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POLITICAL, MILITARY, ECONOMICAL, AND SOCIAL
SIR EDWARD SULLIVAN, BART.
AUTHOR OF FREE TRADE BUBBLES' 'PROTECTION TO NATIVE INDUSTRY'
OUR ECONOMIC CATOS' ETC.
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A MAN with what Lord Granville calls a cross-bench' mind is of no use to either political party; but the fact that he forms his own ideas of public policy, morality, and honour, is no reason why he should not be able to see as far through a brick wall as those who take their political opinions at second hand from their leaders.
The cross-bench' mind may be a nuisance, but I really think it is more respectable than the purely party mind.
We comfort ourselves with the idea that we are much better off than any of our neighbours, because our governing class is composed of men of fortune and position perfectly independent of salaries and patronage; in a position to consult their .will, and not their pecessities.
But what is the use of having the richest Cabinet that was ever brought together, if these same rich men divest themselves entirely of their political consciences, and vote black is white and white is black exactly as their leaders desire them ?'
Cicero's wish, that every man should have written on his brow what he really thought of the affairs of the State,' can never be realised; but at the same time it is rather startling, not to say shocking, to contrast our friends' and neighbours' private expressions on political questions with their public votes !
The number of those who take to politics as a profession, as others take to the law, the Church, the army, physic, or trade, and who scramble and fight for the plums of office, is very small: about fifty on one side and fifty on the other play at the “ tug of war,' and try to pull each other over the line and take the prize.
There is a good deal of business' in politics-and, as in all other professions, 'business' pays better than anything.
Probably the most successful instance of pure professional business in our political annals was the Midlothian campaign. The invective, the solemn appeals to humanity and justice—the assumption of noble motives, the insinuation of base ones—the suggestions, the suppressions, the exaggerations, the perversions, the denunciations—the passion, the poses, the general dramatic effect-combined to make it a great success. Those who got office by it naturally speak of it as one of the grandest triumphs of speech ever achieved. To those who merely look on, and have since tested it by results, it bears a comical resemblance to the chop and tomato sauce' oratory of the immortal Buzfuz!
I mistrust entirely the assumption of superior motives. When a man claims to have greater humanity, or a higher sense of right or wrong, than his neighbours, I simply don't believe him. A man who parades his motives may generally be written down a rogue.
I believe we are all impelled by much the same motives,