Saturday, 27 November 2010

David Laws and Sir John Simon

In David Laws book he notes that he was the first Liberal minister at the Treasury since Sir John Simon. Some may consider that a not altogether happy precedent. Simon was after all one of the 'guilty men' over the appeasement of  Hitler and he stayed in the National Government long after Archibald Sinclair led the Liberal party out. Simon's role as leader of the National Liberal which ended in his wish to join the Tories (which Churchill did not approve) was a key cause of the decline of the Liberal Party. As David Dutton his biographer write on the Liberal History Website:

Simon was one of the most intellectually distinguished politicians of the twentieth century. But he lacked warmth and the common touch. The Liberal Party split of 1931, in which he played a leading part, put paid to any last hopes that the party would recover from the internal divisions which had plagued it since the First World War. 

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