Saturday, 18 June 2016

In defence of Disraeli

Jonathan Freedland`s suggestion, in his review of Cesarani`s "The Novel Politician", that Disraeli "climbed the greasy pole by defending the very culture that had shut Jews out" isn`t totally accurate (Review, 11/06/16). He only managed to win an overall majority in the 1874 election, after enfranchising the skilled working class with his 1867 Reform Act, and promising trade unionists the repeal of Gladstone`s Criminal Law Amendment Act, which had oulawed peaceful picketing. His visions of "Tory Democracy" and One Nation" Conservatism, albeit limited in scope, were hardly the policies of a prime minister "standing firm against notions of democracy, equality or radical change".

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