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The Major Years

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Knut Anders Fosters Voles
May 26, 2020, 4:09pm Report to Moderator
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The Major years - ignoring political bias (if you can), what was Major’s premiership (1990-1997) like - what are your memories of it?

I was only 8 when he took over from Thatcher so I was too young to understand. I’m always surprised that he was PM for 7 years and I forget how late in the 90s (1997) that Blair came to power.

As a young teenager growing up in the 90s, I obviously have a nostalgic view of that period, but looking back, was it not Major who built the foundations for many of Blair’s successes?

To me, Major is always remembered (or forgotten) for his boring Spitting Image persona, post Black Friday economic revival, cabinet scandals and Edwina Currie.

I am genuinely interested as I am too young to remember / understand.



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jamesgtfc
May 26, 2020, 4:26pm Report to Moderator
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Most things that are implemented by government take a full term for the full effect to be realised so most governments spend 5 years putting right their predecessors mistakes that their successor then takes credit for!
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HackneyHaddock
May 26, 2020, 5:18pm Report to Moderator
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I'm biased as someone who's generally a conservative and around the same age but I think the Premierships of the likes of Major and Brown will be reassessed to be much more positive as the years pass by.

I've been interested in politics for a long time and have read Major's autobiography as well as those of other figures from the time, and also met local MPs from the area both before and after 1997.

I would say, without wanting to sound like a "What have the Romans ever done for us?" speech, that following the division and radicalism of the Thatcher years, the Major administration was a largely benign government, with several key achievements both in terms of positive legislation and longer term reforms, while also being (towards the end) somewhat shambolic with scandals engulfing senior figures.

Negatives:

-  Black Wednesday recession was terrible for the country
-  Scandal dogged the government
-  Major was hamstrung by some truly dreadful ministers and backbenchers who actively tried to disrupt his government because they never got over the removal of Mrs Thatcher
-  As the country pulled out of recession and towards a balanced budget, public sector investment didn't increase enough to stop a lot of schools and hospitals being quite dilapidated.  Barralad is probably the best person to give you a frontline view on this.
-  There was an internal war over the EC/EU with Major treading a fine line between moderate EU-scepticism and aggressive anti-EU sentiment on his backbenches
-  He failed to hold a referendum on the Maastricht Treaty, which in retrospect could have helped gain acceptance for the transition from the EC to the EU, or at least (had it been rejected) given Major grounds to ask for some reforms and changes in Brussels.

Positives

-  After the Thatcher years, he was a more emollient figure, abolishing the Poll Tax and introducing the Disability Discrimination Act.
-  Showed calm foreign policy leadership during Gulf War and Bosnia, operating through defined UN mandates and in an international coalition.
-  Introduced National Lottery and through the Ministry of National Heritage, sowed the seeds for DCMS and the growth in the arts, sports (including our much-improved Olympic performance!) and culture over the last 25 years (though too London-centric)
-  Followed the Anglo-Irish Agreement with the groundwork for the Good Friday Agreement
-  Kept Britain out of the Euro
-  The post-Black Wednesday budgets did return the country to growth and when Gordon Brown had delivered the final Ken Clarke Budget and its effects had worked into the economy, the national budget was in surplus

There'll be a lot more that others can add, and you'll find died-in-the-wool Labour supporters who will say he didn't invest adequately in public services and oversaw a torrent of sleaze.  I'd say there may be truth in those charges, but also that he had a majority of about 20 and after resignations (many of which were for personal indiscretions that wouldn't even make the papers nowadays) and deaths, he was effectively a minority government held hostage by the worst sort of backbenchers left over from the Thatcher years.

In all, I don't think he'll go down as a great PM, but his reputation will improve over time, and I think most people now, given how we're currently governed,  would bite your arm off to have him back!
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Gaffer58
May 26, 2020, 5:21pm Report to Moderator
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All I remember about Major was, if there was a cricket match on he would be there.
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Grantham_Mariner
May 26, 2020, 5:32pm Report to Moderator

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Don't think anyone will ever put up a statue of John Major.

I just wish the same could be said of Thatcher, there will be one shortly in Grantham. Luckily the trees will hide it from a most angles.


If the football is bad you can always watch the gulls.
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arryarryarry
May 26, 2020, 5:43pm Report to Moderator
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Just another lying cheating male masturbator who treated the British people with contempt.

In line with the likes of Blair, Brown, Camoron, May and Johnson.
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BarkerDan10
May 26, 2020, 5:48pm Report to Moderator
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Non-football


Sailing In International Waters, my first book about Grimsby Town’s international players available from
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Saili.....589795010&sr=8-1
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Grantham_Mariner
May 26, 2020, 6:53pm Report to Moderator

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Quoted from arryarryarry
Just another lying cheating male masturbator who treated the British people with contempt.

In line with the likes of Blair, Brown, Camoron, May and Johnson.


Big fan of politicians I see.  



If the football is bad you can always watch the gulls.
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arryarryarry
May 26, 2020, 7:26pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Grantham_Mariner


Big fan of politicians I see.  



Always have been😉
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dapperz fun pub
May 26, 2020, 9:29pm Report to Moderator
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All I remember is he was shagging edwina currie ffs ... he was useless he brought in the Pfi schemes in the nhs which Blair carried On  absolute fookn disaster  
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