Cantona approach is how they would expect you to deal with hecklers. 0 Vote up! Jeremy Corbyn in 2017. Labour’s manifesto that year was hard to argue with, compared with the sh1tshow that was TM’s govt. 0 Vote up! Nick Clegg and David Laws to be taken out and shot. I say that as a Lib Dem voter. Charles Kennedy a decent shout. Or Paddy Ashdown. 0 Vote up! Billy Connolly 0 Vote up! Rex when I suggested Jezza I was talking about Thorpe not that CLINT Corbyn. 0 Vote up! I would also add Ruth Davidson in that list. Boris buried her. 0 Vote up! Tony Benn is a fairly bad shout, actually. He gave every impression of being a man who didn’t take electoral politics or practical policymaking at all seriously. Wilson, in his first premiership, was a pretty good PM. Like Lyndon Johnson in the US he got the hot seat at a time when it was particularly hot, economically, socially and in foz poz terms. Like Johnson, he passed a lot of social reform legislation; not on the scale of that in the US, but in the U.K. Attlee had already done quite a lot that needed to be done. In contrast with Johnson, Wilson’s best foreign policy call (and perhaps the best thing he did as PM, full stop) was keeping Britain out of Vietnam, a strategy the aussies unwisely declined to follow. (A key moment in the divergence between Britain and Australia, that, as the latter began to think and act more as an APAC nation.) You don’t get to choose what your big calls, and therefore your legacy, will be. Wilson got his biggest call right. 0 Vote up! Francis Urquhart could really do well right now. 0 Vote up! Rex when I suggested Jezza I was talking about Thorpe not that CLINT Corbyn. You’d prefer an alleged criminal to a chap pursuing broadly democratic socialist policies and a soft brexit? Ok. 0 Vote up! "Ruth Davidson" Sorry, I should have made it clear. You can't vote for here-today-gone-tomorrow non-entities from local politics, whom no ordinary person has ever heard of, and who will be completely forgotten within about 50 years. 0 Vote up! "David Gauke" Seriously, who???? 0 Vote up! Would Powell have wanted it? He said 'All political careers end in failure'. He was a tad dramatic. He also spoke about wishing he had been killed in the war. 0 Vote up! *bump* 0 Vote up! This will never make 100. 0 Vote up! Mo Mowlem. A life lost too soon. 0 Vote up! I've tunned this bad boy. 0 Vote up! Refresh Back to board Join the discussion Login Register 0 Vote up!