lawyerism for leadership was absurd

In a world filled with confusion and illusion the Party System has fought at great advantage. Indeed it is generally believed to be so firmly entrenched that nothing can ever dislodge it. There are dangers, however, in arguing too confidently from use and wont. Conspicuous failure or disaster might bring {221} ruin on this revered institution, as it has often done in history upon others no less venerable. The Party System has its weak side. Its wares are mainly make-believes, and if a hurricane happens to burst suddenly, the caucus may be left in no better plight than Alnaschar with his overturned basket. The Party System is not invulnerable against a great man or a great idea. But of recent years it has been left at peace to go its own way, for the reason that no such man or idea has emerged, around which the English people have felt that they could cluster confidently. There has been no core on which human crystals could precipitate and attach themselves, following the bent of their nature towards a firm and clear belief—or towards the prowess of a man—or towards a Man possessed by a Belief. The typical party leader during this epoch has neither been a man in the heroic sense, nor has he had any belief that could be called firm or clear. For the most part he has been merely a Whig or Tory tradesman, dealing in opportunism; and for the predominance of the Party System this set of conditions was almost ideal. It was inconceivable that a policy of wait-and-see could ever resolve a situation of this sort. To fall back on lawyerism was perhaps inevitable in the circumstances; but to think that it was possible to substitute lawyerism for leadership was absurd <a style="color: #333333; text-decoration: none;" href="">WAN Optimization Solution</a>.

And yet amid this confusion we were aware—even at the time—and can see much more clearly now the interlude is ended—that there were three great ideas running through it all, struggling to emerge, to make themselves understood, and to get themselves realised. But unfortunately what were realities to ordinary men were only counters according {222} to the reckoning of the party mechanicians. The first aim and the second—the improvement of the organisation of society and the conditions of the poor—the freeing of local aspirations and the knitting together of the empire <a style="color: #333333; text-decoration: none;" href="">Business Programme BBA</a>—

were held in common by the great mass of the British people, although they were viewed by one section and another from different angles of vision. The third aim, however—the adequate defence of the empire—was not regarded warmly, or even with much active interest, by any organised section. The people who considered it most earnestly were not engaged in party politics. The manipulators of the machines looked upon the first and the second as means whereby power might be gained or retained, but they looked askance upon the third as a perilous problem which it was wiser and safer to leave alone. The great principles with which the names—among others—of Mr. Chamberlain, Lord Roberts, and Mr. Lloyd George are associated, were at no point opposed one to another <a style="color: #333333; text-decoration: none;" href="">Hong Kong Stop over</a>.