Out of Touch : William Pitt the Elder berates Parliament for treating the public like know-nothings.
Out of Touch

From a speech in the House of Lords on 13th November, 1770.

In June 1770, the Spanish invaded the Falkland Islands. The Government was inclined to sell the islanders out, and smooth over public outrage with words of assurance from King George III. But veteran statesman William Pitt ‘the Elder’, Earl of Chatham, warned them that such a patronising attitude risked losing public trust.

MY lords, I myself am one of the people. I esteem that security and independence, which is the original birthright of an Englishman, far beyond the privileges, however splendid, which are annexed to the peerage.

I myself am by birth an English elector, and join with the freeholders of England as in a common cause. Believe me, my lords, we mistake our real interest as much as our duty, when we separate ourselves from the mass of the people.

Can it be expected that Englishmen will unite heartily in defence of a government, by which they feel themselves insulted and oppressed? Restore them to their rights; that is the true way to make them unanimous. It is not a ceremonious recommendation from the throne, that can bring back peace and harmony to a discontented people.*

* See also The Falkland Islands.

From a speech in the House of Lords on 13th November, 1770.

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William Pitt the Elder (2) Liberty and Prosperity (62) Georgian Era (112) Falkland Islands (1) History (415)

Picture: © Vogelfreund, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC-BY-SA 3.0. View original
White horses enjoying the freedom of the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic.
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