Friday, June 20, 2008

Even Homer nods

bonus dormitat Homerus as the great poet Horace stated in his poem addressed to Piso.

"Even the good Homer takes an occasional nap". You must therefore forgive an old man for dozing off on occasion. I have not been entirely unwakeful but there are many things to which I must accustom myself in this age.

There is the appalling realisation that the good people of Cheshire have long embraced the Tories - and that even the people of Crewe long ago turned their backs on the legacy of the good Mr Walter McLaren to embrace other non-Liberal political faiths. What, I pray, is the point of maintaining my library in the county if no heed is paid to its contents?

Then there is the wickedness of this age, a matter I was discussing before taking a rest. As for the nation's Church, I cannot contemplate its condition.

Is there now hope of a new liberalism, of the nation awaking to the news that the true debate is always between the forces of reaction and those of liberty? For it is a former Conservative, Mr Davis, who has launched a crusade for liberty and has appealed directly to the good voters of England to back his cause. Echoes of Midlothian rebound through my memory but, I fear, we are to be disappointed. For the forces of reaction are cowards. They hide in shadows and shelter behind prejudice. The socialists will not field a candidate against Mr Davis. They assure us they are seeking an independent who will defend the case for oppression, who will demand the removal of liberty and who will deride the alarms of free men. But it seems no such person can be found.

So Mr Davis may aspire to wear my mantle, to be a Conservative Gladstone, but I fear he may end up as Don Quixote.