By D. Leonard
Throughout the process the 20 th century, nineteen males and one woman--from the 3rd Marquis of Salisbury to Tony Blair--have occupied the submit of best Minister of the uk. In a chain of biographical essays, Dick Leonard, a number one political journalist and previous MP, recounts the situations that took them to the head of ''the greasy pole'', probes their own and political strengths and weaknesses, assesses their functionality within the most sensible workplace and asks what lasting impact they've got had.
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Extra info for A Century of Premiers: Salisbury to Blair
S view was that the war could and should have been avoided, and he blamed Chamberlain for playing a dangerous game of bluff with President Kruger, despatching sufficient extra troops to South Africa to provoke the Boers but not sufficient to ensure victory in the event of hostilities. Once the war broke out, he was in favour of prosecuting it to a successful conclusion, but not in a vindictive manner, and of holding out to the Boers the prospect of reconciliation and an early return to self-government for the two Boer republics.
At the bidding of the latter’s wife, Margot, he wrote a letter to her wealthy father, Sir Charles Tennant, asking him to settle a large income on Asquith so that he could afford to give up his practice at the bar and assume the leadership of the Liberal Party. Tennant refused, but it was remarkable that Balfour had exerted himself to facilitate the choice by his political opponents of a man who promised to be a most formidable rival. Many politicians undoubtedly take politics and themselves too seriously.
Balfour, in disgust, and already heartily sick of party political manoeuvring, threw in his hand. Not many in his party regretted his decision: they preferred a more partisan and less rational figure to lead them against the forces of radicalism and socialism which they saw closing in on them. At that stage, Balfour almost certainly saw this as the end of his life in high politics, and joyfully returned to his study of philosophy, undertaking to give two major courses of lectures at the University of Glasgow.
A Century of Premiers: Salisbury to Blair by D. Leonard