Gladstone, Goschen, Lloyd George and the Webbs
‘If the GOM [Grand Old Man – sarcastic nickname for Gladstone] goes for Home Rule’, said the streetfighting Tory Lord Randolph Churchill in 1885, ‘the Orange card will be the card to play. Pray God it will be the ace of trumps and not the two’. The GOM did go for Irish Home Rule in November of that year. His Government of Ireland Bill was defeated in June 1886. The Orange card was indeed one of those that the Unionists played to defeat it. The Home Rule proposal contained no opt-out for the Protestant Orangemen of Ulster. But the Bill had equally profound failings on representation and finance. This section explores why that Victorian Titan of public finance, W.E. Gladstone, labelled by one of his eminent successors ‘the Chancellor who made the job’ (Jenkins 1995, title of chapter 9), made such a poor job of the public finance of Home Rule.
KeywordsLocal Government County Council Imperial Contribution Local Taxation Royal Commission
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