Ken Clarke has been a Whip or a Minister under every Conservative Prime Minister since 1970, other than the one who came to office after he had already announced his intention to retire from the House of Commons.
He was a Minister continuously from 1979 to 1997, implementing key aspects of Thatcherism at Health and Education. He was Chancellor of the Exchequer for most of John Major's Premiership, notably attempting to double VAT on domestic fuel and power.
Had the Conservatives won the 1997 Election, then he would certainly have taken Britain into the euro, to which Gordon Brown had the foresight to be implacably opposed. Like the Liberal Democrats, he must take a share of the blame for every bad thing that the Coalition did at home and abroad.
Yes, he voted against the Iraq War, and he delivered what now turns out to have been a painfully prescient speech against it. But that was his stopped clock moment. He is no hero.