Support 100 years of independent journalism.

Was John Major a good prime minister?

From May to Thatcher, Stephen Bush and Jonn Elledge explore the tenures of previous leaders in a six-part series from the New Statesman Podcast.

Welcome to Prime Ministerial. In each episode, Jonn Elledge and Stephen Bush look at the legacy of one of the previous six prime ministers and ask whether they achieved success on their own terms.

This episode examines John Major’s premiership. Major inherited a majority government in 1990 after Margaret Thatcher was driven out of office. Against the odds, he won the 1992 general election. But, in the wake of economic upheaval following Black Wednesday and a Conservative Party civil war, as well as the challenge from a resurgent Labour Party, the party suffered a huge defeat in 1997.

Stephen and Jonn speak to the satirist and former Spitting Image writer John O’Farrell and Jonathan Hill, a former adviser to John Major.

Produced by Adrian Bradley and May Robson, with thanks to Caroline Crampton and Nick Hilton.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

How to listen to the New Statesman Podcast

1. In your browser

You can use the player above to listen in your browser right now. The New Statesman Podcast publishes twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Fridays. All episodes are published to newstatesman.com/podcasts on the day of release. Subscribers to the New Statesman can access episodes a day early in our subscriber edition.

2. In a podcast app

The New Statesman Podcast is available on all major podcast apps, including Apple PodcastsSpotifyAcastGoogle Podcasts and more. Search New Statesman Podcast in your favourite podcast app, and subscribe or follow to make sure you receive episodes as soon as they publish. While you’re there, please leave a review for the podcast – it helps others find the show, which in turn makes it possible for us to keep making it.

3. On your smart speaker

If you have an Amazon Echo, Google Home or Apple HomePod smart speaker, ask it to “play the latest episode of the New Statesman Podcast”. The same command also works with virtual assistants on mobile devices.

Content from our partners
What are the green skills of the future?
A global hub for content producers, gaming and entertainment companies in Abu Dhabi
Insurance: finding sustainable growth in stormy markets

Topics in this article: