Our unforgettable prime ministers
One or two folk have very kindly suggested that I give this poem a second outing. It was commissioned by Al Murray, the pub landlord, who guest edited the Today programme on 1 January. He performs a sketch that looks back at past prime ministers and he felt some in his audience could profit from a useful mnemonic to remind them of our former leaders:
"Lord Salisbury, Balfour, Campbell-B
Kicked off the twentieth century.
Then Asquith and Lloyd George (the goat)
Were wartime premiers of note.
For some months, Bonar Law was there,
It then became a long job share
Between the two wars, back to back:
Stanley Baldwin and Ramsay Mac.
When Neville Chamberlain appeased
Mr Churchill was none too pleased.
He led us all to victory;
We thanked him by choosing Attlee
To fight instead the new Cold War.
But aged Winston fancied more,
Then Eden, Super Mac and Home
before 10 Downing Street found room
For Harold Wilson - pipe and all!
Till Grocer Heath picked up the ball.
Wilson came back - alas for him
It was too much, so Sunny Jim
Took over, amid discontent,
Which paved the way for the advent
Of Margaret Thatcher, Tory Queen,
Who for ten seasons reigned supreme.
John Major had a right nightmare
Till on came shiny Tony Blair
Who for a decade held off Brown.
When at last Gordon seized the crown,
He never was the nation's fave
So now we are left with dishy Dave
Who with Lord Salisbury shared a school
Thus proving some are born to rule..."