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17 September 2015

The Returning Officer: Tories III

 “. . . genuine golden Tories, one; water-on-land Tories, one; hugging Tories, one. . . "

By Stephen Brasher

In 1842, the Stamford Mercury reported on a meeting of Louth Town Council. The first business of the day was to write to Queen Victoria, who had recently escaped assassination. John Francis had pointed a gun at her on 29 May that year but didn’t fire; he was arrested when he tried to shoot her again the next day. The Treason Act was passed and Francis was transported for life.

After discussing repairs to Holland Bridge and the Louth turnpike, the Mercury noted that seven people had been present: “. . . genuine golden Tories, one; water-on-land Tories, one; hugging Tories, one; newly imported eastern Tories, one; single-handed Tories, one; cotton Tories, one; real browned consistent reformers, one”. 

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This article appears in the 09 Sep 2015 issue of the New Statesman, Syria: the world order crumbles