21 AUGUST 1982, Page 16

One hundred years ago

Parliament adjourned yesterday till 24 October, when the House of Com- mons (the Lords may probably not as- semble unless foreign affairs require attention) meets to deal with the ques- tion of Procedure. The virtual, though not the formal close of the Session leaves the Government in a strange position at war, without any recognised public enemy; so far baffled in legislation that only two measures of the first impor- tance have been passed, and yet with a united majority of great strength in the House of Commons, and a disunited Opposition in the House of Lords; at- tenuated by the resignation of two very influential colleagues, and only the stronger for their loss; accused by some of the Radicals of unfaithfulness to their principles, but more trusted by the masses than ever; denounced by the Tories for their indifference to the great- ness of the Empire, and yet more power- ful in Europe than Lord Beaconsfield's Government at the height of their tem- porary fame; finally, inveighed against by the Home-rulers for their tyranny in Ireland, and yet hailed by the Irish farmers as the authors of the most bene- ficent revolution in the dark annals of Irish history; and last, though not least, headed by the best-hated and best-loved man in England, who has had no rival, since the death of Pitt and Fox, in either the hatred of his foes, or the devotion of his friends.

Spectator, 19 August 1882