John Major: Difference between revisions

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== Early post-school career (1959–1979) ==
Major's first job was as a clerk in the London-based insurance brokerage firm [[Alexander Forbes Group Holdings|Price Forbes]] in 1959, though finding the job dull and offering no prospects he quit.{{sfn|Major|2000|p=26-27}}{{sfn|Seldon|1998|p=16}} Major began working with his brother Terry at the garden ornaments business; this had been sold in 1959, enabling the family to move to a larger residence at 80 Burton Road, Brixton.{{sfn|Major|2000|p=27-28}}{{sfn|Seldon|1998|p=18}} Major's father died on 17 March 1962.{{sfn|Major|2000|p=29}}{{sfn|Seldon|1998|p=18}} John left the ornaments business the following year to care for his ill mother, though when she got better he was unable to find a new job and was unemployed for much of the latter half of 1962, a situation he says was "degrading."{{sfn|Seldon|1998|p=18}} After Major became Prime Minister, it was misreported that his failure to get a job as a bus conductor resulted from his failing to pass a maths test; he had in fact passed all of the necessary tests but had been passed over owing to his height.{{sfn|Major|2000|p=30}}{{sfn|Seldon|1998|p=18}} In the meantime he studied for a qualification in Bankingbanking via [[Distance education|correspondence course]].<ref>{{cite web|title=LSBF Great Minds Series :Sir John Major on Vocational Education|url=|via=YouTube|accessdate=9 March 2019}}</ref>{{sfn|Seldon|1998|p=21}} Eventually in December 1962 he found a job working at the [[London Electricity Board]] (LEB) in [[Elephant and Castle]].{{sfn|Major|2000|p=30}}{{sfn|Seldon|1998|p=18}}
In 1959 Major had joined the [[Young Conservatives (UK)|Young Conservatives]] in Brixton and soon became a highly active member, which helped increase his confidence following the failure of his school days.{{sfn|Major|2000|p=28}}{{sfn|Seldon|1998|p=19}} Encouraged by fellow Conservative Derek Stone, he started giving speeches on a [[soapbox|soap-box]] in [[Brixton Market]].{{sfn|Major|2000|p=28-29}}{{sfn|Seldon|1998|p=18}} According to his biographer [[Anthony Seldon]], Major brought "youthful exuberance" to the Tories in Brixton, but was sometimes in trouble with the professional agent Marion Standing.{{sfn|Seldon|1998|p=19}} Major stood as a Councillor in the [[1964 Lambeth London Borough Council election]] for [[Larkhall (ward)|Larkhall ward]] at the age of 21 in 1964, losing to Labour.{{sfn|Major|2000|p=31}}{{sfn|Seldon|1998|p=21}} He also assisted local Conservative candidates Kenneth Payne in the [[1964 United Kingdom general election|1964 general election]] and [[Piers Dixon]] in the [[1966 United Kingdom general election|1966 general election]].{{sfn|Major|2000|p=31}}{{sfn|Seldon|1998|p=21-2}} Another formative influence on Major in this period was Jean Kierans, a divorcée 13 years his elder with two children who lived opposite the family on Burton Road, who became his mentor and lover. Seldon writes "She&nbsp;... made Major smarten his appearance, groomed him politically, and made him more ambitious and worldly."{{sfn|Seldon|1998|p=21}} Major later moved in with Kierans when his family left Burton Road in 1965;{{sfn|Major|2000|p=33}}{{sfn|Seldon|1998|p=21-2}} their relationship lasted from 1963 to sometime after 1968.<ref>{{Cite web|url=|title=The young John Major and the older woman|date=6 February 1995|website=The Independent|access-date=6 February 2019}}</ref>