Had the USA done differently these would have happened:
The Cold War would have ended by itself.
Soviets would not have been able to hold on under the weight of its personality cult and mis-rule; Gorbachev did call for more openeness because he had no other alternative. A catastrophic event like Chernobyl showed the USSR had to update its technology and let in expertise from outside; Its ageing submarines around the Baltic and the North Sea for example and deeply ingrained black market profiteering was a symptom of the weak authority or lack of will in cleaning up administration. Dwindling population already decimated by WWII and under repression were not strong to force changes..
2. Osama bin Laden would have been the founder
of a chain of companies: or directing his own construction company from one of the Saudi office blocks spending his time with with his team setting new goals for branching out into different parts of UAE. Name of the company: Al Quaida Construction Co.,
3. Saddam Hussein would have moved from being one of those street- smart hoodlum into the the service of some ageing Sheik. Or he would have continued in Egypt, sucking upto rich tourists coming in to visit the pyramids.
4. As for Iraq the British interests were already on the wane. America would have had greater role to play in the Middlle East. So many deaths on the sides of Iraq,Iran and of US Marines would have been spared.
This is terrible, I mean to rewrite history. (from my post of April 1,2007 in Journalspace )
Archive for the ‘history’ Category
Had the USA done differently these would have happened:
Posted in history, philosophy, tagged Benny Thomas, historical narrative, history, life, narrative, non-persons, Seige of Stalingrad, shifts in focus, simplification, the enemy at the gates, Vasily Zaitsev on June 1, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
During the bitter struggle for Stalingrad in the Second World War the Germans had the initial advantage but the element of surprise was worn thin by the indomitable courage of the Russians who were fighting for the Motherland. The Russians would not give up and were reduced to fight for every street. In this close combat snipers were an essential part. Vasily Zaitsev was a hero who killed some 300 Germans. He was awarded by the Party for his crucial role.
If one reads German invasion of Soviet Russia the siege of Stailngrad is reduced to a few pages and the role of Vasily may be told in a line at the most. Suppose we were to look at the whole WWII the role of Vasily, most certainly will be left out. In simplification some shift in focus is necessary.
It is like reducing the earth to the size of a golf ball. There shall be no Grand Canyon or the Himalayas. It will be smoother than the golf ball. We are all players in terms of history. Only that we don’t get written about. Our waking lives we may not have place for anything else but of ourselves. Yet we have become non-persons in the human narraive of time and place.
Posted in fables, history, tagged Aesop Fables updated, Benny Thomas, Catholics, Gen. Franco, Legion of Christ, Moors, Ninos Rabados, Opus Dei, religion,, Spain, stat, the Church of Rome on May 29, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
A fuller whose job is to make the clothes shine had large grounds. He thought someone else could set up his trade there. He knew the rent would add to his profits. So he sent advertisements all around for some trader or an artisan to move in. One day a collier dropped in. He was interested. All he needed was a furnace and space for storing firewood. ‘Just let me in. I look after my needs and pay rent on the day agreed and give you no trouble’,said he.
The fuller took the collier to show his line of business. ‘See I only need sunshine and space to hang all the clothes bleached to dry out.’
The collier showed him in his turn how he worked. ‘See that chimney stack. It takes all the smoke and will not trouble you or me.’
The fuller however was not convinced. He said, ‘you shall keep your end of the bargain.I know. Unfortunately we share the same sky. I need the sun to make my clothes shine spotless and keep their whiteness. But can I trust wind or your smoke? I know you mean no harm. But the wind may blow all that smoke onto my space and undo my hard work. It is better that you go elsewhere. It will give me peace.’
The State and Religion cannot mix. There are so many imponderables and not a single state has been saved by religion. Instead Religion has only defeated every effort of best of men who would give peace to men within the state. Look at Spain under the Moors. How the Moors and Christians fought for its control? Imagine what would have been the case had the Moors still controlled Spain? It would have been another Syria under Bashar Assad or Libya. Now Spain under the Catholic Church produced Franco. With the Church interfering every horror man could think of under the sun has come one after the other: Inquisition, civil war, stolen children, forced adoption,sex abuse. For all the iron heel of church or dictatorship what is the economic situation? Unemployment is very high and Recession is very much there. If one looks where Spain (or any other nation where religion plays a vital role), it will be clear where these nations stand in terms of happiness.(OECD.org) Religion has been man’s own device to make him fall headlong into the pit of misery. Religion and State have been devil’s prescription for man’s pride that makes him think he is in control of his own destiny.
