The tussle for leadership of the Conservative party after three massive failures has provided an opportunity for all of us media types to reflect on the relative contributions of prime ministers in our own lifetime to international public relations.
After more than 40 years as a mainstream and business journalist and public relations consultant, I have had the privilege of interviewing all of our prime ministers from Harold Macmillan to John Major.
All of them came over to me with great sincerity and real sense of purpose to try to make the country and the world a better place with the skills they had to offer.
And to this extent I could regale readers with quips from them about various short comings on my part, such as my late arrival for a press conference having been delayed by traffic or because of an insatiable appetite by news editors always trying to squeeze a quart into a pint pot.
Harold Macmillan was the epitome of gentility, Harold Wilson and his pipe fitted ideally into a local public house, Ted Heath always seemed above it all, whatever the crisis and John Major always seemed sincere and naively honest. What of Mrs Thatcher? Well, I know she got many things wrong like the poll tax and changes in the National Health Service, particularly those matters involving the care and health of our senior citizens, and other issues as well.
But when travelling the world in the eighties for Tarmac plc, from North America to Africa and trying to be hard-headedly dispassionate, I have to say that she generated such outstandingly incredible public relations.
Indeed, she gave us back our sense of value, our identity, our place in the world --after the Germans and the French had so often described us as " the sick man of Europe."
It is so important I believe to understand how far we have come since then - after endless strikes which almost destroyed our economy.
Mrs Thatcher gave us our backbone back and so said leading politicians around the world because she was prepared to stand up and be counted.
I remember addressing a chamber of commerce gathering in Washington with the opening remarks that we certainly wouldn't exchange Mrs Thatcher for Presidents Reagan, Carter and Ford put together while many of the businessmen present thought that was a good trade!
The positive public relations that emanated for the United Kingdom was incredible. Everyone wanted to talk about our changing, improving fortunes and our newly found 'iron lady.'
She knew how important it was to heed the advice of her PR man, Bernard Ingham and when looking over a sea of faces she had such a fertile memory bank, remembering Christian names of people she had probably only met once or twice previously.
I recall that friendly banter was also part of her stock in trade being quite prepared to discuss how the press referred to Denis and his taste for gin as well as other matters involving her family life and how she personally escorted all and sundry around No 10.
What a tragedy that such an outstanding PR icon could not be allowed to retire gracefully and that there was so much plotting behind the scenes.
* Ken Jackson is from Jackson Brown & Associates. Do you agree with him? logon onto www.icbirmingham.co.uk/postmandm and have your say.