There are going to be
any number of way of answering this, dependent on how you define
'best' and 'worst'. Opinions are also going to be dependent on
whether you consider yourself a beneficiary of her policies, or a
victim, and on your political affiliation (which is often bizarrely
not related to your own interests but driven instead by peer pressure
and gut feel).
One approach might be
to define what is takes to be a successful Prime Minister, and
measure accordingly. How about the following criteria: -
(sensing mood, persuasion, getting elected).
Ability to get
things done (starting, continuing and finishing).
A clear personal
vision of what is going wrong, and what needs to change.
Right place, right
time (events, dear boy, events).
Making a real
difference, and be seen to do so.
Note that these don't
require anybody to agree with ideology or direction of outcomes, or
to like the person. Just because a political leader doesn't do what
you want them to do, or that you find them deeply unattractive as a
person, has no relevance to greatness; the opposite applies of
It is easy to imagine
(look around..) and find political leaders that are consummate in (1)
– you wouldn't notice them otherwise, and I suggest they could
get through without being seen as a 'bad' Prime Minister on a
combination of (1) and (4) alone. I would suggest that most of those
we have seen in the last 100 years satisfy at best three of the
You can see where this
is going – in my opinion it would be hard not give Margaret
Thatcher high scores in 5/5 out of these criteria. Whether we like it
or not, history will judge her a great Prime Minister, and that has
to make her among the best, along with Churchill and Clement Atlee.
They all had the benefit of (4) above, and got things done.
Paul (No political