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Frederick August Hoffman.

A catechism of politics, for the use of the new electorate, in which every question of political importance, bearing upon the current events of the day, is answered from a common-sense point of view online

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Online LibraryFrederick August HoffmanA catechism of politics, for the use of the new electorate, in which every question of political importance, bearing upon the current events of the day, is answered from a common-sense point of view → online text (page 1 of 4)
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227
1885
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HOFFMANN



aHi catechism of politics

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A CATECHISM OF POLITICS.



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A GATE




OF



POLITICS,

FOE THE USE OF THE NEW ELECTORATE,



IN WHICH



Evert Question of Political Importance, beaking uroN

THE Current Events of the Dat, is Answered

FROM A Common-Sense Point of Yietv.



FREDERICK A. HOFFMANN

(^Author of " Stray Leaves from Gladstone's Diary," " Shadorvi
of Coming Events" " Conservative Reaction" S)-c., S,'c.).



LONDON :
WARD & DOWNEY, 12, YORK ST., COVENT GARDEN

1885.
\_All rights reserved.']



rUIXTEl) BY

KELLY AND CO GAI E f-lUKET, LINCOLN'S INN FltLDS,

AND KJNOSTON-ON-THAUES.




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QC
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CONTENTS






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I. iNrRODUCTION

II. — The CoxsTiTcrrioxAr- Party
I [I. — EauAL Rights
IV, — Trade and Taxes
V. — Expenditure

VI. FEDRRVnON



PAGB

7
15
2G
38
49
55



390769



TO THE ELECTOES.

It is understood that the General Election
will take place in November. The time
for preparation has therefore begun.
Those will be wise who turn that time to
the best account. This can be done by
investigating, each one for himself, the
questions which are soon likely to be
forced on his attention. Let us glance
over these questions briefly before ex-
amining them catechetically.

First, as to Land. You will be informed
by Eadical election agents of a proposal
by which the farmer and the labourer are
to have the first claims on the land, and
the owner to have what remains. It is



8 JNTRODUCTIOX.

proposi'd that this tlicory shall i^pply to
uncnltivatrd hind, but, of course, your
own st'USL' will tell you at once that the
right of coiiipahory cultivation, once ad-
mitted, must strike at the ownership of the
soil, riainly the proposal is this, that all
land which at any time a hindowner cannot
let will be taken possession of by the State,
and, after the farmer and labourer are
satisfied, the balance will be paid to the
nominal owner. You will see that this is
State-theft and corruption of liberty. You
may, perhaps, be a farmer, or a labourer
(I presume as well that }-ou are an Eng-
lishman), but, to understand the question
really, you must place yourself in the
imaginary position of a landow' ner. Then
pause to ask yourself why 30U should be
aelecle.l as the object of spoliation, while



INTRODUCTION. 9

Mr. Chamberlain, the patron of this teach-
ing, should be allowed to enjoy, in purely
selfish luxury, the enormous wealth which
he has wrungf from the sweat of his
operatives. Ask yourself why theft
should be legalised to deprive you of
what you may have bought, or, maybe,
inherited from those who bought it for you
with their lives and services, while Mr.
Bright's fortune, founded on the long-hour
factory system, the limitation of which, by
the Ten Hours' Act, he opposed to the last,
and which was carried in the House of Lords
by the votes of the Bishops among other
peers, should remain untouched ? Ee-
member also, that when farming is bad,
either through bad seasons, bad laws, or
bad prices, the landlord always feels the
first pinch, while the blood-sucking capi-



^0 JMJiOnUCTlOX.

talists bask witli fat -bellied impunity in the
glitter of llu'ir own gokl. And mark, also,
the danger tliat lurks in the principle of
the thing. The farmer and labourer are
associated in the question. But ask
yourself : Why favour the farmer ? It is
the labourer who works, and, if farmers
lose the support of the landowners, they
will speedily become the prey of the
labourers. And you, who are labourers,
do you imagine then that you will have it
all your own way? Do you think the
liadicals are actuated by a love for you ?
Xo ; it is intense hatred of the landowners !
It is hard to tell you that you are being
fooled ; but it will be harder when you
come to realise it. The realisation of your
dream will be a life of veritable slavery,
and you will find yourself, like your agri-



INTB OD VCTION. 1 1

cultural neighbours in France, driven by
sheer necessity to spend your nights and
days in grindiny and continual work in
order to live at all.

Secondly. You will hear the House of
Lords assailed on the grounds of its past
conduct. You will be told that no wonder
things are bad, taxes are heavy, landlords
are shot in Ireland, and Fenians come over
and make disturbances, if there is a House
of Lords. You will have leaflets put into
your hands abounding in misrepresentations
and misstatements, in which the peers will
be asserted to have done this, that, and the
other, antagonistic to your particular
interests. But you will observe that in
each case the peers are condemned for
" spoiling Radical measures," " discrediting



1 2 lyTIt OD VCTION.

