The New Faith, Hope and Charity

Dalrymple has never owned a television, and it doesn’t appear his decision to watch last night’s debate between British party leaders will cause him to change his mind.

Against my principles and practice of thirty years, I allowed myself to be persuaded by friends to watch a so-called debate between the three principal candidates in the election. Of course, a three-way debate is an inherently unsatisfactory thing, like a dog with five legs, or a war on two fronts; but I had no confidence that a debate between any two of them would have been better or more illuminating.

In the event, the ‘debate’ was more like a trialogue of the deaf..

He then goes on to lament the unwillingess of the candidates to deal honestly with the public.

I am not one of those that believes that Man naturally desires freedom, at least if by a desire for freedom is meant a desire that automatically trumps all other desires and is prepared to take the consequences. What our politicians have learnt to hold out as the prospect before us, like a mirage in the desert, is the greatest, most sought-after and least possible freedom of all, the freedom from bad consequences.

Read the essay in the New English Review.

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