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Thursday, 16 May 2019

When the Liberal Party was wiped from British politics

At the start of the Great War in 1914, the British establishment prided itself on the nation's armament and munition capacity. Rifles and machine guns may have been contracted in large part to private companies, but it was the Royal Ordnance Factory at Woolwich - the Arsenal - that made the big guns and the shells for the field and garrison artillery and the fleet. Small arms ammo was also made there - as it had been since the innocent cartridges that sparked the Indian Mutiny. The ROF was a sort of Gormenghast, in which three rival departments vied for space, resources and control. The Royal Laboratory made ammunition, the Carriage Department made gun carriages and the Royal Gun Factory made the barrels and tubes. Each had its own Superintendant and arcane system of administration. Should the Mounting Shed, in building 19, where the guns and the carriages were united, belong to the Gun factory or the Carriage Department? Should the Whitehead Torpedo Department come under the control of the Gun Factory or the Royal Laboratory?

Workers at the plant remembered the overtime paid during the Boer War, and no doubt a few looked forward to bulging pay packets in August 1914. But this would prove to be an entirely new form of war; more shells would be fired in one early Western Front battle alone than were used in the entire Boer War. By 1915 the Royal Laboratory had moved to seven day working, three shifts a day. Workers were exhausted - a 96 hour week was more normal than not. New sheds and stores were set up on Plumstead marshes, previously the burying ground for thousands of dead convicts in unmarked burial pits, and firing ranges, but it was not enough. The army in France ran out of shells for the guns.

The failure of government wiped out Asquith's Liberal government and cost the party 236 seats, including those of most of his cabinet. The Party never recovered.

A new Ministry of Munitions quickly set up filling factories across the country, in isolated places, timber huts and sheds thrown up in weeks. Shell-case and fuse making was contracted-out to industry, and girls earned £5 a week pouring molten explosive into the shell cases. It was enough. But the Liberal Party was destroyed for ever.

The anger felt in 1915 against the Liberals by a public unforgiving of their betrayal of our front-line troops - men from almost every family in the country - cannot have been dissimilar to the anger felt today at the Tories. No doubt Asquith imagined his party would take a temporary hit and all would be well afterwards. Clearly he was mistaken.

A naval gun under manufacture in the RGF


rapscallion said...

The Tories are toast, and to be frank, Labour are on their last legs too, Like two cadavers, they prop each other up, when one falls, so will the other.

Between them they have broken democracy and they've run a coach and horses through our Constitution. The old order that lasted since the Civil War is going. We are going to have to have new parties AND a new codified Constitution (and all in one document), so what has happened since June 2016 can never happen again. The voice of the People MUST be the final word.

DiscoveredJoys said...

But rather like Voter Recall I expect that a codified Constitution will be watered down into something more comfortable for MPs - otherwise it will never get through into law, hindered by the 'workers' in Parliament.

Perhaps The Brexit Party, if numerous enough, might achieve something better, but only if they are careful about the number of existing MPs they allow to join.

DeeDee99 said...

A small number of CON MPs are acknowledging the existential crisis the Party is now in. But the pro-EU Party Grandees in control either don't care or are in denial: their priority is to overturn the result of the Referendum "by stealth" and keep the UK shackled to the EU as an Associate Member. Unfortunately for them, the electorate has been paying sufficient attention to understand that the EU's Surrender Treaty is not Brexit and will never lead to INDEPENDENCE from the EU, which is what they voted for.

And at the same time, Labour has sneered at and visibly abandoned its Brexit-voting working class constituencies. A lot of Labour MPs must be looking at their majorities - tribally safe from a Conservative challenge - and wondering if they will hold up against the Brexit Party onslaught. Many won't and I hope and pray Yvette Cooper's is one that falls.

Cheerful Edward said...

The Whigs were never "wiped" from British politics.

They joined the Tories.

They're still here, viz. Rees-Mogg, Chope, Bone, etc.

Mr Ecks said...

Cheesy--according to the scum of the left Rees Mogg is plotting to be Der Fuhrer so he can hardly be very Liberal --in the old sense--as his arse kissing of your remainiac gang via May's WA treason shows.He stands revealed as just another political pig . Which should make him the pal of a stooge and enabler of tyranny like you.

Ed P said...

May's nearly over.

Vote Brexit/UKIP next Thursday - the corrupt, deceitful, useless and ghastly humanoids infesting Parliament need a shock.

