Iran,  Tories,  Turkey

Silly Prime Ministers

David Cameron is an idiot, so it seems.

First we had the Turkey stupidity. Then we had the India/Pakistan pratfall. And now, apparently, Iran already has a nuclear weapon:

I think that the European Union will be better off if we actually include a country like Turkey that will be a very strong trading partner for us, and we need to trade and invest. I think they will be a good political influence for us because they can help us solve some of the world’s problems, like the Middle East peace process, like the fact Iran has got a nuclear weapon

Downing Street says Cameron “misspoke”:

One of Mr Cameron’s aides said the prime minister “misspoke” when he said “Iran has a nuclear weapon”.

But she later told the BBC: “If you watch back the prime minister’s words, it is clear he is talking about Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon.”

Cameron has some way to go before he reaches the level of hopelessness displayed by the only other Brasenose-educated Prime Minister, Henry Addington:

While the terms of the Treaty of Amiens were the bare minimum that the British government could accept,Napoleon Bonaparte would not have agreed to any terms more favourable to the British, and the British government had reached a state of financial collapse, owing to war expenditure, the loss of Continental markets for British goods, and two successive failed harvests that had led to widespread famine and social unrest, rendering peace a necessity. By early 1803, Great Britain’s financial and diplomatic positions had recovered sufficiently to allow Addington to declare war on France, when it became clear that the French would not allow a settlement for the defences of Malta that would have been secure enough to fend off a French invasion that appeared imminent.

Addington was driven from office in May 1804 by an alliance of Pitt, Charles James Fox and William Wyndham Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville, who decided that they wanted Cabinet offices for themselves. Addington’s greatest failing was his inability to manage a parliamentary majority, by cultivating the loyal support of MPs beyond his own circle and the friends of the King. This combined with his mediocre speaking ability, left him vulnerable to Pitt’s mastery of parliamentary management and his unparalleled oratory skills. Pitt’s parliamentary assault against Addington in March 1804 led to the slimming of his parliamentary majority to the point where defeat in the House of Commons was imminent.

He returned to government again as Lord President in March, 1812, and, in June of the same year, became Home Secretary. As Home Secretary, Sidmouth countered revolutionary opposition, being responsible for the temporary suspension of habeas corpus in 1817 and the passage of the Six Acts in 1819. His tenure also saw the Peterloo Massacre of 1819. Sidmouth left office in 1822, succeeded as Home Secretary by Sir Robert Peel, but remained in the Cabinet as Minister without Portfolio for the next two years, fruitlessly opposing British recognition of the South American republics. He remained active in the House of Lords for the next few years, making his final speech in opposition to Catholic Emancipation in 1829 and casting his final vote against the Reform Act 1832.

Who was Britain’s worst Prime Minister? To avoid the boring and predictable answers, your choice is restricted to those Prime Ministers appointed prior to Harold Wilson’s first term.