Monday, June 13, 2016

Historic Etiquette Breach

British politician, Joseph Chamberlain — In the 1880s, when Irish demands for an autonomous parliament (Home Rule) and land reform, increasingly bedeviled British politics and caused a deep rift in the Liberal Party. Chamberlain favoured Irish reform, especially at the local level, and stood with Gladstone in opposition to the use of repressive force in quashing Irish agitation. Disgraceful behaviour followed...

They Apologize 

The overgrown schoolboys who in a moment of passion took to fisticuffs and bruising in the House of Commons have now made amends for their disgraceful conduct by apologies and explanations— not, perhaps, very contrite, but sufficient to restore the equilibrium of decorum. There was no apology from Mr. Chamberlain, whose distempered gall was exuded in his comparison of Mr. Gladstone to Herod, the fate of whom he was metaphorically to suffer. 


The cankered leader of the Liberal Unionists never withdraws any phrase that rankles or kindles angry feeling, and yet he is supersensitive to any stringing thrust that touches his own delicate nature. Harold Frederic sagaciously hints that every movement this bitterly personal statesman takes up results in demoralization. As a renegade Liberal, he hates the party that nursed him into prominence, and for the Irish representatives he has nothing but the blind rage of a disappointed and balked man. 

The very Tories whom he now counsels distrust and detest him, for they at least have their ancient principles of immovability, and he is a quicksand in shiftiness, thinking less of a cause than himself.  The rank and file on both sides are doubtless anxious to forget their ungentlemanly irruption, but it is not likely soon to pass out of memory. It will always be quoted against John Bull's Parliament when lectures on breaches of etiquette are given for the benefit of other legislative bodies prone to boil over in wrath. — San Francisco Call, 1893

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