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,

James Landale: Now we're left with dishy Dave

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..."

James Landale Article written by James Landale James Landale Deputy political editor

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  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    @Tiger - please get facts right, IMF do not back IDS's statement that previous government left country bankrupt.
    There is no reason for austerity measures, the whole exercise is to rape the NHS and dismantle the welfare state - some of us DON'T accept any party/corporate propaganda.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    You are spot on - Can't believe anyone believing the Tory lies about there not being any money - It's complete rubbish and this mob in government know exactly what propoganda they are spreading.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Careful #4 – you’ll have the loony right on your back. David Thatcher will go down as a PM to remember though; he makes Tony Bliar look honest.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    #6 – my neighbours used to go out to work with my home in darkness & my curtains drawn, but that was because I was either in bed following a night shift, still in bed prior to a late shift, or AT work on an early shift. Nothing to do with claiming benefits despite liars like IDS and Osborne trying to imply otherwise. All politicians are liars but this bunch of Tory filth abuses the name.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    They talk about the lazy skivers on benefit who cant get a job but in the real world you wouldnt employ any of them in the cabinet - they would have nothing to contribute to any business.... oh except big expenses!


Comments 5 of 8



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