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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Tyler

Relevant or Not? You decide

Below I list a number of quotations from Prime Ministers, Political Commentators, and others.

You may find them interesting, even provocative. You might even find they have a relevance the present political handling of the Corona virus.

Whatever your views I believe they make us think.

  1. George Orwell, Animal Farm. "All orders were now issued through Squealer or one of the other pigs. Napoleon himself was not seen in public as often as once a fortnight."

  2. George Orwell, Animal Farm. "All animals are equal but some are more equal than others."

  3. Sir Robert Walpole, PM. " The very idea of true patriotism is lost, and the term has been prostituted to the very worst of purposes. A patriot, sir! Why patriots spring up like mushrooms."

  4. Lord North, PM at time of American War of Independence. "Four or five frigates will do the business without any military force."

  5. Lord North, PM at time of American War of Independence. "Man may be popular without being ambitious, but there is hardly an ambitious man who does not try to be popular."

  6. William Gladstone, PM. "Decision by majorities is as much an expedient, as lighting by gas."

  7. Winston Churchill, PM. "The English never draw a line without blurring it."

  8. Attlee, PM. "The Old School Tie can still be seen on the Government benches." Attlee himself was educated at Haileybury & ISC, but I think he was referring to a closeted elite Cabinet.

  9. Attlee, PM, to his first Cabinet. "You will be judged by what you succeed at gentlemen, not by what you attempt."

  10. Colin Powell, American soldier and politician. " There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.

  11. Walter Bagehot, British Constitutional expert: "Cabinet governments educate the nation; presidential does not educate it, and may corrupt it." Remember how Tony Benn described our modern system of Cabinet government as 'Presidential'.

  12. Philip Collins, The Times, 22.5.20. "....the role of teacher-in-chief has been intrinsic to politics since its earliest days. As a classicist, Mr Johnson will be aware of the virtues of Pericles, the great Athenian statesman, and of his associate Protagoras, most notable among the sophists who taught the skill of public explanation..........There is more than one way to teach a lesson but no way of avoiding the responsibility."

  13. HL Mencken, American journalist and writer on the constitution. "....a [politician] who loves the clapper-clawing of the vulgar must pay for it under the democratic system. He becomes a coward and a trimmer ex officio. Where his dignity was in the days of his innocence there is now only a vacuum in the wastes of his subconscious. Vanity remains to him, but not pride."

  14. HL Mencken, American journalist and writer on the constitution. "Nor has England, ....[an] eminent democratic state, got the name of perfide Albion for nothing. Ruled by shady men, a nation itself becomes shady."

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