By K. Theakston
Having misplaced an election, been thrown out via their get together, or retired on grounds of ill-health, what do former British top ministers do? within the first booklet to examine the lives, political roles and impression of former best ministers, Theakston analyzes the entire former top ministers from Walpole within the 18th century to Blair this present day.
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Additional info for After Number 10: Former Prime Ministers in British Politics
He was sometimes compelled to travel in disguise or incognito. In the 1780s – 20 years after leaving ofﬁce – the ex-prime minister was still receiving poison-pen letters and anonymous hate mail. 22 Not that that he wanted a political come-back or to return to ofﬁce. Bute was not suited for the stresses and strains of politics and the demands of ministerial life. Shy, aloof and withdrawn – though more competent than his enemies allowed – Bute was not in politics by nature, choice or ambition but only out of duty to his friend the King.
45 Walpole to Shelburne 35 Lord North (resigned 20 March 1782) ‘No man ever showed more calmness, cheerfulness and serenity’, recalled an MP who dined with Lord North, in what has been described as ‘a happy family atmosphere’, on the day he resigned the premiership in 1782. North left ofﬁce with dignity and in good spirits, and with relief rather than with regret. He had been prime minister for 12 years but had been begging the King many times over the previous years to let him resign, and had been refused.
There were successes, such as the opposition victory on a vote to reduce the land tax in 1767. Opposition divisions and disunity – sometimes exploited by the government in a divide-and-rule manner – were a major problem. The Rockingham group was larger than Grenville’s (and there was a third, Bedford, group), and though they really needed to work together to make headway and regain ofﬁce, co-operation was often difﬁcult, both on policy and personal grounds. There was much mutual mistrust and resentment, Grenville did not rate Rockingham as prime-ministerial material and would not agree to serve under him.
After Number 10: Former Prime Ministers in British Politics by K. Theakston