Harold MacMillan Quotes

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The Right Honourable
The Earl of Stockton
OM PC FRS
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
In office
10 January 1957 â€“ 19 October 1963
Monarch Elizabeth II
Deputy Rab Butler (1962–63)
Preceded by Sir Anthony Eden
Succeeded by Sir Alec Douglas-Home
Leader of the Conservative Party
In office
10 January 1957 â€“ 18 October 1963
Preceded by Sir Anthony Eden
Succeeded by Sir Alec Douglas-Home
Chancellor of the Exchequer
In office
20 December 1955 â€“ 13 January 1957
Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden
Preceded by Rab Butler
Succeeded by Peter Thorneycroft
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
In office
7 April 1955 â€“ 20 December 1955
Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden
Preceded by Sir Anthony Eden
Succeeded by Selwyn Lloyd

To be alive at all involves some risk.
No man should ever lose sleep over public affairs.
Tradition does not mean that the living are dead, it means that the dead are living.
Harold MacMillan
When the curtain falls, the best thing an actor can do is to go away.
Once the bear's hug has got you, it is apt to be for keeps.
Power? It's like a Dead Sea fruit. When you achieve it, there is nothing there.
Harold MacMillan
Marxism is like a classical building that followed the Renaissance; beautiful in its way, but incapable of growth.
Harold MacMillan
In long experience I find that a man who trusts nobody is apt to be the kind of man nobody trusts.
Harold MacMillan
(A Foreign Secretary) is forever poised between the cliche and the indiscretion.
Harold MacMillan
If you don't believe in God, all you have to believe in is decency. Decency is very good. Better decent than indecent. But I don't think it's enough.
Harold MacMillan
There might be 1 finger on the trigger, but there will be 15 fingers on the safety catch.
Harold MacMillan
If people want a sense of purpose they should get it from their archbishop. They should certainly not get it from their politicians.
Harold MacMillan
It is the duty of Her Majesty's government neither to flap nor to falter.
Harold MacMillan
A man who trusts nobody is apt to be the kind of man nobody trusts.
I was determined that no British government should be brought down by the action of two tarts.
Harold MacMillan
Britain's most useful role is somewhere between bee and dinosaur.
I was determined that no British government should be brought down by the action of two tarts.
Harold MacMillan
It's no use crying over spilt summits.
I read a great number of press reports and find comfort in the fact that they are nearly always conflicting.
Harold MacMillan
He is forever poised between a cliche and an indiscretion.
As usual the Liberals offer a mixture of sound and original ideas. Unfortunately none of the sound ideas is original and none of the original ideas is sound.
Harold MacMillan
I have never found, in a long experience of politics, that criticism is ever inhibited by ignorance.
Harold MacMillan
Memorial services are the cocktail parties of the geriatric set.
At home, you always have to be a politician; when you're abroad, you almost feel yourself a statesman.
Harold MacMillan
I was a sort of son to Ike, and it was the other way round with Kennedy.
We have not overthrown the divine right of kings to fall down for the divine right of experts.
Harold MacMillan
It has been said that there is no fool like an old fool, except a young fool. But the young fool has first to grow up to be an old fool to realize what a damn fool he was when he was a young fool.
Harold MacMillan