It is my recollection that even as a schoolboy in the privileged cloisters of Eton I was disturbed by news of the Peterloo massacre in Manchester; later in life I considered it a special honour to speak in the Free Trade Hall in remembrance of those much-maligned agitators for democracy.
Indeed a poet coined these words:
Shades, that soft Sedition woo,
Around the haunts of Peterloo!
That hover o'er the meeting-halls,
Where many a voice stentorian bawls!
Still flit the sacred choir around,
With "Freedom" let the garrets ring,
And vengeance soon in thunder sound
On Church, and constable, and king.
I confess - there were my own juvenile scribblings. Later in life I rose to condemn an equally appalling massacre in Ireland.
My recollections are stirred as fresh news seeps into the British consciousness daily of the G20 horror, to which I referred briefly previously, - it cannot thankfully be termed a massacre - in London, a disgraceful attempt to suppress the liberties of the people, even as America's new young liberal president visited our nation for the first time. President Obama cannot but have thought the British soul has not moved on from the dying days of imperialism had he heard of these events.
It is gratifying to see that my successor Mr Nick Clegg continues to uphold the banner of liberty and has even now been commended by conservative writers for his foresight.
Indeed just as I write I hear that the victim of the G20 horror died not from failure of his heart but from injuries caused by assault. The matter becomes more serious by the day.
Sadly it cannot be hoped that the Queen's ghillie will in any way seek to restore liberties to this nation. Whether tainted solely by power or by the collectivist spirit of socialism, he appears to operate in the shadows, deploying, with increasing ineffectiveness, his forces to suppress the people and malign his opponents.
President Obama in contrast is to be complimented for exposing the corrupted advice that led to his country's agents indulging in torture of suspects. It is to be hoped that in his desire to lay the past to rest he does not allow the guilty to escape free.
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