Scandalous Leadership : Prime Ministers' and Presidents' Scandals and the Press by MJ Trow


Pen & Sword
30 October 2023

Before Britain had a prime minister - and before they invented America - the dictator Oliver Cromwell urged the artist Lely to paint him 'warts and all'. This book deals with some of the 'all', but is mostly about the warts, the moral blemishes that have dogged the leaders of two of the greatest countries on earth for 300 years. Scandalously, there are still no qualifications necessary for the job of prime minister or president, two of the most important positions in the world.

And that lack of ability shows itself in spades throughout these pages. Robert Walpole knew that 'every man has his price' and bought people accordingly. Viscount Goderich broke down in tears, begging the king to fire him.

George Washington, the revered saint of American creation, blew with the wind and owned slaves. Abraham Lincoln was prepared to send African Americans back to Africa to save the Union. William Gladstone popped out from Downing street to 'save' prostitutes.

David Lloyd George gave people titles for money. Warren Harding had a string of mistresses, as did John Kennedy. And all this happened before Donald Trump!Thank God the fourth estate was there, the free press watching every move of politicians.

Who was watching them, of course, is another story. If you thought - and prayed - that the occupants of No. 10 and the White House were honourable, competent people, you're in for a bit of a shock.

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