Saturday, November 05, 2005


Martin Kettle has a column in this morning's Guardian in praise of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman. He is the forgotten prime minister - the man who led the Liberals to their 1906 landslide.

Kettle quotes from a speech of 1898 where CB answered the question "What is Liberalism?":
"I should say it means the acknowledgment in practical life of the truth that men are best governed who govern themselves; that the general sense of mankind, if left alone, will make for righteousness; that artificial privileges and restraints upon freedom, so far as they are not required in the interests of the community, are hurtful; and that the laws, while, of course, they cannot equalise conditions, can at least avoid aggravating inequalities, and ought to have for their object the securing to every man the best chance he can have of a good and useful life."
Next time someone asks me why I am a Liberal I shall quote this.

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