Cheerful Edward said...

The Tories are never going to be "toast". They are the British Establishment's Very Own Party. The real Establishment, that is, not Farage's silly nonsense, about a bunch of Millbank political journalists and their contacts.

Look, after Labour's magnificent victory in 1997, with the Tories reduced to a hundred-odd seats, did we hear anyone say it then? No, and we never will in anyone's lifetime, thanks to the right wing state-within-the-state, the landowning-military-financial-media-judicial ex-Eton mob.

They own about 70% of England's soil. It is THEIR country, literally.

Oldrightie said...

Glum Ted, that LAND can be a burden, big time. Asset rich, cash poor doesn't feed the kids or oneself. As for the "Establishment". It is more a global deep state with the likes of Bliar and many others desperate to become members. The EU a good route to use.

There is change coming and it will be better for just the fact it's change. Animal Farm delaying the or slowing the descent into very dark places. One already happening on the streets of France.

We right of thinking people will be long gone, thank the Lord.

Cheerful Edward said...

Go on. Name me a single known "asset rich, cash poor" person.

Just one, go on eh?

Span Ows said...

Great post raedwald, love the Woolwich detail.

Ed, about half of the UK's farmers to answer your question. The one's whose fences are tied up with baler twine, not the sprawlling estates of the 'landed gentry'.

Cheerful Edward said...

They are mostly tenants, or small freeholders forced to buy at market rates. Name a poor landlord, Span.

And the landowners are only *one* pillar of the British Establishment, along with the Church, judiciary, financial controllers, newspaper owners, the BBC - yes - military, intelligence, security, police, CPS, etc.

Brexit is a Real Establishment project. Whey else was Farbage offered thirty-three appearances on QT?

Mark said...

@Cheerful Edward's

You can have assets which have monetary value but no cash in the bank. Think of the landed gentry you seem to associate with rule.

Some landed nob with a country pile with Gainsboroughs on every wall. He can sell some of them but soon gets to the point where his daily need for cash exceeds his income (because, again, you have have assets which you can't generate much income from).

That's why so many of these people became Lloyd's names and why so many country piles are open to the public or have leaking rooves.

And how about Fred blogs (not his real name). Somebody I know who is "asset rich". A BTL mug with three houses for whom it's all gone south. There are plenty like him (not a huge amount of sympathy in his case though).

Please Ketch, where are you? At least you could troll with a bit of wit and panache!

Raedwald said...

Oh Edward those puerile stereotypes were out of date half a century ago. You're stuck in 1960s satire, in which Conservative hereditary peers dominated the Lords and scions of the aristocracy dominated everything else. Utter, utter, specious twaddle; it's so out of touch I wonder where you've been for the past twenty years.

Betz and Smith have it right;

"Here are different kinds of political ice cream for sale, but when licked they all turn out to have roughly the same unpalatable taste: a bland, socially progressive, anti-traditionalist, globalist, corporatist flavour."

"... At the same time a technocratic political elite has arisen that is willing to contract out decision-making to supranational organisations like the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, and United Nations on just about everything from finance, the law, border security, and the environment."

"With the rise of the new political classes, a different political dynamic is emerging. Drawn from similar backgrounds (often middle-class, university educated, with little prior career experience outside politics itself), members of parliament increasingly sound alike, think alike and act alike. The evolution of a monochrome political establishment is producing a radical disconnect, which the Brexit denouement is throwing into stark relief. What we appear to be witnessing is the corrupt mutation of the notion of the representation of the people in parliament, into the *substitution* of the will of the people by the interests of the political class. We are entering the realms, no less, of state capture."

Dave_G said...

"Asset rich, cash poor"?

Anyone whose 'wealth' is measured by their shareholdings.

Anonymous said...

I had two great uncles serving with the Royal Regiment of Artillery in the Great War. Frank, a bombardier, and six lovely Devonshire draught horses pulling an 18 pounder - the war left him deaf as a post and slightly mad. Tom drove a Holt tractor (prime mover for his unit's 9.2" Howitzer) but he didn't make it home.


Span Ows said...

Ed "They are mostly tenants, or small freeholders forced to buy at market rates. Name a poor landlord, Span."

Ah, so now you've moved the goalposts: I answered your 'name one asset rich cash poor' question. And no, I was not on about tenants (they are soooo poor it is a tragedy).

Cheerful Edward said...

