Sunday, 27 March 2005

James Callaghan dead

Former PM James 'Sunny Jim' Callaghan died yesterday. I know this event isn't libertarian related, but I thought I'd comment on it nonetheless.

I was born only a few months after Thatcher won the 1979 general election, so evidently I would possess no memory of Callaghan's premiership. Still, based on what I have learnt later in life, IMO Callaghan was unfortunate to be PM at such a negative time for the British economy.

Shortly after he replaced Wilson as PM, the UK was 'bailed out' by the International Monetary Fund in order to halt sterling from falling. There was also the infamous 'Winter of Discontent', in which public service workers were continously striking. There is little wonder why the UK was labelled the 'sick man of Europe' at the time. He also had to seek cooperation with the Liberal party (called the 'Lib-Lab' pact) simply for Labour to maintain a parliamentary majority.

Personally, I believe that if he were PM in more favourable economic times (as Tony Blair has been), his premiership may have been longer and more distinguished. James Callaghan was supposedly the oldest former British PM ever.