By Tony Hudson
It all started with Maggie.
Before the Iron Lady, Britain's prime minister and the American president seemed to be operating in completely different political systems.
While the US president is often referred to as 'the most powerful man in the world', it may be more accurate to say the president is 'the most influential man in the world' as his actual power – within the US at least – is very limited by the strict institutional rules created by the US constitution.
In the UK, the prime minister was a man operating from a position of potential weakness: everything about his ability to govern depended on the size of his majority in the Commons.
Then came Thatcher. She was the first prime minister to really make the UK premiership 'presidential'. Tony Blair followed in her footsteps, going even further and blurring the boundaries between the two roles at the summit of the US-UK special relationship.
Dr James Boys, a senior visiting research fellow at King's College, London,Read More »from Of prime ministers and presidents: Thatcher’s forgotten legacy