The measure of a great PM is helping the whole nation

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From: Ian Barnes, Blake Court, Wheldrake, York.

YOU invited comment regarding Bernard Ingham’s column as to who was the greatest post-war Prime Minister (The Yorkshire Post, October 15). It was inevitable that he would nominate Margaret Thatcher, admitting in his article his prejudice towards her. This would suggest he has not given an unbiased opinion to his conclusions regarding the other 12 candidates!

Thatcher was a tyrant who did untold damage to this country, she decimated whole communities in parts of the north of England, Scotland and Wales and unfortunately some of these areas have not recovered 30 years later.

We had high inflation, causing thousands of people to lose their homes because they couldn’t afford the increases in interest rates. There was high unemployment, the debacle of the poll tax, riots on the streets, and she also created a greed factor among certain sections of society who had no regard for the less able, which is unfortunately still true today. 

My premise for identifying the greatest post-war Prime Minister is as follows, what greater good did he do for the entire nation? This includes the poor, the less able and normal working class men and women, and policies that succeeded in making a difference to such people’s lives, rather than just looking after a certain section of society.

Well, my choice has got to be Clement Attlee whose Government gave us the NHS, which I might add was at the time fiercely opposed at its creation by the Tory party. 

My second choice is Harold Wilson who gave us the Open University. This gave ordinary men and woman in this country the opportunity to better themselves by obtaining degrees in their chosen subjects, which in turn would hopefully enhance their career prospects and earnings. This is something they possibly would never have achieved by the normal route to a university education. 

My third choice is Tony Blair whose Government brought about the end of hostilities in Northern Ireland and also introduced the smoking ban in public places, no doubt saving thousands of lives.    

These three Prime Ministers brought about social change, which improved and touched the lives of people at every level of society and by doing so benefiting this countries citizens. The rest were either from a privileged background, with no understanding of the average person in the street needs or just downright incompetent.