Portillo on Thatcher

Have been watching the excellent Michael Portillo programme on Margaret Thatcher on BBC 4. It stirs quite a few memories of controversial and exciting years, and Portillo is presenting it with a disarming honesty about his own role in the dramas of the Thatcher years. He described his bottling out of challenging John Major as 'a dishonourable position', acknowledged the reasons for his own defeat at the hands of the electorate, and is now describing his time in the Hague shadow cabinet as one of the most unhappy periods of his political life. The semi-autobiographical nature of the programme is adding to its interest, and I must confess I am regretting the fact that Portillo never became leader.

UPDATE: It is noticeable that Iain Duncan Smith is the only former leader not to be interviewed in this programme, and Portillo has not mixed his words in describing IDS's 'consistent disloyalty' to Major.


medibot said…
Excellent programme, even if it is slightly disturbing seeing so many grown men lovestruck...

No doubt it was particularly disturbing for Mrs Howarth (if there is one) after Gerald's rather dramatic declaration of love and devotion to Maggie!

The honesty and harsh retrospective analysis from Portillo has certainly raised my opinion of the man and though i doubt anybody uninformed stumbled onto BBC4 or dug it out on BBC iplayer it makes a fine basic history lesson for anybody too young to remember or too ignorant to have much knowledge of the subject.

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