Remember Guernica? Remember Bali Bombing?
Posted in Christianity, history, tagged art, Benny Thomas, Christianity, Crassus, graphite, Pompei, Rosa Lyxembeur, sketch, Spartacist movement, Spartacus, St. Paul, the Frei Korps, via appia on May 4, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Roman road system
Via Appia is the crowning achievement among transportation network of the ancient Mediterranean world, extending from Britain to the Tigris-Euphrates river system and from the Danube River to Spain and northern Africa. In all, the Romans built 50,000 miles (80,000 km) of hard-surfaced highway, primarily for military reasons.
The first of the great Roman roads, the Via Appia (Appian Way), begun in 312 bce, originally ran southeast from Rome 162 miles (261 km) to Tarentum (now Taranto) and was later extended to the Adriatic coast at Brundisium (now Brindisi).
Their numerous feeder roads extending far into the Roman provinces led to the proverb “All roads lead to Rome.”
Via Appia today
The Roman roads were notable for their straightness, solid foundations, cambered surfaces facilitating drainage, and use of concrete made from pozzolana (volcanic ash) and lime. Though adapting their technique to materials locally available, the Roman engineers followed basically the same principles in building abroad as they had in Italy..
The Roman road system made possible Roman conquest and administration and later provided highways for the great migrations into the empire and a means for the diffusion of Christianity. (Of this I shall come to by and by.)
In 73 BC, a slave revolt (known as the Third Servile War) under the ex-gladiator of Capua, Spartacus, began against the Romans. Slavery accounted for roughly every third person in Italy.
Spartacus defeated many Roman armies in a conflict that lasted for over two years. While trying to escape from Italy at Brundisium he unwittingly moved his forces into the historic trap in Apulia/Calabria. The Romans were well acquainted with the region. Legions were brought home from abroad and Spartacus was pinned between armies. Many men escaped into the mountains. Only a thousand Romans died. Six thousand of the fleeing slaves were captured by Pompey’s troops and crucified along the Appian Way, from Capua to Rome. Spartacus’ body was not found.
It was Rome’s brutal message to any one who thought of overstepping the limit.
The road that the Romans built like the Silk Road will lose its importance in time. But what it carried across endures long after these physical,geographical realities.
In 1919 the Spartacists took their inspiration from Spartacus. Spartacus was an idea.
The Spartacist’s had extreme left wing political views. This group split from the SPD (Independent Socialists) in frustration at the SPD’s role within Government. The leaders of the Communist party were Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebnecht. The aims of the Spartacist’s were outlined in their Manifesto:
The Spartacist Manifesto 1918
The question today is not democracy or dictatorship… Rather, it means using all instruments of political power to achieve socialism, to expropriate the capitalist class, through and in accordance with the will of the revolutionary majority of the proletariat.
On January 1st, 1919, members of the Spartacist movement rose in an attempted revolution. Initially this move was opposed by both Liebnecht and Luxemburg, the leaders of the movement. The newly formed Weimar Government reacted promptly, and brutally. The army was deployed to bring the revolution to an end, and these were aided by the Frei Corps, a paramilitary group consisting of former servicemen. Order had been restored to the streets of Berlin by the 13th of January. Both Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebnecht were killed whilst in police custody.( http://www.schoolshistory.org.uk-spartacistuprising)
Like real people roads also carry their significance. The Silk Road was a highway for exchange of ideas, transfusion of cultures between east and the west. In the concluding post I shall write about via Appia as a facilitator of European history.
(To be concluded)
Posted in culture, history, tagged Benny Thomas, Buddhism, culture, Daoism, Genghiz Khan, history, Islam, Kublai Khan, Marco Polo, recidivism, the Black Death, the Mongols on May 3, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
outline: Silk road carried trade,exchange of ideas, culture,religion- ups and downs
Trade along the route was adversely affected by the strife which built up between the Christian and Moslem worlds. The Crusades brought the Christian world a little nearer to Central Asia, but the unified Moslem armies under Saladin drove them back again. In the Fourth Crusade, the forces of Latin Christianity scored a triumph over their Greek rivals, with the capture of Constantinople (Istanbul). However, it was not the Christians who finally split the Moslem world, but the Mongols from the east.