Ixadical principles," and so on. In every
case you will see that the exigencies of
});irty are placed before those of public
utility.

TlIIKDIA', AS laXiAKDS THE ClIL'KCII. TllC

Eadicals are said to be " working to put an
end to the special power which the State
gives to the Church of England, and they
wish to have the enormous wealth of the
Church spent for the good of church and
chapel alike." Now, before you swallow
such nice nonsense as this, you must calcu-
late the gains and the losses which the
question will involve. Remember that the
secularisation of Church property which
Disestablishment means will mean for you
the beginning of religion over again from
its foundations. Get your friend the



INTRODUCTION. 13

parson to tell you the true side of the
question before you vote.

Fourthly. It is not improbable that
Eepublicanism will be held up as a luscious
morsel for innocent ignorance. You must
tell your Eadicals that if they can get 3^ou
a Republic without a revolution you will
have it, but that you love your lives and
your families too much to enter on a bloody
campaign which is to give you, in the end,
you-know-not-what. Ask them what the
new society and the new politics are to do
for you — what more they will give you in
the way of freedom, morals, literature, or
relisfion. Under the mixed Constitution of
this country your lives and property have
hitherto been secure ; the settled and
ascertained opinion of the nation has been



14 JXrUODITTIOX.

suflicient to accomplish all necessary
clianijes. Seek to know, then, for what
gain, now, agitation against the Constitution
is afloat, private property is attacked, and
spoliation advocated. Notice that they
promise to free anything and everything
that does not belong to them. Ask them why
they do not commence with themselves —
start dividing their own enormous riches ?
If they object to this idea, ask them if they
had not better begin by giving the world a
new Decalogue ?

Lastly. Attend political meetings and
weigh what you hear. You don't want
things described by their negatives. See
that the idea is made clear, not that it is
made affecting to the imagination only.



THE CONSTITUTIONAL PAETY.

" The Tory Party is only in its proper position
when it represents popular principles. There it is truly
irresistible. Then it can uphold the Throne and the
Altar, the Majesty of the Empire, the Liberty of the
Nation, and the Rights of the Multitude. There is
nothing mean, petty, or exclusive about the real
character of Toryism. It necessarily depends upon
enlarged sympathies, and noble aspirations, because it
is essentially national." — Beaconsfield.

Q. What are the primary things which
the British Electors will have to consider
at the coming election ?

A. Whether they will be guided in po-
litical life by experience, or by socialistic
notions of the Eights of Man and Equality.

Q. What political party do you favour ?

A. The party that protects English



16 .1 (WTl'dfTSM OF POLITICS.

interests best, ami tlicrefore of necessity
the Constitntional party — nominally " Con-
servative."

Q. Why of "necessity" in this respect,
the Conservative l)arty ?

A. Because the Conservative party is
the only truly Xalional party: in the
words c)f its late lamented leader — "Un-
less it is a National party it is nothing ;
it is not a Democratic multitude, it is a
party formed from all the numerous
classes in the realm — classes alike equal
before the law, l^ut whose different con-
ditions and different aims give vigour and
variety to our national life."

Q. Between what political parties will
the electoral struggle lay ?

A. Between Conservatives and Radicals
— Constitutionalism and Communism.

(2. What are the respective claims of
each upon the new voters ? Have you
nothing to give them but what is already
provided under the Constitution ?



THE CONSTITUTIOXAL PARTY. 17

A. No ; we have no bribes to offer them ;
we cannot promise to make them peren-
nially happy by the mere magic of an Act
of Parliament ; we have no plunder to offer
them, either from the land, the Church, or
the State.

Q. How then do j^ou expect to secure
their votes ?

A. By simply pointing out to them
that settled order is their greatest
blessing ; that if ever they are raised from
their present position they must raise them-
selves., for no laws and no parliaments can
do it for them ; that our land system, our
Church system, and other " anomalies,"
anathematized by Radicals, go down to the
very foundations of our Constitution, and
cannot be uprooted without such a revolu-
tion as would mean for them ruin or even
worse.

Q. You will be at a disadvantage.
Radical teachings require nothing
more than a selfish soul, and a craving

2



18 -1 (ATLCHISM OF POLITTCS.

Stomach to understand them, while
the teachings of Conservatism re([uire
some knowledge of human nature and
history.

A. This is exactly what must be pointed
out to them. They must be taught that
then have duties as well a.s ri


1 3 4

Online LibraryFrederick August HoffmanA catechism of politics, for the use of the new electorate, in which every question of political importance, bearing upon the current events of the day, is answered from a common-sense point of view → online text (page 1 of 4)