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john major Quotes

John Major Quotes

Birth Date: 1943-03-29 (Monday, March 29th, 1943)


john major life timeline

American Revolution; British Major John Andre arrested as a spy by American soldiers exposing Benedict Arnold s treason.Saturday, September 23rd, 1780
United States Marine Major John Glenn flies a F8U Crusader supersonic jet from California to New York in 3 hours, 23 minutes and 8 seconds setting a new transcontinental speed record.Tuesday, July 16th, 1957
John Major s Conservative Party wins an unprecedented fourth general election victory in the United Kingdom.Thursday, April 9th, 1992
History of Northern Ireland: The Downing Street Declaration is issued by British Prime Minister John Major and Irish Taoiseach Albert Reynolds.Wednesday, December 15th, 1993
A military coup in Sierra Leone replaces President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah with Major Johnny Paul Koromah.Sunday, May 25th, 1997


    • In the next ten years we will have to continue to make changes which will make the whole of this country a genuinely classless society.
    • I want to see us build a country that is at ease with itself, a country that is confident and a country that is able and willing to build a better quality of life for all its citizens.
    • Robert Hughes (Labour MP for Aberdeen North): With regard to the Prime Minister's desire for a classless society and social mobility, will he explain why there are no women in his Cabinet, or is the only woman in his Cabinet the back-seat driver? John Major: In recent years, in all aspects of life in this country, women have been taking a higher profile: in the law, in commerce, in the civil service, in industry and in politics - and that will continue. As those women would wish it to be, they will reach the top on merit - oh yes, and if the hon. Gentleman is patient, he will find women aplenty in top positions in my Government. Indeed, if he had waited awhile, perhaps even to the end of today, he would not have asked that question.
    • Everyone who has seen the recent news reports has been shocked and moved by the suffering children in Sarajevo. At the end of last week, we told the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees that we stood ready to evacuate children from Sarajevo to the United Kingdom for medical treatment, or to send medical teams to Yugoslavia to provide treatment on the spot. If it is possible to treat the children on the spot, near to their families, with people around them who speak their language and in relatively familiar surroundings, that is obviously the best way. We have told the International Red Cross that we are willing to fly out medical personnel at very short notice if needed. I hope to meet the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in London later this week to see what further action is needed.
    • All my adult life I have seen British governments driven off their virtuous pursuit of low inflation by market problems or political pressures. I was under no illusions when I took Britain into the ERM. I said at the time that membership was no soft option. The soft option, the devaluer's option, the inflationary option, that would in my opinion be a betrayal of Britain's future.
    • I am walking over hot coals suspended over a deep pit at the bottom of which are a large number of vipers baring their fangs.
    • Fifty years on from now, Britain will still be the country of long shadows on cricket grounds, warm beer, invincible green suburbs, dog lovers and pools fillers and, as George Orwell said, 'Old maids bicycling to holy communion through the morning mist' and, if we get our way, Shakespeare will still be read even in school.
    • John Major: What I don't understand, Michael, is why such a complete wimp like me keeps winning everything. Michael Brunson: You've said it, you said precisely that. Major: I suppose Gus will tell me off for saying that, won't you Gus? Brunson: No, no, no ... it's a fair point. The trouble is that people are not perceiving you as winning. Major: Oh, I know ... why not? Because ... Brunson: Because rotten sods like me, I suppose, don't get the message clear [laughs]. Major: No, no, no. I wasn't going to say that - well partly that, yes, partly because of S-H-one-Ts like you, yes, that's perfectly right. But also because those people who are opposing our European policy have said the way to oppose the Government on the European policy is to attack me personally. The Labour Party started before the last election. It has been picked up and it is just one of these fashionable things that slips into the Parliamentary system and it is an easy way to proceed. Brunson: But I mean you ... has been overshadowed ... my point is there, not just the fact that you have been overshadowed by Maastricht and people don't ... Major: The real problem is this ... Brunson: But you've also had all the other problems on top - the Mellors, the Mates ... and it's like a blanket - you use the phrase 'masking tape' but I mean that's it, isn't it? Major: Even, even, even, as an ex-whip I can't stop people sleeping with other people if they ought not, and various things like that. But the real problem is ... Brunson: I've heard other people in the Cabinet say 'Why the hell didn't he get rid of Mates on Day One?' Mates was a fly, you could have swatted him away. Major: Yeah, well, they did not say that at the time, I have to tell you. And I can tell you what they would have said if I had. They'd have said 'This man was being set up. He was trying to do his job for his constituent. He had done nothing improper, as the Cabinet Secretary told me. It