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Comments

Harry Randall

John Major is the main reason why the Conservative Party has been unelectable in the last three elections.

He should not be considered a Mayor.
Harry

Justin Hinchcliffe

An excellent idea - although I first suggested it months ago...

John Hustings

It's funny how alot of those being considered as "big-hitters" in the Mayoral race are those who have been heavily defeated in the past. Are we just looking for name recognition and nothing else??

Cllr Iain Lindley

I have long felt that Major has been the victim of a certain amount of revisionism over the 1992 success and 1997 failure. It's easy to forget he inherited a Party heading for the buffers and managed what in raw vote terms and percentage share was a resounding victory.

He was then left at the mercy of the Party, and the Party let him down.

ThePrince

John Major isn't the reason that the party hasn't won the last three elections, the party is. The party disengaged with the public and instead engaged in internal warfare. He did a pretty good as P.M. and I find him a rather good chap, whether he would win or not is a whole different ball game.

James O'Shaughnessy

Someone once described Johnny M as a great PM but a terrible party leader. Now great may be going a little over the top, but for all the mistakes (e.g. tax rises in early '90s) his Govt was also responsible for:
* Leaving the ERM (admittedly botched, but still a good thing)
* Providing the macroeconomic stability which still drives the UK's economic success
* Internal NHS market
* Grant-maintained schools
* Prison works approach to crime

... and a number of other things. As Mayor he'd not have to worry about running a party organisation, so perhaps this would be ideal for him.

malcolm

If he stood,I'd vote for him.I disagreed with many he things his government did but decency is a rare quality in politics and it's one I value, Major certainly has that.

Ted

I am fond of JM and people who I met who knew him thought highly of him - my uncle the RC priest in Huntingdon in 80's/90's thought highly of him, I lived in 11 Templar Street where he had lived earlier and people who remembered him said what a nice man he was - but he carries a lot of baggage (ERM, government sleaze, Edwina) and would be a constant reminder of past failure rather than a step to the future.

Mayor of London is an important job but I would prefer to see rising stars rather than setting suns going for it.

Don Jameson

In the good old days of smoke-filled rooms the euroseptics would have stomped on the flying of this particular kite from the outset.

If Mr Major stands, then even if he loses the open primary will have served its purpose as a road-test.

Chris

Yes, John Major was a relatively good Prime Minister, but that isn't how people remember him. The electorate have never viewed him in a brilliant light, and consequently no matter how much his candidacy might please the grassroots he is unelectable.

Ken Livingstone is the opposite, he was adored by Londoners despite the fact that he has never represented their views. Ken has suceeded in bluffing his way out of so many situations which would crush a normal politician, but his cult of personality has come through every time.

Our candidate is going to have to be photo friendly, likeable and not have anything in their past linked to Thatcher in order to make them a viable candidate. This admittedly bars out many other good candidates, but I'd much rather have a second preference Conservative Mayor of London than Ken yet again!

aristeides

Top five Major for Mayor policy proposals:

5. Privatise the underground: Virgin Picadilly Line, Connex Central Line and Tubetrack PLC.

4. Congestion hotline: phone up if you see more than five cars in front of you.

3. Mayor's Charter: compensation if three buses turn up at once.

2. Back to basics: statue of Edwina in Trafalgar Square.

1. Labour landslide guaranteed next time round, oh yes.

Jack W

This kite needs grounding and quick !!

Ken will make mincemeat of John Major and his record. The thought of replays of the Major years of recessions, ERM, sleaze and Edwina popping up every second day and giving the nation a running commentary should send shivers down the Conservative Party ...... does it have a political death wish ???

Trying to find a Tory that would give Ken a run for our money is a thankless task. Perhaps the party would do better to back a respected independent candidate and move on from there.

So far the list of worthy but little known Tory lightweights will not have Ken shuddering in the Mayor's parlour, let alone John Major whose candidacy will have Ken shuddering .... but in laughter !!

Graeme Archer

"Big" story on the Evening Standard? Madge tour is a sell-out, is all I can see. Oh oh what's the story? Is Madge gonna throw her conical hat into the Tory mayoral ring?

Justin Hinchcliffe

There's much we can be proud of the Major years. He was let down by the likes of IDS and Redwood and many others - some now in UKIP.

80s YC

JM4PM - he was a great guy. In 1992 I offered snogs to anyone in Bennet's "disco" in Glasgow for anyone who promised to vote for JM. I think this is an aspect of canvassing that has fallen into sad neglect by today's new generation of politicos.

Justin Hinchcliffe

Madge would like it, Graeme.

Louise

80s YC - you didn't get very far in Bennet's then? The Polo Lounge might have been a bit more productive - a much classier place....

Derek

I would be very surprised if JM was interested in this - what would he have to gain? On the other hand if he lost, or was not even selected in the primary he would feel humiliated. Not much of an incentive is it?

Eveline Archer (mother of Graeme)!!!

I can remember Ken Livingston when he was in trouble as a local councillor - long time ago. Did anyone bring up his past when he stood for Mayor? They had far more to use against him than anyone could possibly use against John Major. I like JM however I don't live in London so won't have a vote. JM for Mayor !!!

Andrew Kennedy

Aren't rose tinted glasses a wonderful thing.

Opinicus

What a very Churchillian proposal

No good as Prime minister but might make a good candidate for Mayor of London in a bad year.

Not just the worst Prime Minister since Ramsay Macdonald but the worst Mayor since Ken Livingstone.

Barry Graham

Sadly, I think the likelihood of John Major being interested is virtually non-existent.
It would be wonderful, though. A thoroughly decent man, whom history is judging more favourably as time goes on.
The initial misconception that JM was largely responsible for the 97 rout is being reassessed. His biggest misfortune was having the appeal to win in 92 against the odds, when the Tory Party really needed a spell in opposition to regain its discipline and appetite for power.
Major was then hung out to dry by a selfish, self-destructive cabal of backbenchers, who allowed the impression to develop that Major was weak by defeating the government they were elected to represent.
It is no coincidence that Thatcher and Blair, two of our supposedly most ruthless and strong leaders enjoyed for the most part 100+ majorities. Both would have been regularly defeated, and consequently looked weak, with a majority of 20 and dwindling (witness Blair now, who struggles to win votes with a 60+ majority).
Remember, Major's first 18 months, when he had Mrs T's inherited 100+ majority, were seen as highly successful. Again, no coincidence.
Unlike many on here, who became Tories through Mrs T formidable style and ideology, I was always more comfortable with Major's understated decency (an inherently British trait) and common-sense approach.
I'd advise anoyone to read Anthony Seldon's biography of him for a very fair, yet not uncritical, appraisal of Major's Premiership.
I remember, a couple of years after the 97 defeat, my old man (a Tory voter, but never interested enough to become a member and, latterly, a critic of Major) came back raving about Major's devastating contribution from the backbenches during some debate, after he (my dad) dropped in to get a glimpse of the Commons from the public gallery. He totally revised his opinion of Major's talent on the basis of it.
A voice of reason and gravitas nowadays, on his rare outings on Frost/Marr's programme, Major would be a brilliant choice for Tory mayor.
Go Johnny boy, go!

Spencer

We'll be a laughing stock. Wait a sec we allready are.

Graham D'Amiral

John Major a fundamentally decent man who had the misfortune to the lead the party at the most difficult time for at least half a century. I doubt however the former Prime Minister would be interested in standing for Mayor, nice bit of speculation though.

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