Peter Oborne | The Telegraph | April 8, 2013

In the 300 years that have passed since the office was invented at the start of the 18th century, there have been just a handful of truly great prime ministers: Pitt the Younger; Gladstone; Disraeli; Lloyd George; Churchill.

And, it can now be asserted with certainty, Margaret Thatcher. With her death, she joins the ranks of the immortals.

The reason is simple. Most prime ministers allow themselves to be shaped by the times in which they live. Just a very few - and she was emphatically one of these - refuse to conform.

They have the daring to shape the world. Pitt intuitively discerned the emerging empire, Gladstone brought a profound moral sense to British government, Disraeli created the modern Conservative Party, Lloyd George saved the nation in the First World War.

Churchill - the greatest of them all - rallied the British nation, and then the entire world, against Hitler.


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“Leave the past to history especially as I propose to write that history myself.”

Winston S. Churchill