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Kenneth Clarke: Former Chancellor, Future Party Leader?

The results of two opinion polls released in early September 2005 show that for those polled, Kenneth Clarke was the most favoured candidate for party leadership out of all the possible contenders.

An ICM poll for the BBC found that 40% supported him, and a Populus poll for the Times newspaper produced a figure of 41%. The next nearest candidate was David Davis, with 10% of the vote.

We may be sceptical about polls such as this, and with good reason, however there is no doubt that Clarke is one to keep an eye on in this contest.

Kenneth Clarke is another politician with a legal background. He became a barrister in 1963 and a QC in 1980. He was elected as an MP in 1970, and has remained an MP ever since. A Minister in seven government departments, Kenneth has been Secretary of State for Education and Secretary of State for Health, introducing highly controversial - and some would say, very damaging - reforms such as league tables for schools, and the NHS Trusts. He was selected to be part of Margaret Thatcher's Cabinet team in 1988, and John Major appointed him Chancellor of the Exchequer in May 1993, a post which Kenneth held until May 1997.

Kenneth Clarke's birth chart

The time of birth for Ken Clarke is unavailable so this chart wheel does not show house cusps, and we cannot be certain of the Moon's exact position - it moved from Taurus into Gemini on the day Ken was born - so it will be omitted from this discussion.

Kenneth Clarke - birth chart

Ken's triple conjunction of Mercury, Mars and Pluto across the signs Cancer and Leo is indicative of inscrutability combined and powerful speaking skills. This is an intense and resourceful thinker who is likely to hate losing an argument. The cut and thrust of debate will appeal, however the resistance to being questioned is not conducive to open government.

This is reinforced by the placing of Pluto on the halfway point between Mercury and Mars, known as 'Pluto on the Mercury/Mars midpoint'. This reflects sharply perceptions and an ability to fire words to their target like homing missiles. A keenly penetrating mind able to cut right to the heart of the matter is one of the strong points of this configuration, but again, the absolute dislike of losing a verbal joust could incline to a desire for revenge, aka a 're-match'.

With Chiron placed on the midpoints of Sun/Mercury, Sun/Mars, and Sun/Pluto there are definitely issues around feeling competent, powerful, and in charge. Prowess is what it is all about; bruised male egos can be difficult to heal. Ken is likely to struggle to overcome a feeling of insignificance, ineffectiveness, and impotence, and thus have a tendency to overcompensate in competitive situations or where his ego feels in danger of being humiliated.

With three planets in Cancer - Sun, Venus, and Mars - Ken will often operate from gut instincts and feelings. He is likely to be very self-protective, and has the potential to be caring and nurturing but Sun-Mars in Cancer often tend towards bossiness and an attitude of 'I know best what you need'. Unfortunately, having these personal planets in Cancer also often means that the person lacks interpersonal awareness, and so is unable to see that they are wrong on this score.

Clarke was born when all of the planets but one were contained in the first five signs of the Zodiac, and they are signs which focus on 'I-me-mine'. His nodal axis across Libra-Aries backs up this interpretation; he needs to develop awareness of others as people in their own right, not merely as extensions of himself. Given his age, he is likely to have done a considerable amount of development in this direction, however there is always further to go.

Finally, Ken's Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus placed in Taurus is associated with having a sense of society that is grounded in earthy materialism and economics, typical of a Conservative. When he was appointed Chancellor on 27th May 1993, transiting Jupiter and transiting Saturn were both quintile his natal Jupiter and natal Saturn, reflecting the activation of his Taurean placements. In addition, transiting Saturn (responsibility) was trine his Venus (finances), transiting Pluto (power) was quintile his Venus, and transiting Venus was also quintile his Venus, and the transiting Sun was on his Venus/Jupiter and Venus/Saturn midpoints.

This article was written & published on 24th September 2005

Related article: Conservative Party Leadership Contest - this article contains information on Kenneth Clarke's transits and his chart's connections with the Party. Click here if you would like to read it.

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