Monday 8 June 2015

The principle of not harassing the country

'We come in on the principle of not harassing the country.' 
So said Disraeli after defeating the Liberals and forming a Conservative ministry in 1874. 

If only England had Tories like that now, not Tories that introduce single-sex marriage and change the rules of succession to the throne. 

Though, actually, those two profoundly anti-conservative changes to my country passed without many people seeming at all harassed. The English are only mildly conservative and have been taught and believe that social conservatism is wicked. It is, in fact, as Charles Moore recently said, 'borderline illegal'.

In 1874 political change was still considered exceptional and people, Liberals as much as Conservatives, thought that once a certain number of necessary reforms had been carried out there would be little need for further legislation. This is the greatest change in the world since 1874, that we now accept that we live in a permanent revolution, a concept invented by Karl Marx.

Far from reaching 'the end of history' history seems to be speeding up all the time. Lord Rees-Mogg, in the early 1990s, thought that this process of acceleration pointed to us reaching the end times in the medium-term future.


  1. Even in my lifetime social attitude changes seem faster than all of time before 1900.