John Major

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A serious man.
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U.K. Politics
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God Save the King?
I didn't see his face, didn't know what he looked like — well, not until I saw John Major on the telly.
—Sue Townsend on Adrian Mole[1]

John "Back to Basics" Major (1943–) was a British Conservative Prime Minister (from 1990-97), chiefly remembered for playing cricket, speaking like Marvin the Martian, and knocking boots with Edwina CurrieWikipedia, a fellow MP—an affair which ended in '88 but wasn't brought up until 2002. (Nice to see he hasn't lost the knack for understatement.) Despite being the only person to ever gain more than 14 million votes in a British election, just a couple of decades ago, nobody really remembers who he is.

Although mostly useless, he did inspire a lot of sketches on the comedy show Spitting Image, in which he was portrayed as a boring all-grey character who ate only peas.[2]


Despite being in recession, Major led the Conservatives to a fourth consecutive win. His victory was largely down to his Thatcherite backing and convincing moderates and even left-leaning people who disliked Labour to keep them out.

All of his parliamentary colleagues regard him as an honest, but ineffective man and the worst person in the world to be Prime Minister. His ineffectiveness stemmed from the fact that Thatcher promoted him too quickly. Sadly, he populated his cabinets with arrogant fools and thieves. (Also known as Tory MPs.)

He left office in 1997, after the Conservative Party was defeated by New Labour, led by the far more interesting Tony Blair. Despite his landslide, Blair got a half million fewer votes in '97 than Major got in '92 (though lower turnout is a possible factor).


He speaks the most sense out of all the former Prime Ministers.[3][4][5][6][7] He's actually quite unusual, a PM who's regarded more fondly now than he was when in power.


Fifty years on from now, Britain will still be the country of long shadows on cricket grounds, warm beer, invincible green suburbs, dog lovers and pools fillers
Amongst our achievements is industrial peace through achieving a labour-market surplus
I am afraid I am going to have to vaporise your planet. It is blocking my view of Venus
Disclaimer: These quotes were found in a disused mine in the 18th century and were only recently brought to our attention.

See also[edit]

  • George H.W. Bush
  • Family values - Major ran on a campaign of "Back to Basics" in '93. It was supposed to be about getting back to traditional values and the sanctity of the family and so on. It backfired rather badly on him when many Tory MPs were found to be engaging in affairs and other Ugandan discussions.


  2. John Major's "psychedelic" hippie trip, Spitting Image 1991.
  3. "Major: Iraq doubts may 'fester' without full disclosure", BBC 5.30.15. Hard to see why the transcripts are so secret. It's just a lot of slurping and moaning isn't it?
  4. Quinn, Ben, "Major Blasts 'Shocking' Inequality Levels in Britain", Guardian (Updated 7/14/16 at 7:26 AM EDT).
  5. Mason, Rowena, "Major: The NHS is about as safe in the hands of Boris Johnson, Gove and IDS as a pet hamster with a hungry Python.", Guardian (7/14/16 at 10:28 PM EDT).
  6. "Major attacks Vote Leave 'deceit' as Johnson defends campaign", BBC 6.5.16. If John Major was Remain's nuclear weapon, they were in more trouble than we thought.
  7. Cowburn, Ashley, "Brexit: There is a perfectly credible case for a second EU referendum, says former PM John Major", Independent 11.26.16.