BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK Politics
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Interviews 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Tuesday, 24 October, 2000, 17:21 GMT 18:21 UK
The things Heath said
Sir Edward Heath
Sir Edward Heath: known for his bluntness
Sir Edward Heath's many years in UK politics have provided some classic quotations. Here are some of them.

  • "I owe everything to my mother" - 1950.

  • "I have always had a hidden wish, a frustrated desire, to run a hotel" - Speech at the Hotel Exhibition, Olympia, 1969.

  • "It was wildly exciting. It certainly wasn't the highest feeling I've ever had, but it was one of them. In those days, security was not as good as today.

    "Just afterwards, some chap was able to get at me and stab the back of my neck with a cigarette. It wasn't very pleasant" - Describing the scene at Conservative central office after winning the 1970 general election.

  • "We may be a small island, but we are not a small people" - Speech, June 1970.

  • "This would, at a stroke, reduce the rise in prices, increase production and reduce unemployment" - On Tory proposals to reduce taxation, 1970.

  • "We will have to embark on a change so radical, a revolution so quiet and yet so total, that it will go far beyond the programme for a parliament" - October 1970 to the Conservative Party conference.

  • "We are going to build on the past but we are not going to be strangled by it" - 1972.

  • "It is the unpleasant and unacceptable face of capitalism, but one should not suggest that the whole of British industry consists of practices of this kind" - House of Commons statement, May 1973, on the Lonrho affair.

  • "Our problem at the moment is a problem of success" - Six weeks before the three-day week, November 1973.

  • "I am not a product of privilege. I am a product of opportunity" - 1974.

  • "I was interested in being present for its first, and I trust only, performance" - After hearing a new choral work at Gloucester Cathedral, 1975.

  • "In excluding me from the shadow cabinet, Margaret Thatcher has chosen what I believe to be the only wholly honest solution and one which I accept and welcome" - February 1975.

  • "The historic role of the Conservative Party is to use the leverage of its political and diplomatic skills to create a fresh balance between the different elements within the state at those times when, for one reason or another, their imbalance threatens to disrupt the orderly development of society" - Newspaper article, February 1975.

  • "They have made a grave mistake choosing that woman" - on Margaret Thatcher's election to the leadership of the Tory Party, 1975.

  • "You mustn't expect prime ministers to enjoy themselves. If they do, they mustn't show it - the population would be horrified" - Interview, November, 1976.

  • "Please don't applaud. It may irritate your neighbour" - After a speech at the Conservative Party conference, Blackpool, October 1981.

  • "We have had eight years of consistent and persistent attacks on those four years in government - and on me, personally, but that does not matter - by people who were collectively responsible for those four years" - Interviewed in 1982 about Margaret Thatcher's attitude towards him and his government.

  • "He is not mad in the least. He's a very astute person, a clever person" - On Saddam Hussein, undated.

  • "It was the most enthralling episode in my life" - Interviewed in 1984 about taking Britain into Europe.

  • "I don't think that modesty is the outstanding characteristic of contemporary politics, do you?" - Comment in the Commons, December, 1988.

  • "I think Churchill would be appalled at the Thatcher government" - 1989.

  • "Whatever the lady does is wrong. I do not know of a single right decision taken by her" - 1989.

  • "There's a lot of people I've encouraged and helped to get into the House of Commons. Looking at them now, I'm not so sure it was a wise thing to do" - 1989.

  • "Rejoice! Rejoice!" - On hearing the news of Margaret Thatcher's resignation, November, 1990.

    When asked later if it was true that he had issued such a joyful declaration on his rival's political demise, he said no. He hadn't said rejoice twice, he had said it three times.

  • "Do you know what Margaret Thatcher did in her first Budget? Introduced VAT on yachts! It somewhat ruined my retirement" - 1992.

  • "A tragedy for the party. He's got no ideas, no experience and no hope" - On William Hague's election to the leadership of the Conservative Party, 1997.

  • Search BBC News Online

    Advanced search options
    Launch console
    BBC RADIO NEWS
    BBC ONE TV NEWS
    WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
    PROGRAMMES GUIDE
    See also:

    24 Oct 00 | UK Politics
    Father Ted finally bows out
    24 Oct 00 | UK Politics
    Sir Edward Heath to stand down
    24 Oct 00 | UK Politics
    Speaker's election sparks reform calls
    23 Oct 00 | UK Politics
    MPs' anger over Speaker vote
    03 Oct 00 | Conservatives
    Portillo's 'euro-nonsense' - Clarke
    07 Sep 00 | UK Politics
    Secret report stirs euro debate
    17 Aug 00 | E-G
    Father of the House
    Links to more UK Politics stories are at the foot of the page.


    E-mail this story to a friend

    Links to more UK Politics stories