A Leap in the Dark

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: proposal which even its advocates must find difficult of Change defence. In 1886 every Gladstonian leader told us that of Glad- stonian it was desirable, politic, and just to exclude Irish members from the Parliament at Westminster; this exclusion was pressed upon England (plausibly enough) as a main advantage to be derived from the concession of Home Rule to Ireland. In 1893 every Gladstonian leader tells us that it is desirable, politic, and just to retain the Irish members at Westminster, and their presence is, for some reason not easy to explain, treated as removing every objection to the concession of Home Rule to Ireland. This astounding variation of opinion in the doctors of the State savours of empiricism, not to say quackery. A surgeon who tells a patient that he will not live unless his leg is amputated may be right, and may be worthy of trust. Another surgeon who asserts that amputation is unnecessary may be right and worthy of trust; but the surgeon who one moment insists that amputation is necessary to the preservation of his patient's life, and the next moment that it is unnecessary and may be fatal, is not the kind of adviser who inspires confidence in his wisdom. Presence Let the ingenuity of Gladstonians reconcile, as best Irish it can, the doctrine of 1886 with the doctrine of 1893. involves To a man of sense who weighs the matter without reference to considerations of party, one thing willsoon become apparent: the retention at Westminster of eighty, or indeed of any Irish members at all, means under a scheme of Home Rule the ruin of Ireland and the weakness of England. have been a statement by Lord John Russell on introducing the great Reform Bill, that he could not say whether the disfranchisement of rotten boroughs did or did not form a princ...
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