Whilst Europe and Western Asia were torn by religious differences, the Mongols had only the vaguest of religious beliefs. Several of the tribes of Turkestan which had launched offensives westwards towards Persia and Arabia, came to adopt Islam, and Islam had spread far across Central Asia, but had not reached as far as the tribes which wandered the vast grasslands of Mongolia. These nomadic peoples had perfected the arts of archery and horsemanship. With an eye to expanding their sphere of influence, they met in 1206 and elected a leader for their unified forces; he took the title Great Khan. Under the leadership of Genghis Khan, they rapidly proceeded to conquer a huge region of Asia. The former Han city of Jiaohe, to the west of Turfan, was decimated by the Mongols as they passed through on their way westwards. The Empire they carved out enveloped the whole of Central Asia from China to Persia, and stretched as far west as the Mediterranean. This Mongol empire was maintained after Genghis’ death, with the western section of the empire divided into three main lordships, falling to various of his descendents as lesser Khans, and with the eastern part remaining under the rule of the Great Khan, a title which was inherited from by Kublai Khan. Kubilai completed the conquest of China, subduing the Song in the South of the country, and established the Yuan dynasty.
The partial unification of so many states under the Mongol Empire allowed a significant interaction between cultures of different regions. The route of the Silk Road became important as a path for communication between different parts of the Empire, and trading was continued. Although less `civilised’ than people in the west, the Mongols were more open to ideas. Kubilai Khan, in particular, is reported to have been quite sympathetic to most religions, and a large number of people of different nationalities and creeds took part in the trade across Asia, and settled in China. The most popular religion in China at the time was Daoism, which at first the Mongols favoured. However, from the middle of the thirteenth century onwards, buddhist influence increased, and the early lamaist Buddhism from Tibet was particularly favoured. The two religions existed side by side for a long period during the Yuan dynasty. This religious liberalism was extended to all.
Any history on the Silk Road would be incomplete without mention of Marco Polo. As a member of a merchant family from Venice he took the route. Starting in 1271, at the age of only seventeen, he trekked across Persia, and then along the southern branch of the Silk Road, via Khotan, finally ending at the court of Kubilai Khan at Khanbalik, the site of present-day Beijing, and the summer palace, better known as Xanadu.
Mongol invasion was a turning point in the history of the region. Islam will fall back from what they had gained: all the turbulence,-force released by falling edifices of old beliefs, cultures muddied by trades, wars was for their taking. There was the Black Death that hit as far as Europe. Two thirds of Europe will succumb to it. History would never be the same. Islam will make a giant leap backwards and would never be the same.
(To be Cont’d)
trade carried ideas,culture route-religions,Buddhism, Christianity and Islam
This region along the Silk Road was taken over by Alexander the Great of Macedon, who finally conquered the Iranian empire, and colonised the area in about 330 B.C., superimposing the culture of the Greeks. Although he only ruled the area until 325 B.C., the effect of the Greek invasion was quite considerable.
By the third century B.C., the area had already become a crossroads of Asia, where Persian, Indian and Greek ideas met. This `crossroads’ region, covering the area to the south of the Hindu Kush and Karakorum ranges, now Pakistan and Afghanistan, was overrun by a number of different peoples. After the Greeks, the tribes from Palmyra, in Syria, and then Parthia, to the east of the Mediterranean, took over the region. They had adopted the Greek language and coin system in this region, introducing their own influences in the fields of sculpture and art.
The most significant commodity carried along this route was not silk, but religion. Buddhism came to China from India this way, along the northern branch of the route. The Eastern Han emperor Mingdi is thought to have sent a representative to India to discover more about this strange faith, and further missions returned bearing scriptures, and bringing with them monks and it is pertinent to note that the Himalayan Massif, an effective barrier between China and India made Buddhism in China more derived from the Gandhara culture by the bend in the Indus river, rather than directly from India.
Christianity also made an early appearance on the scene. The Nestorian sect was outlawed in Europe by the Roman church in 432 A.D., and its followers were driven eastwards. From their foothold in Northern Iran, merchants brought the faith along the Silk Road, and the first Nestorian church was consecrated at Changan in 638 A.D. This sect took root on the Silk Road, and survived many later attempts to wipe them out, lasting into the fourteenth century.
The height of the importance of the Silk Road was during the Tang dynasty, with relative internal stability in China after the divisions of the earlier dynasties since the Han. The 754 A.D. census showed that five thousand foreigners lived in the city; Turks, Iranians, Indians and others from along the Road, as well as Japanese, Koreans and Malays from the east. Many were missionaries, merchants or pilgrims, but every other occupation was also represented. Rare plants, medicines, spices and other goods from the west were to be found in the bazaars of the city. After the Tang, however, the traffic along the road subsided.
