Cookie Consent

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Tory Manifestos, Part Three

       "But the republican model of the House of Russell was Venice;  of their plebian allies, Geneva.  The Peers, to reduce the power of the Crown, now supported by the great majority of the nation, called in the aid of the Puritans, and to obtain the aid of the Puritans attacked the Church:  the Puritans, to insure the destruction of the religious establishment, allied themselves with the Peers in their assault upon the King, whose office, apart from the ecclesiastical polity, they were inclined to respect, and even to reverence. . . .Their cry was, "Civil and Religious Freedom"--that is, a Doge and no Bishops:  advocating the liberty of the subject, the Peers would have established an oligarchy;  upholding toleration, the Puritans aimed at supremacy. . . .Instead of "swamping" the Tory House of Commons by a Septennial Act, they have moulded it to their use and fancy by a reconstruction which has secured a prepondering influence to their sectarian allies:  instead of restricting the royal prerogative in the creation of Peers, they have counselled its prodigal exercise;  but before they had only to confirm their power in the House of Lords, now they have to create their power. . . .The House of Commons remodelled, the House of Lords menaced, the King unconstitutionally controlled, the Church is next attacked, then the Corporations, and they do not conceal that the Magistracy is to be the next victim:  and the nation is thus mangled and torn to pieces, its most sacred feelings outraged, its most important interests destroyed, by a miserable minority arrogating to themselves the bewildering title of "the People," and achieving all this misery and misfortune, all this havoc and degradation, in the sacred name of liberty, and under the impudent pretence of advancing the great cause of popular amelioration, and securing the common good and general happiness."
                                           Benjamin Disraeli ,Vindication of the English Constitution                                                                             (1835)

No comments: