29 JANUARY 1910, Page 1


THE elections are practically over, with the general result that though the Tariff Reformers have failed to secure either a majority of seats or a majority of the votes polled, the Liberal Party have suffered what no impartial man can deny to be a very heavy reverse. Their so-called policy of social reform—i.e., Socialism in practice, though not in theory— their Budget with its beginnings of land nationalisation and taxation directed not so much to making the rich man pay in proportion to his riches as to penalising certain forms of property, their purchase of Nationalist votes, and finally their violent attacks on a certain class coupled with the proposed abolition of all check upon the House of Commons, have one and all failed to help them with the electors. Only their nominal adherence to the policy of free exchange, of which in reality they have proved the worst enemies, saved them from destruction. Even here it was rather the infatua- tion of the Tariff Reformers in insisting upon food-taxes than anything done by the Liberals themselves which spared the party a debate.