Archive for May 5th, 2008

It would hardly be conceivable in British Parliamentary history that two personalities so diametrically opposed to one another as Disraeli and Gladstone could also represent two opposing ideologies at the same time. William Ewart Gladstone was the leader of opposition when Disraeli represented the Tories. Gladstone who changed opinions whenever it suited him came to represent the highest political morality while Disraeli who after he had found his party stuck to it all his life, was regarded as a man of few scruples. It was ironic that Dizzy should for his oriental outlook,and because of his race, be treated with distrust. In his opponent everything irrational and impulsive in the English people found home, which he could express with the religious emotionalism and a high moral tone that his supporters found very English. In short he represented qualities that Disraeli despised.
To Disraeli politics was a question of expedience whereas with Gladstone was a matter of morality and he could delude himself his was the voice of justice and truth. He played the politics as a demogogue combined with a missionary zeal that Dizzy thought he was mad; while his opponent thought Dizzy was a devil.
Gladstone carried common qualities on such a vast scale and without imagination and humor, the public saw in him a political prophet of his times. He was a humbug and not above stooping to underhand methods if it helped. As one M.P who remarked,”I don’t object to (him) always having the ace of trumps up his sleeve but merely to his belief that God Almighty put it there.”

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