Youth vs. Maturity; Principle in Politics

Youth vs. Maturity; Principle in Politics

I am try­ing to ver­i­fy two quotes attrib­uted to Mr Churchill. Can you assist? 1. Youth is for free­dom and reform, matu­ri­ty for judi­cious com­pro­mise and old age is for sta­bil­i­ty and repose. 2. What is the use of Par­lia­ment if it is not the place where true state­ments can be brought before the peo­ple? What on earth is the use of send­ing Mem­bers to Par­lia­ment to say what they are told to say by Min­is­te­r­i­al plat­i­tude? What val­ue can we place on our par­lia­men­tary insti­tu­tions if con­stituen­cies return only lame, docile and sub­servient mem­bers who try to stamp on every form of inde­pen­dent judge­ment? Many thanks. —A.R.

Yes to both, but not quite accu­rate as quot­ed above. From Churchill by Him­self, “Max­ims” chap­ter, page 20:

Life

“Usu­al­ly youth is for free­dom and reform, matu­ri­ty for judi­cious com­pro­mise, and old age for sta­bil­i­ty and repose.”

— “Con­sis­ten­cy in Pol­i­tics,” Pall Mall, July 1927; reprint­ed in Thoughts and Adven­tures (Lon­don: Thorn­ton But­ter­worth, 1932).

From the “Lead­er­ship” chap­ter, page 493 (and not with­out rel­e­vance at the moment)…

Prin­ci­ple vs. Pol­i­tics

What is the use of Par­lia­ment if it is not the place where true state­ments can be brought before the peo­ple? What is the use of send­ing Mem­bers to the House of Com­mons who say just the pop­u­lar things of the moment, and mere­ly endeav­our to give sat­is­fac­tion to the Gov­ern­ment Whips by cheer­ing loud­ly every Min­is­te­r­i­al plat­i­tude, and by walk­ing through the Lob­bies obliv­i­ous of the crit­i­cisms they hear? Peo­ple talk about our Par­lia­men­tary insti­tu­tions and Par­lia­men­tary democ­ra­cy; but if these are to sur­vive, it will not be because the Con­stituen­cies return tame, docile, sub­servient Mem­bers, and try to stamp out every form of inde­pen­dent judg­ment.

—House of Com­mons, 14 March 1939

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