Thursday, 13 May 2010

The future, written in stone?

Yesterday, I happened to be attending a lunch at The National Liberal Club, where I noticed this magnificent marble bust of 19th century Prime Minister, Gladstone, at the entrance. Innocent looking enough as a decorative work of art…

Busts are a great way of being immortalized for posterity, as well as adding a touch of gravitas to any interior. We’ve got some curiously colourful, contemporary examples, based on classical sculptures by Hacene Sadoune at ShopCurious. (If you’d like a bust made in your image, or that of a loved one, this can also be arranged).

Anyway, when my eyes wandered down to the text inscribed on the plinth below the bust, I was genuinely surprised to read Gladstone’s words from a speech at Chester:

“The principle of Toryism is mistrust of the people, qualified by fear: the principle of Liberalism is trust in the people qualified by prudence.”

How curious that the Liberals now share power with the Tories, holding office for the first time in over half a century. And extraordinary that partial control of the Government is in the hands of this minority party, which actually lost seats in the recent election. Does this indicate how far the parties have progressed to overcome their differences – or should these words act as a warning for the future of this historic coalition?

What do you think?

Do you?


worm said...

Their double act was pretty good yesterday!

But lets face it, they're still politicians. I'm going to invoke 'liberal prudence' by stating that whatever happens is 100% guaranteed to end in a vague feeling of disappointment.

Jan said...

It's too early to say of course, but I think things may have moved on a bit since Gladstone's day !

Susan said...

Hopefully, though our response when faced with volcanic ash (or a bit of snow) seems somewhat Victorian. Back now, thanks!