It was at this time that the rise of Islam started to affect Asia, with the Moslems playing the part of middlemen. The sea route to China was explored at this time, and the `Sea Silk Route’ was opened, eventually holding a more important place than the land route itself.
But the final shake-up that occurred was to come from a different direction; the hoards from the grasslands of Mongolia.
(to be continued)
Rise of humans on the earth is a chronicle of mass migrations. Among these a road is surely a consequence of choices people make to reach their destination. In times of famine they sought places where food was in abundance. Later trade between peoples connected by roads. Road is the straight line between two points where geography has a say. In terms of geography we consider unfordable rivers, lakes and insurmountable mountains as features that stretch roads about. Of these we shall look at two roads in particular. These serve as locus for entire history of Europe and Asia to fan out. It brought about changes that none could have realized. Silk Road is one and the other is Appian Way which includes Roman road system as one whole.
The region separating China from Europe and Western Asia has Taklimakan desert, known as `Land of Death’; caravans throughout history have skirted its edges, from one isolated oasis to the next. The land surrounding the Taklimakan is equally hostile. To the northeast lies the Gobi desert, almost as harsh in climate as the Taklimakan itself; on the remaining three sides lie some of the highest mountains in the world. To the South are the Himalaya, Karakorum and Kunlun ranges, which provide an effective barrier separating Central Asia from the Indian sub-continent. Only a few icy passes cross these. Coming from the west or south, the only way in is over the passes.
On the eastern and western sides of the continent, the civilisations of China and the West developed. The western end of the trade route appears to have developed earlier than the eastern end, principally because of the development of the empires in the west, and the easier terrain of Persia and Syria.
In the west, the Greek empire was taken over by the Roman Empire. It is often thought that the Romans had first encountered silk in one of their campaigns against the Parthians in 53 B.C, and realised that it could not have been produced by this relatively unsophisticated people. The Romans obtained samples of this new material, and it quickly became very popular in Rome, for its soft texture and attractiveness. They reputedly learnt from Parthian prisoners that it came from a mysterious tribe in the east, who they came to refer to as the silk people, `Seres’. The Parthians quickly realised that there was money to be made from trading the material, and sent trade missions towards the east just as Rome sent their own agents out to explore the route, and to try to obtain silk at a lower price. In short this trade route to the East was seen by the Romans, as a route for silk rather than the other goods that were traded.
The name `Silk Road’ itself does not originate from the Romans, however, but is a nineteenth century term, coined by the German scholar, von Richthofen. The description of this route to the west as the `Silk Road’ is somewhat misleading. Firstly, no single route was taken; crossing Central Asia several different branches developed, passing through different oasis settlements. The routes all started from the capital in Changan, headed up the Gansu corridor, and reached Dunhuang on the edge of the Taklimakan.
In addition to silk, the route carried many other precious commodities. Caravans heading towards China carried gold and other precious metals, ivory, precious stones, and glass, which was not manufactured in China until the fifth century. In the opposite direction furs, ceramics, jade, bronze objects, lacquer and iron were carried. Many of these goods were bartered for others along the way, and objects often changed hands several times. There are no records of Roman traders being seen in Changan, nor Chinese merchants in Rome, though their goods were appreciated in both places. ( To be Cont’d)
Posted in history, tagged 1909, David Lloyd George, history, Liberal government, rejection, taxation, the Asquith government, the House of Lords, the Limehouse speech, the People's Budget, United Kingdom on April 9, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
….Now, what is going to happen in the future? In future those landlords will have to contribute to the taxation of the country on the basis of the real value – only one halfpenny in the pound! Only a halfpenny! And that is what all the howling is about. But there is another little tax called the increment tax. For the future what will happen? We mean to value all the land in the kingdom. And here you can draw no distinction between agricultural land and other land, for the simple reason that East and West Ham was agricultural land a few years ago! And if land goes up in the future by hundreds and thousands an acre through the efforts of the community, the community will get 20 per cent. of that increment. Ah! What a misfortune it is that there was not a Chancellor of the Exchequer who did this thirty years ago. Only thirty years ago, and we should now be enjoying an abundant revenue from this source.