was an act of gross injustice to have got rid of him'. Nobody knew what I knew at the time. But the real problem is that one has a tiny majority. Don't overlook that. I could have all these clever and decisive things that people wanted me to do and I would have split the Conservative Party into smithereens. And you would have said, Aren't you a ham-fisted leader? You've broken up the Conservative Party. Brunson: No, well would you? If people come along and ... Major: Most people in the Cabinet, if you ask them sensibly, would tell you that, yes. Don't underestimate the bitterness of European policy until it is settled - It is settled now. Brunson: Three of them - perhaps we had better not mention open names in this room - perhaps the three of them would have - if you'd done certain things, they would have come along and said, 'Prime Minister, we resign'. So you say 'Fine, you resign'. Major: We all know which three that is. Now think that through. Think it through from my perspective. You are Prime Minister. You have got a majority of 18. You have got a party still harking back to a golden age that never was but is now invented. And you have three rightwing members of the Cabinet actually resigned. What happens in the parliamentary party? Brunson: They create a lot of fuss but you have probably got three damn good ministers in the Cabinet to replace them. Major: Oh, I can bring in other people into the Cabinet, that is right, but where do you think most of this poison has come from? It is coming from the dispossessed and the never-possessed. You and I can both think of ex-ministers who are going around causing all sorts of trouble. Would you like three more of the bastards out there? What's the Lyndon Johnson, er, maxim? Brunson: If you've got them by the balls their hearts and minds will follow. Major: No, that's not what I had in mind, though it's pretty good.
    • It is time to return to those core values, time to get back to basics: to self-discipline and respect for the law, to consideration for others, to accepting responsibility for yourself and your family, and not shuffling it off on other people and the state.
    • If the implication of his remarks is that we should sit down and talk with Mr. Adams and the Provisional IRA, I can say only that that would turn my stomach and those of most hon. Members; we will not do it. If and when there is a total ending of violence, and if and when that ending of violence is established for a significant time, we shall talk to all the constitutional parties that have people elected in their names. I will not talk to people who murder indiscriminately.
    • Summers simply won't be the same without him.
    • Something I was not aware had happened suddenly turned out not to have happened.
    • The right hon. and learned Member is the man who likes to say yes in Europe - Monsieur Oui, the poodle of Brussels.
    • We will do precisely what the British nation has done all through its history when it had its back to the wall - turn round and fight for the things it believes in, and that is what I shall do.
    • The Conservative Party must make its choice. Every leader is leader only with the support of his party. That is true of me too. That is why I am no longer prepared to tolerate the present situation. In short, it is time to put up or shut up.
    • George Foulkes: Will the Prime Minister tell us what word he would legitimately use to describe those Cabinet Ministers who, while professing loyalty to him, are setting up telephone lines in campaign offices for the second round of the election? John Major: I have no knowledge of that. I can say that the speed at which these matters can be done is a tribute to privatisation.
    • Whether you agree with me, disagree with me, like me or loathe me, don't bind my hands when I am negotiating on behalf of the British people.
    • I have been a Member of Parliament for 18 years. I have been a member of the Government for 14 years, of the Cabinet for ten years and Prime Minister since 1990. When the curtain falls it is time to get off the stage and that is what I propose to do. I shall, therefore, advise my parliamentary colleagues that it would be appropriate for them to consider the selection of a new leader of the Conservative Party to lead the party through Opposition through the years that lie immediately ahead.
    • It is the one event in my life of which I am most ashamed and I have long feared would be made public.
    • Oh, Lord, if I must die today, Please make it after Close of Play. For this, I know, if nothing more, I will not go, without the score . . .
    • Only in Britain could it be thought a defect to be 'too clever by half'. The probability is that too many people are too stupid by three-quarters.
    • A consensus politician is someone who does something that he doesn't believe is right because it keeps people quiet when he does it.
    • The politician who never made a mistake never made a decision.
    • The first requirement of politics is not intellect or stamina but patience. Politics is a very long run game and the tortoise will usually beat the hare.
    • A soundbite never buttered any parsnips.
    • If the answer is more politicians, you are asking the wrong question.
    • unpopular, if he became a funeral director people would stop dying
    • He was a fairly competent chairman of Housing [on Lambeth Council]. Every time he gets up now I keep thinking, 'What on earth is Councillor Major doing?' I can't believe he's here and sometimes I think he can't either.
    • The man who ran away from the circus to become an accountant
    • john major

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