Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The rise of Beaconsfield

Sometime ago I warned of the return of Beaconsfield, a man whose reputation belies the evil he did to the world, a man whose silky tongue and undoubted personal achievement concealed an overweening ambition and a ruthless disdain for the peoples of this earth.

In my recent historical researches I have been astounded that for a time he was held up as a beacon for the moderate wing of the Conservative Party, as if his battlecry of "one nation" was anything more than a euphemism for the creation of an unwonted empire. Indeed it grieves me enormously that these same moderates frequently equate him with Sir Robert Peel, a man who would not sit on the same benches as this individual and who must be held in the highest esteem for his contribution to the freedom of nations and civilised commerce between peoples.

Now it seems his heir, the MP for Beaconsfield, has been elevated to high status and may indeed hope to hold one of the highest offices in the land. I would not condemn this personage, Mr Dominic Grieve, as I would his predecessor. He seems to me a gentleman of estimable intentions; but my instinct in my earlier encounter with him was that there was a dangerous dearth of ideas.

Now it seems I am proved right. On the one hand Mr Grieve declared his support for his predecessor's declaration of war on behalf of liberty; on the other hand, I am informed, he now espouses measures that would remove the liberties of ordinary people to an extent that has not been experienced since Waterloo.

This is how liberty dies - with thunderous applause I believe is an appropriate quotation from a modern piece of popular literature.

The same author refers me to a gentleman called Milton, who also defends the intrusion of the state on the individual for petty matters. This Milton cannot, I dare hope, be a descendant of the poet who wrote that great declaration of freedom, the Areopagitica.



Geoffrey Hussein Kruse-Safford said...

It is my outsider's, and amateur's, opinion that Beaconsfieldism ruled your Tories not just through Lord Salisbury but indeed up through and including Mrs. Thatcher. I was not as impressed with poor John Major, who was put in the position of waiting in the wings far too long by Mrs. Thatcher's attempt to hold on to the reins of power much too long.

In any event, I think Beaconsfieldism continues not just in your Tories, but in our Republicans. With a dearth of ideas (at one time, I believe they actually had a few, even if they were bad and eminently unworkable), all they have left is Empire and a call to arms. I do hope that this new MP for Beaconsfield does not, any time soon, hold high office in your great Kingdom.

On a related matter, I am curious as to your opinion on the relative merits of former PM Tony Blair and current PM Gordon Brown. In light of the former Prime Minister's conversion to the Roman Church, much like Newman's and others of your age and acquaintance, I am curious as to your feelings. Of course, there is also the consideration of Mr. Blair's obfuscations in the run up to Britain's participation in our ill-conceived war in Iraq.

WEG said...

May I refer you to my previous writings on this matter:
A Clanging Bell
A Moral Vision?

WEG said...

This will lead you to some earlier thoughts of mine on Mr Blair.

Geoffrey Hussein Kruse-Safford said...

Thank you for the links, and for your thoughts. As a non-Englishman, I am always interested in the views of your fellow countrymen. All we get here are relative pieces, which is to say pieces that discuss British politics as they relate to the US.

I have watched Prime Minister's Questions on occasion on our satellite public affairs network, and am intrigued by the thought that our Congress could be as boisterous as your lower House is.

In any event, dear sir, I thank you, and please know I check you often and welcome your views. If you ever have need to contact me personally, my email address is available though my blogger profile.