Now I have given you West Ham. Let me give you a few more cases. Take cases like Golders Green and other cases of similar kind where the value of land has gone up in the course, perhaps, of a couple of years through a new tramway or a new railway being opened. Golders Green is a case in point. A few years ago there was a plot of land there which was sold at £160. Last year I went and opened a Tube railway there.
What was the result? This year that very piece of land has been sold for £2,100 – £160 before the railway was opened – before I was there – £2,100 now. I am entitled to 20 per cent. Now there are many cases where landlords take advantage of the exigencies of commerce and of industry – take advantage of the needs of municipalities and even of national needs and of the monopoly which they have got in land in a particular neighbourhood in order to demand extortionate prices. Take the very well known case of the Duke of Northumberland when a County Council wanted to buy a small plot of land as a site for a school to train the children, who in due course would become the men labouring on his property. The rent was quite an insignificant thing.
His contribution to the rates – I forget – I think it was on the basis of 30s. an acre. What did he demand for it for a school? £900 an acre. All we say is this – Mr Buxton and I say – if it is worth £900, let him pay taxes on £900…’
Rothschild was incensed and resisted the move to tax but in the end had to accept the inevitable.
The Sun Sets over the Peers
Finally, the whole controversy over the budget and the Parliament Act contributed powerfully to the steady decline of the House of Lords and the peerage in the British system of government. In 1911 the Conservatives claimed that Asquith had virtually created one-chamber government and they therefore promised a complete reform of the composition as well as the powers of the upper chamber which would have involved some modification of the hereditary principle. Indeed, as the preamble to the Act indicated, even the Liberals regarded their reform as an interim measure not a final solution. Yet, significantly the Tory leaders failed to redeem their promise despite rank and file pressure to do so even during the inter-war period. Tacitly they accepted the marginalisation of the House of Lords and, thus, of peers in general. This was underlined in 1923 when, following the resignation of the Conservative prime minister, Andrew Bonar Law, the obvious successor, Lord Curzon, was turned down because of his membership of the upper house. Never again would a peer become prime minister, though in 1963 Lord Home achieved the impossible by renouncing his peerage and returning to the House of Commons.
Financial and Social Consequences of the Budget
Finally, it remains to assess the long-term significance of the budget for British national finance. This can best be done by looking back into the Victorian period and forward into the twentieth century. It is sobering to think that since its introduction to cope with the costs of the French Revolutionary wars the income tax had been regarded as a temporary expedient. As late as the 1870s Gladstone had proposed to abolish it. He never quite succeeded, and in the 1880s and 1890s the rate rose to eight (old) pence in the pound. By 1914 Lloyd George had pushed the standard rate up to one shilling and four pence. By the end of the First World War it stood at six shillings. During the 1920s and 1930s despite enormous political pressure, income tax was only modestly reduced to four shillings. In short, all governments came to rely heavily on income tax as the central element in national finance. Even the government of Mrs Thatcher managed totrim income tax only to 25 (new) pence, equivalent to five shillings, which was historically a high rate.
The only aspect of the 1909 budget which failed to survive was Lloyd George’s famous land taxes. The laborious process of land valuation went ahead up to 1914. But during the war his involvement in the coalition government put the whole enterprise in jeopardy. Although Lloyd George remained prime minister until 1922 he was too dependent on his Conservative colleagues to resurrect the land taxes; by 1920 they had been abandoned.
In spite of this setback, the social consequences of the Edwardian reforms were enduring. The effect of a graduated system of taxation combined with social welfare measures was to begin the process of redistributing national income from the rich to the poor, albeit slightly. This process continued in each succeeding decade regardless of changing circumstances and political parties. Not until after 1979 was the trend finally checked by reductions in taxation for very high earners and a shift to taxes on consumption paid by the poor and those on average incomes. (www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~semp/budget.htm)
In an address to an overflow meeting in an adjacent hall, Lloyd George defiantly declared that amendments proposed by the Lords to the Finance Bill would not be accepted. The speech was well received by his audience and by Liberal supporters throughout the country. Predictably, it provoked wrathful protests from the Unionists, and also from the King; three days later Prime Minister Asquith found King Edward VII in a state of ‘great agitation and annoyance in consequence of [Lloyd George's] Limehouse speech. I have never known him more irritated, or more difficult to appease, though I did my best’.
