John Major

(Sir John Major)

John Major
John Major
  • Born: March 29, 1943
  • Nationality: British
  • Profession: Politician









Sir John Major KG CH is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1990 to 1997. He served as Foreign Secretary and then Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Thatcher Government from 1989 to 1990, and was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Huntingdon from 1979 until his retirement in 2001. Since the death of Margaret Thatcher in 2013, Major has been the oldest living former Prime Minister.

Quote Topics Cited
Democracies cannot be intimidated by terrorism. Terrorism
Heaven alone knows why I won it. Memorials, Monuments, Medals, Statues & Buildings
I think that there is a limit on how far you can export democracy. Democracies & Republics ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
I want to see wealth cascading down the generations. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
I would rather go while I am being urged to stay, than to stay beyond the time when I should go Miscellaneous
I’m not in favor of referendums, and I will never put one before the British people. Public Opinion & Polling
If every politician, in or out of government, were made to apologize for injudicious remarks, he would have little time to do anything else. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
Many of our European partners have ambitions that are not generally shared by the British. Miscellaneous
Our goal is a classless society. Equality & Equal Opportunity
Peacemaking and peacekeeping should run in parallel. War & Peace
Perhaps the society has been too quick to understand and too slow to condemn. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Prime Minister’s Question time is very different from anything in America. It is something that fortunately your President does not have to face. Media, Journalism & The Press
The essence of debate in Parliament is spontaneous. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The harsh truth is that if the policy isn’t hurting it isn’t working. I know there is a difficult period ahead but the important thing is that we cannot and must not fudge the determination to stop inflation in its tracks. Policy & Policy Making
There has always been a temptation, at times of economic difficulty, to turn inward and put up the shutters. That is when we need free trade most. Foreign Trade
Wild Scots …. They live on others, and follow their own worthless and savage chief in all evil courses sooner than they will pursue honest industry. They are full of mutual dissention, and war rather than peace, is their normal condition. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
You don’t make changes until you see a positive advantage for change. Liberals & Conservatives
A consensus politician is someone who does something that he doesn't believe is right because it keeps people quiet when he does it.
Certainly we've seen the enormous changes across the whole of the Middle East. The democratic genie is out of the bottle.
Disunity costs votes.
'Government gets things right' does not encourage sales. 'Government makes another blunder' does encourage sales, so there's a commercial imperative that pushes sensationalism. Government
I don't have a shred of regret about entering the exchange-rate mechanism.
I don't think it's the role of the prime minister to court the press.
I don't think nations can stand aside for ethnic cleansing and genocide.
I have a huge admiration for the House of Lords, I have a huge admiration for the people who work in the House of Lords, they're great public servants and they do an absolutely tremendous job. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I have been reading the press more regularly than others over 50 years and it seems to me that there are things that have changed in the press that have changed its character.
I inherited a sick economy and passed on a sound one. But one abiding regret for me is that, in between, I did not have the resources to put in place the educational and social changes about which I cared to much; I made only a beginning, and it was not enough.
I like the best of the British press. The best of the British press is very good.
I mean if you have ever found a politician who says, 'No, no, I would do everything exactly as I did,' then you can tell when he is lying because his lips are moving.
I think it's extremely unlikely that the European Union will fracture with nations dropping off the edge.
I think the biggest mistake I made was this wretched ability to see both sides of an argument.
I think the majority of the British people are still sanguine about the need for war. War & Peace
I think we can get respect for Parliament back providing governments and oppositions are frank. Respect
I thought I could do something different from any Conservative prime minister before me. But I couldn't.
I want Britain to punch its weight in the European Community.
If we want to deliver opportunity for all, we need an economy that delivers jobs for the future. Future
If you look at things that really affect people's lives - sport, the arts, charities - they were always at the back of the queue for government money - health, social security, defence, pensions were all way ahead. And each of those areas - sports, the arts, the lottery - got relatively petty cash from the government. Sports & Athletics ;Money, Coins & Minting
If you look back historically, admittedly a long time ago, there were three Afghan wars in which Britain didn't even come a good second. In more recent years the Russians were there with 120,000 men for ten years. Time
I'm not about to write my memoirs. Not for a long time. Time
I'm very proud of what my parents achieved and what they stood for. They didn't have much, but in many ways they were richer than most.
In housing in the fifties in Britain and the sixties, we pulled down the terraces - destroyed whole communities and replaced them with tower blocks and we built walkways that became rat-runs for muggers. That was the fashionable opinion. But it was wrong.
It is time to return to core values, time to get back to basics, to self-discipline and respect for the law, to consideration for the others, to accepting responsibility for yourself and your family - and not shuffling it off on other people and the state. Time ;Respect ;Families, Children & Parenting
Let's turn British inventions into British industries, British factories and British jobs. Let them make pounds for us, not dollars marks or yen for others.
Life is full of surprises. Life
My father was 64 when I was conceived, my mother 38, which was late for babies in the 1940s.
My mother was the center of the family. Families, Children & Parenting
Of course there are regrets. I shall regret always that I found my own authentic voice in politics. I was too conservative, too conventional. Too safe, too often. Too defensive. Too reactive. Later, too often on the back foot. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
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.
Recovery begins from the darkest moment. Moving On
Ronnie Barker will forever be remembered as one of the great comic actors.
September the 11th was a huge shock in the United States. It was the first time you had been hit at home in your own territory by terrorist on this scale. Time
Society needs to condemn a little more and understand a little less. Society
The argument that someone is a bad man is an inadequate argument for war and certainly an inadequate and unacceptable argument for regime change. War & Peace
The British don't runaway from terrorism. We have had 30-odd years of terrorism in our own country from the Irish Republican Army. We're used to it.
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. Patience ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The politician who never made a mistake never made a decision.
The sight of allegedly sophisticated politicians parroting complete tripe trivialises and demeans government and it has to be stopped. It's played a significant part in public disillusionment with politics and has led to the absurd situation where more people vote for 'Strictly Come Dancing' than voted in the general election. Government ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
There are more myths about Black Wednesday than the Greeks ever created.
Too many people looked to me in the eye and did not tell me the truth. Truth
Well British troops are superb in the field in terms of conflict.
Well what would happen is that if Greece defaulted and couldn't pay its debts, all the Greek bonds that are held in other banking systems across Western Europe would suddenly have no value. You could as a knock-on effect create a banking crisis in Western Europe.
Well, I have concerns about the effectiveness of Europe to compete.
Well, I think there's a distinction between sexing-up the intelligence and sexing-up the presentation of the intelligence.
What happens when there is a conflict between the Scottish parliament, if it was established, and the Westminster parliament? Who is supreme?
Whatever efforts for peace President Gorbachev had in mind, they were pretty substantially undercut very swiftly by Saddam Hussein. War & Peace
When I was in office the fundraising was done by the party treasurers.
When the euro was born, it was born in the wrong economic circumstances.
Whether you agree with me or disagree with me; like me or loathe me, don't bind my hands when I am negotiating on behalf of the British nation.
You don't forget crises and neither does the Queen.
You've had an extremely weak euro on the foreign exchange markets, you've had a very dubious policy being followed.