World Clock

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Historians Deliver Damming Verdict on Brown's Premiership

In a poll of 100 academics, former Labour leader Gordon Brown comes in as the third worst Prime Minister in post-war Britain. This is the first poll of its kind to be released since the Labour party were defeated in the May general election.

Gordon Brown comes in 10th out of the 12 post World War 2 Prime Ministers in the UK. The reasoning behind the outcome in this poll was as a result of the huge amount of debt that was left behind when he left office. The poll does however look favourably on the role Brown played in the financial crisis. More bad news for the former PM and chancellor is that his rival Tony Blair came in as the third most successful Prime Ministers, with Margaret Thatcher coming second and Clement Attlee coming the top of the list, deemed to be the most successful PM in over the last half a century.

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Clement Attlee who came in top was PM between 1945-1951 and was a key architect in the establishment up the NHS and the Welfare State, both of which still remain today.

Harold Macmillan the leader during the "never had it so good" period of post-war Britain came in fourth place.

While Winston Churchill was in sixth place in this poll, it must be noted that it only takes into account his Prime Ministerial role in peacetime from 1951-1955. Winston Churchill remains in the vast majority of polls/studies and surveys carried out the most popular and successful PM in British history during his tenure in office during WWII.

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The role of the miners also played a deciding factor in the outcome of this poll, since Edward Heath came lower down the list than James Callaghan who governed during the "winter of discontent".

Finally in last place and voted as Britain's worst PM in post-war Britain was Anthony Eden who's catastrophic invasion of Suez, had long lasting implications on Britain's foreign policy and effectively ended Britain's prominence in world affairs.

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Kevin Theakston of Leeds University, who compiled the poll said a determining factor behind the outcome was the length of time the person had served in office. Pointing out that each of the top five PMs served at least six years in Number 10.

This article was originally published in the UKs Daily Mail newspaper on August 3, 2010

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