Thursday, May 19, 2022

The Westminster Gazette pays tribute to Charles Masterman at his death in 1927

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This how the Liberal newspaper The Westminster Gazette noticed the death of Charles Masterman in 1927:

The death of Mr. Charles Masterman ends a career which had brilliant promise, considerable achievement, and more than its share of the accidents of political mischance. 

All who knew him will recall, as a gift outshining many others in a versatile array, a spirit of gay courage in confronting life which made him one of the most friendly personalities of our day. If his humour became rather caustic, almost sardonic. it remained good humour. 

He kept the faith of Liberalism against the temptation to seek a larger career on the Labour side. He was a democratic Liberal who hoped that there would be a junction between the Labour Right and the Liberal Left. He worked for this in the 1923 Parliament. 

His book, "The Condition of England," was the best broad survey of social England written before the Liberal revival in 1906, and his best journalism. 

As a Minister he did most of the solid work which produced the Insurance system, improved factory conditions, and established the standard of the minimum wage to be found in the Trade Boards Act 

Perhaps he was too waywardly poised to have become a Prime Minister, for which many of his qualities would have fitted him, but few politicians have done more to advance "the condition of the people" problem.

As the best days of Harborough's own J.W. Logan were in the 1890s, Charles Masterman is my favourite Edwardian Liberal. 

Everyone should have a favourite Edwardian Liberal.

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