Harold MacMillan

(Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton)

Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
... a brilliant tyrant surrounded by mediocrities. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
[President John F.] Kennedy must be a strange character—obstinate, sensitive, ruthless and highly sexed. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
[Winston] Churchill was fundamentally what the English call unstable—by which they mean anybody who has that touch of genius which is inconvenient in normal times. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Americans, who are naive and inexperienced, are up against centuries of diplomatic skill and finesse. Diplomacy & Diplomats
As usual, the Liberals offer a mixture of sound and original ideas. Unfortunately none of the sound ideas is original and none of the original ideas is sound. Liberals & Conservatives
At home you always have to be a politician. When you're abroad you almost feel yourself a statesman. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
At home, you always have to be a politician: when you're abroad, you almost feel yourself a statesman. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Exporting is fun Slogans & Mottoes
Fearing the weakness of democracy, men have always sought safety in technocrats. But ... [we] have not overthrown the divine right of kings to fall down before the divine right of experts. Management & Managing Government
I have never found, in a long experience in politics, that criticism is ever inhibited by ignorance. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
I have read a great number of press reports and find comfort in the fact that they are nearly always conflicting. Media, Journalism & The Press
I never found in a long experience of politics that criticism is ever inhibited by ignorance. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I was determined that no British government should be brought down by the action of two tarts. Government ;Scandals
If people want a sense of purpose they should get it from their archbishop. They should certainly not get it from their politicians. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
It is the duty of Her Majesty's government ... neither to flap nor to falter. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Jaw-jaw is better than war-war. Negotiating & Negotiations
Let’s be frank about it. Most of our people have never had it so good. Go around the country, go to the industrial towns, go to the farms, and you’ll see a state of prosperity such as we have never had in my lifetime – nor indeed ever in the history of this country. What is beginning to worry some of us is “is it too good to be true?” or perhaps I should say “is it too good to last?” For amidst all this prosperity, there is one problem that has troubled us, in one way or another, ever since the war. It is the problem of rising prices. Our constant concern is: Can prices be steadied while at the same time we maintain full employment in an expanding economy? Can we control inflation? Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
Marxism is like a classical building that followed the Renaissance; beautiful in its way, but incapable of growth. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Nothing he [a Foreign Secretary] can say can do very much good, and almost anything he may say may do a great deal of harm. Anything he says that is not obvious is dangerous; whatever is not trite is risky. He is forever poised between the cliche and the indiscretion. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
Now the Americans will realize what we in England have lived through these many years. Defense & National Security
Once the bear's hug has got you, it is apt to be for keeps. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Power? It’s like a Dead Sea fruit; when you achieve it, there’s nothing there. Power
Selling the family silver. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
The wind of change is blowing through the continent [Africa]. Whether we like it or not, this growth of national consciousness is a political fact. States. Nations & Nationhood
The wind of change is blowing through the continent. Whether we like it or not, this growth of national consciousness is a political fact. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
There are three bodies no sensible man directly challenges: the Roman Catholic Church, the Brigade of Guards and the National Union of Mineworkers. Power
(A Foreign Secretary) is forever poised between the cliche and the indiscretion.
A man who trusts nobody is apt to be the kind of man nobody trusts. Trust
As usual the Liberals offer a mixture of sound and original ideas. Unfortunately none of the sound ideas is original and none of the original ideas is sound.
At home, you always have to be a politician; when you're abroad, you almost feel yourself a statesman.
Britain's most useful role is somewhere between bee and dinosaur.
He is forever poised between a cliche and an indiscretion.
I have never found, in a long experience of politics, that criticism is ever inhibited by ignorance. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I read a great number of press reports and find comfort in the fact that they are nearly always conflicting.
I was a sort of son to Ike, and it was the other way round with Kennedy.
If you don't believe in God, all you have to believe in is decency. Decency is very good. Better decent than indecent. But I don't think it's enough. Religion & God
In long experience I find that a man who trusts nobody is apt to be the kind of man nobody trusts.
It has been said that there is no fool like an old fool, except a young fool. But the young fool has first to grow up to be an old fool to realize what a damn fool he was when he was a young fool.
It is the duty of Her Majesty's government neither to flap nor to falter. Government
It's no use crying over spilt summits.
Memorial services are the cocktail parties of the geriatric set.
No man should ever lose sleep over public affairs.
Power? It's like a Dead Sea fruit. When you achieve it, there is nothing there. Power
There might be 1 finger on the trigger, but there will be 15 fingers on the safety catch.
To be alive at all involves some risk.
Tradition does not mean that the living are dead, it means that the dead are living.
We have not overthrown the divine right of kings to fall down for the divine right of experts.
When the curtain falls, the best thing an actor can do is to go away.