Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Dinner at the Campbell-Bannermans

BBC Four's Edwardian season, and its emphasis on food in particular - I can't get the channel but it is impossible to avoid the trailers - has reminded me of a quotation to be found on my anthology blog Serendib:
Campbell-Bannerman weighed almost 20 stone, as did his wife. He once described his favourite menu as mutton broth, fresh herring or salmon, haggis, roast mutton, grouse, apple tart and strawberries, and he finished every meal with gingerbread and butter.
But if we are talking of C-B we must also quote his wonderful answer to the question "What is Liberalism?", which I have given here before:
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.

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