• Then as now? John, Viscount Morley of Blackburn OM, PC


    Above is a photograph of the Liberal statesman the Right Honourable John, 1st Viscount Morley of Blackburn OM, PC (24 December 1838 – 23 September 1923).

    He served this country as Chief Secretary for Ireland between 6th February 1886 and 20th July 1886; as Secretary of State for India between 10th December 1905 and 3rd November 1910 and as Lord President of the Council between 7th November 1910 and 5th August 1914.

    In a letter to Sir Francis Webster in May 1923, two months before his death, Lord Morley wrote:

    “Present party designations have become empty of all contents…Vastly extended state expenditure, vastly increased demands from the taxpayer who has to provide the money, social reform regardless of expense, cash exacted from the taxpayer already at his wits’ end—when were the problems of plus and minus more desperate? How are we to measure the use and abuse of industrial organization? Powerful orators find “Liberty” the true keyword, but then I remember hearing from a learned student that of “liberty” he knew well over two hundred definitions. Can we be sure that the “haves” and the “have-nots” will agree in their selection of the right one? We can only trust to the growth of responsibility; we may look to circumstances and events to teach their lesson.”

    What has changed?

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