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John Major's Quotes

John Major profile photo

Born: 1943-03-29
Profession: Politician
Nation: British
Biography of John Major

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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.

Tags: Half, Stupid, Thought

Ronnie Barker will forever be remembered as one of the great comic actors.

Tags: Comic, Forever, Great

The argument that someone is a bad man is an inadequate argument for war and certainly an inadequate and unacceptable argument for regime change.

Tags: Bad, Change, War

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.

Tags: Country, Republican, Used

The politician who never made a mistake never made a decision.

Tags: Decision, Mistake, Politician

There are more myths about Black Wednesday than the Greeks ever created.

Tags: Black, Myths, Wednesday

Too many people looked to me in the eye and did not tell me the truth.

Tags: Eye, Tell, Truth

Well British troops are superb in the field in terms of conflict.

Tags: British, Conflict, Troops

Well, I have concerns about the effectiveness of Europe to compete.

Tags: Compete, Concerns, Europe

Well, I think there's a distinction between sexing-up the intelligence and sexing-up the presentation of the intelligence.

Tags: Between

Whatever efforts for peace President Gorbachev had in mind, they were pretty substantially undercut very swiftly by Saddam Hussein.

Tags: Mind, Peace, Pretty

When I was in office the fundraising was done by the party treasurers.

Tags: Done, Office, Party

When the euro was born, it was born in the wrong economic circumstances.

Tags: Born, Economic, Wrong

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.

Tags: Hands, Nation, Whether

You don't forget crises and neither does the Queen.

Tags: Forget, Neither, Queen

You've had an extremely weak euro on the foreign exchange markets, you've had a very dubious policy being followed.

Tags: Foreign, Policy, Weak

'Government gets things right' does not encourage sales. 'Government makes another blunder' does encourage sales, so there's a commercial imperative that pushes sensationalism.

Tags: Another, Government, Makes

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.

Tags: Great, Job, Work

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.

Tags: Character, Others, Reading

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.

Tags: Mean, Moving, Tell

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.

Tags: Government, Health, Money

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.

Tags: Good, Men, Time

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.

Tags: Opinion, Whole, Wrong

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.

Tags: Jobs, Others, Turn

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.

Tags: Often, Politics, Regret

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.

Tags: Home, Time, United
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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.

Tags: Government, Politics, Vote

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.

Tags: Crisis, Happen, Value

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.

Tags: Family, Respect, Time

Life is full of surprises.

Tags: Full, Life, Surprises

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.

Tags: Game, Patience, Politics

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.

Tags: Enough, Regret, Sick

A consensus politician is someone who does something that he doesn't believe is right because it keeps people quiet when he does it.

Tags: Politician, Quiet, Someone

Recovery begins from the darkest moment.

Tags: Begins, Moment, Recovery

Society needs to condemn a little more and understand a little less.

Tags: Less, Society, Understand

What happens when there is a conflict between the Scottish parliament, if it was established, and the Westminster parliament? Who is supreme?

Tags: Between, Conflict, Happens

Certainly we've seen the enormous changes across the whole of the Middle East. The democratic genie is out of the bottle.

Tags: Changes, Seen, Whole

Disunity costs votes.

Tags: Costs, Votes

I don't have a shred of regret about entering the exchange-rate mechanism.

Tags: Mechanism, Regret, Shred

I don't think it's the role of the prime minister to court the press.

Tags: Court, Press, Role

I don't think nations can stand aside for ethnic cleansing and genocide.

Tags: Aside, Nations, Stand

I like the best of the British press. The best of the British press is very good.

Tags: Best, Good, Press

I think it's extremely unlikely that the European Union will fracture with nations dropping off the edge.

Tags: Nations, Off, Union

I think the biggest mistake I made was this wretched ability to see both sides of an argument.

Tags: Ability, Both, Mistake

I think the majority of the British people are still sanguine about the need for war.

Tags: British, Majority, War

I think we can get respect for Parliament back providing governments and oppositions are frank.

Tags: Parliament, Providing, Respect

I thought I could do something different from any Conservative prime minister before me. But I couldn't.

Tags: Minister, Prime, Thought

I want Britain to punch its weight in the European Community.

Tags: Britain, Community, Weight

I'm not about to write my memoirs. Not for a long time.

Tags: Memoirs, Time, Write

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.

Tags: Parents, Proud, Ways

If we want to deliver opportunity for all, we need an economy that delivers jobs for the future.

Tags: Economy, Future, Jobs

My father was 64 when I was conceived, my mother 38, which was late for babies in the 1940s.

Tags: Father, Late, Mother

My mother was the center of the family.

Tags: Center, Family, Mother
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