But I always liked Major. There was something honest and disarmingly modest about him when he was prime minister. I recall his very measured and non-triumphalist speech when the first Gulf War was won with the Iraqis expelled from Kuwait.
He was interviewed on the Today programme this week about the upcoming referendum on Europe, and gave what I thought was the most carefully thought out and comprehensive set of reasons why we should stay in. He recognised that Cameron had had little choice but to agree to call the referendum, given the Eurosceptics in his party and the danger from Ukip. Nevertheless, the prime minister could do far worse than use Major’s arguments, if not the man himself, in the campaign to come. We need thoughtful intelligent analysis of the question and considered debate if the little Englanders are to be defeated.