Yesterday once more

Actonbooks

You cannot get a clearer lesson from history than this.

Substitute in the following speech from the British House of Commons from 121 years ago words such as Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, ISIL, Taliban and the rest and for Britain, replace with ‘The West’ and you’ll see what I mean.

Nothing, but nothing, changes, everything really does stay the same.

I discovered this while researching a part played in a financial disaster in the mid 1880s by a Manchester clergyman, turned lawyer, turned MP, Sir William Thackeray Marriott.

Marriott

In most things he was a dishonest, disreputable operator. But between a company fraud and accepting a bribe to get a lordship for a crook, he did one good thing. He resigned on principle over the UK government’s Middle Eastern policy. This is part of his speech that night February 18 1884 critical of his own government. All I have done is take…

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