Words matter. These are the best Michael Portillo Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
We in Britain do not have the same capabilities as the United States, but we are members of the United Nations Security Council. And we take our obligations and duties deriving from that very seriously.
To be in the media is to be in the wings. Being in politics is being on the stage.
Music turns the world upside down.
If you are a fan of my BBC series ‘Great Continental Railway Journeys,’ you’ll probably not be surprised to learn that one of my great aspirations is to travel on Egypt’s railways.
Were we ever to find ourselves living under a totalitarian regime, place no faith in the mercy of your fellow citizens.
I am better at politics than I am at anything else.
I’m nothing to do with the Conservative Party; I’m not a member of the Conservative Party. I stopped being a member shortly after I stopped being a member of Parliament and I took up a career as a broadcaster.
A wood carving of Quixote on his nag Rocinante graced my childhood home.
I have that normal male thing of valuing myself according to the job I do.
My eyes are at different levels, and my right ear’s a bit bigger than my left – which showed up particularly in school photographs – so my mother used to call me her ‘little Picasso.’
There’s much about the British Raj which I think is disreputable. It was rapacious; it was a sort of kleptocracy, and it was also racist. Indians were not treated as equals.
Ask anyone where they were when they heard of Diana’s death, and they won’t hesitate, because nobody can forget. Along with 9/11, it remains the most poleaxeing public event, news so shocking it made me shake, and drove everything else from my mind for days.
If a prince marries a foreign princess, one to the manner born, he is being snobbish and old-fashioned. If he chooses a Diana or a Fergie, glamorous outsiders, they may never adapt to the restrictions of being Royal, with calamitous results.
Here in Britain, we can get a little bit snobby about American history. Yes, their history is not quite as long as ours. But it isn’t all that short, either.
I have Spanish ancestry and, indeed, speak the language, up to a point.
Our situations… are very different. The nature of our politics is different. I don’t deny, though, that political cycles, which are observable in the United States, are sometimes observable here.
From Brighton to Bradford, from Suffolk to Somerset, I have explored some remarkable buildings and structures that, in different ways, have helped to shed light on the way modern Britain has developed.
Non-fictionalised accounts of horrific accidents, bereavement, and the outrages of officialdom tend to move us deeply.
Oppositions usually say ridiculous things and must embarrassingly then ditch untenable positions.
People are obviously very interested in travel, including travel in Britain.
Whenever I’m in Edinburgh, which I visit often, I always try to hop on a train to Kirkcaldy to visit the art gallery, where my grandfather was convenor for 36 years, to revisit the marvellous paintings from my childhood – as do other family members.
My grandfather, who was always keen to promote living artists, staged an unprecedented exhibition of Peploe’s works at Kirkcaldy in 1928.
I have liked trains since I was a boy, although I was never a train-spotter.
Sleep deprivation over quite a short period of time can make you paranoid.
I worry how I look.
The advantage of trains over planes is that there is much less hassle. You can get up from your seat and stroll about; you’re more likely to meet people, and, particularly if you’re making a long journey, you can actually see the terrain.
I don’t know why, but I think the eating of food is hugely enhanced when you do it on a train. Even a simple steak and chips, when the world is rushing past outside, can take you to heaven.
The true symbolism of every facet of ‘Guernica’ can only be guessed at, but we do know that it haunted Picasso.
Anyone, they say, is entitled to change his mind. Not about the defence of Britain, you’re not. You either feel it in your heart, in your bones, in your gut, or you don’t.
There’s only one person who knows me – and that’s me.
I do rather rejoice when people come up to talk to me about railways.
For good or ill, communism transformed the globe, but how many of us realise the crucial role played by a Manchester public library – Chethams, the oldest library in the English-speaking world – in the honing of that ideology?
The truth is a good thing.
My own father was a refugee from the Spanish civil war in the 1930s, later going on to become a BBC radio producer after World War II.
It’s a dilemma for every modern parent – how to keep children safe on social media without monitoring their every post.
I don’t mind being a bit of a showman.
I don’t think I’ve got a thick skin, but I’ve not felt particularly humiliated by the things which people think I would have felt humiliated by, such as losing my seat in 1997 and not being elected leader in 2001. In the second case, I felt relieved.
If the Tories and Lib Dems fought together, they’d keep their ministerial offices and limousines, and continue to do the right things for the U.K. But too many backbenchers in both parties yearn for Opposition, preferring hallucinogenic ideological purity and political irrelevance to the mucky reality of governing.
It’s not as if I’ve ever been to prison or been close to going to prison. The closest I’ve got is knowing people who have been in jail – after all, I was a member of Parliament – and visiting them there during their sentence.
I have never served on a jury because MPs were exempted – or banned, I think.
Again and again, people get more conservative as they get older.
In some of the estates, there are generations of people who have been without work, so the environment and the example passed down generations is the normality of being without work.
My Scottish grandfather, John W. Blyth, was a man addicted to paintings. A manufacturer of linen, he spent all his surplus money on pictures.
British-built railways in India helped the British to make money and maintain order and, as a by-product, served to unite the country, ripe for independence.
What’s extraordinary about Cobra Mist, and so much of what went on at Orford, was that the public were completely oblivious to it.
Three letters send a chill down the spine of the enemy: SAS. Those letters spell out one clear message. Don’t mess with Britain!
When you are being interviewed by Jeremy Paxman, you are the prisoner in the dock: assumed guilty unless proved innocent, under intense pressure, on the defensive. There are very few people who can look relaxed in that position.
A vocation is a noble thing and not to be subverted by the whims of politicians.
For all those who experienced it, the Spanish Civil War was devastating.
Before my teens, my contemporaries were reading Tolkien and were absorbed by his works, but try as I might, I could not be drawn in, perhaps as something in me resists the epic, medieval-feeling fantasy.
We must have a welfare system that we can afford, which will mean giving greater attention to directing the welfare program toward its primary purposes and its intended beneficiaries.
I think a lot of people of my generation have a certain guilt that, from the Sixties onwards, we started taking package holidays abroad and neglected our own country.
I can never thoroughly appreciate meals on ships because, away from land, I feel my autonomy is restricted.
King Edward VIII was forced to abdicate because he was determined to marry a divorced woman. As a result of that decision, the Queen’s father, George VI, was obliged to lead the country through a war that threatened its survival, with all the personal pain portrayed in ‘The King’s Speech.’
As a presenter, you have to speak with artificial energy and enthusiasm.
One of the reasons that Thatcher promoted home ownership is that it promoted responsible citizens with a stake in society. But another reason was that those people would tend to be Conservative.
I love a good meal on a train, and if I’m travelling on a discount ticket, the challenge is to eat more than the price of the fare.
The stakes are high in politics.
‘Bradshaw’s’ is a lovely device for the time-travelling television presenter. I just hope that people buying it aren’t doing so with the intention of plotting a tour of 21st-century Europe. They’ll find quite a lot has changed since 1913.
In any family, the joy of a wedding must be tinged with a little anxiety. So many marriages fail. Luckily, people often get over such traumas. But for the Royal Family, marriages carry the gravest dangers.
The two biggest legacies of the Raj are the unification of India and the English language. Moreover, without the railways, India would not have been connected and could not have become one country.
My father was possessed of an extraordinary romantic idealism, an unwavering belief in certain principles. He was always talking about the past. Always. Of course, it has a powerful effect on me.