In preparing his Limehouse speech, Lloyd George had two principal aims: to demonstrate the justice and fairness of his Budget proposals, and to warn the Unionists of their potential vulnerability should they reject it. Limehouse itself did not cause rejection of the People’s Budget, but it did strengthen the antagonism of those already opposed to it. Its rejection by the House of Lords led to a constitutional crisis and two general elections in 1910.
J. Graham Jones
“…..It is rather a shame for a rich country like ours – probably the richest in the world, if not the richest the world has ever seen, that it should allow those who have toiled all their days to end in penury and possibly starvation. It is rather hard that an old workman should have to find his way to the gates of the tomb, bleeding and footsore, through the brambles and thorns of poverty. We cut a new path for him, an easier one, a pleasanter one, through fields of waving corn. We are raising money to pay for the new road, aye, and to widen it, so that 200,000 paupers shall be able to join in the march. There are so many in the country blessed by Providence with great wealth, and if there are amongst them men who grudge out of their riches a fair contribution towards the less fortunate of their fellow-countrymen they are very shabby rich men. We propose to do more by means of the Budget. We are raising money to provide against the evils and the sufferings that follow from unemployment. We are raising money for the purpose of assisting our great friendly societies to provide for the sick and the widows and orphans. We are providing money to enable us to develop the resources of our own land. I do not believe any fair-minded man would challenge the justice and the fairness of the objects which we have in view in raising this money.
But there are some of them who say, ‘The taxes themselves are unjust, unfair, unequal, oppressive notably so the land taxes’. They are engaged, not merely in the House of Commons, but outside the House of Commons, in assailing these taxes with a concentrated and sustained ferocity which will not allow even a comma to escape with its life. Now, are these taxes really so wicked? Let us examine them…
…Let us take first of all the tax on undeveloped land and on increment.
Not far from here, not so many years ago, between the Lea and the Thames you had hundreds of acres of land which was not very useful even for agricultural purposes. In the main it was a sodden marsh. The commerce and the trade of London increased under Free Trade, the tonnage of your shipping went up by hundreds of thousands of tons and by millions; labour was attracted from all parts of the country to cope with all this trade and business which was done here. What happened? There was no housing accommodation. This Port of London became overcrowded, and the population overflowed. That was the opportunity of the owners of the marsh. All that land became valuable building land, and land which used to be rented at £2 or £3 an acre has been selling within the last few years at £2,000 an acre, £3,000 an acre, £6,000 an acre, £8,000 an acre. Who created that increment? Who made that golden swamp? Was it the landlord? Was it his energy? Was it his brains – a very bad look out for the place if it were – his forethought? It was purely the combined efforts of all the people engaged in the trade and commerce of the Port of London – trader, merchant, shipowner, dock labourer, workman, everybody except the landlord. Now, you follow that transaction. Land worth £2 or £3 an acre running up to thousands. ( To be Cont’d)
The 1909 People’s Budget was a product of then British Prime Minister H. H. Asquith’s Liberal government, introducing many unprecedented taxes on the wealthy and radical social welfare programmes to Britain’s political life. It was championed by Chancellor of the Exchequer David Lloyd George and his strong ally Winston Churchill, who was then President of the Board of Trade.
According to Churchill’s biographer, William Manchester, the Budget “a revolutionary concept” because it was the first budget in British history with the expressed intent of redistributing wealth among the British public. It was a key issue of contention between the Liberal government and the Conservative-dominated House of Lords, ultimately leading to two general elections in 1910 and the enactment of the Parliament Act 1911.
Lloyd George’s 1909 People’s Budget was devised to bring about social reform and featured increases in income tax and excise duties, new taxes on cars, petrol and land, and a new supertax for those with incomes above £5,000.
The first speech reproduced here dates from the immediate aftermath of the Budget. It was a sensitive period; the government’s supporters had responded favourably to the Budget, but its author had to assess carefully the fighting spirit manifested by the Opposition. He well knew that A. J. Balfour, the Conservative leader, zealously eyeing the prospect of a return to power, was facing pressure from his supporters to engineer a dissolution of parliament.
Many elements in society – landowners, financiers, brewers and the licensed trade – were up in arms against the Budget.
It was against this background that on the evening of 30 July 1909, Lloyd George, fulfilling a promise made a month earlier, addressed an audience of 4,000 at the Edinburgh Castle in Limehouse, one of the poorest areas of the East End of London. There he delivered not the best, but the most famous and possibly most effective speech of his life. (ack:www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~semp/budget.htm)
(to be cont’d)