"You can't cheat an honest man", as the proverb goes.

It's why you handful of dissemblers here are such suckers for the likes of Farage and their baloney.

If you want examples of the real globalists, well, they're to be found among the transnational criminals, blatantly co-ordinating the manipulation of crypto currency prices.

And here's why some in the City want EU exit:

Mark said...

"City want EU exit"

BMW, VW and Daimler are being charged by the EU over emissions and emission technology.

So they will be wanting EU exit as well?

Cheerful Edward said...

Doubtless there are criminals all over the EU who would like to escape from EU regulation, Mark.

However, only in the UK is there a realistic chance of that.

Recent polls across the EU show solid, increased leads, for pro-EU sentiment among the peoples of the twenty-seven.

Nor would any government be so idiotic, as to stage a referendum on the same crude, tilted basis as did the Tories here.

Plantman said...

32% of todays posts to date are from Ted Heath's ghost again. I recognise a well tried and tested canvassing strategy translated into the digital world. When an opposition canvasser came door-knocking the savvy amongst us would not dismiss him/her straightaway but indulge in as protracted a discussion as we could manufacture 'cos whilst he/she was debating on our doorstep he/she was neither leafletting nor gathering polling intention figures on as many others as you could prevaricate for. Ted's multiple trollings are merely designed to be the internet equivalent and if anyone takes time to rise to the bait they are wasting effort that could be better and certainly more productively directed. Ignore him folks despite the tempting crap he dishes up which is designed to be so easy to refute that it s a great temptation into time-wasting.

Raedwald said...

Plantman - yep

From next post on I'll delete any more than 3 from the same troll

I've given fair warning - the troll can't resist twisting the post & thread round to their own agenda.

Mr Ecks said...

The only crim around here is you Cheesy you toe-sucker of tyranny.

You need to be deported to your EU paradise so you can enjoy your middle class proggie lifestyle at Eurotrash expense.

RAC said...

Meanwhile in the bigger picture globalists are taking hits.

" appeared today in the newspaper La Repubblica about a presumed request for the resignation of the four deputy directors of the departments of the Italian secret services."

May is tangled up in this mess, good reason for her to double down and cling to her chosen allies.

Cheerful Edward said...

Have you got something against people getting on in life, by their having humility before fact, i.e., by learning, Ecky?

It seems that you have.

You won't get your kangaroo courts, before which you can drag those whom you hate by the hair, after going door-to-door, and subject them to your ducking-stool "justice", old fruit.

The country would be invaded, quite rightly, by a multi-national force if it came to that. And they would have at least sixteen million, of the youngest, fittest, healthiest, smartest, and most decent to help them.

RAC said...

" The country would be invaded, quite rightly, by a multi-national force if it came to that. And they would have at least sixteen million, of the youngest, fittest, healthiest, smartest, and most decent to help them."

Tearful Teds masturbatory dreams !

Mark said...

Too much masturbation makes you go blind?

To reality it would appear.

Yes. Strong as young deer, tough as leather, hard as krupp steel.

Oh they're decent? That's all right then!

Mr Ecks said...

Your "16 million" is long gone Cheesy as several million at least still believe in abiding by democratic votes etc. And judging by the senile shower marching in your x3 and x4 exaggerated marches young and fit would have to be very elastic terms in your dictionary of remainiac deceit.

But by all means lets have the civil war you crave. Traitors like you deserve more than just talk as their just desserts.

Bill Quango MP said...

My house that I live in now, was a munitions factory in 1916.
It is part of a sort of terrace. There are houses on all sides plus front and back. The houses opposite are jacobian. 1750. We are only 1850, so they call our side of the road, the NewBuilds.

12 girls worked in my building making artillery shells.

health and safety was something that wasn't ever a consideration during the great War.

Raedwald said...

health and safety was something that wasn't ever a consideration during the great War

Indeed. I built an industrial development out on the Arsenal marshes - hence the interest - on the site of one of the newer WWI shell filling shops. We hit an area of particularly soft ground and scraped about a metre off the top to see what it was.

It was an enormous latrine pit - huge, beyond imagining - for the filling sheds but more was to come. The night security guard was seriously spooked because it glowed. Turns out it was Phosphorus - their urine and excreta must have been drenched in it. Either that or they'd dumped their stocks into it at the end of the war.

Poor buggers.

RAC said...

Happened to chance on this, not an English film but of the time and interesting.