“When two ride astride, one must ride behind”

Okay, the poster’s exactly 100 years old – and the issue highlighted here is Asquith’s Liberal government’s attempts to reform the House of Lords – but somehow it was the caption which to me seemed to resonate down the years into these Coalition days:


(From the LSE archives: COLL MISC 0519-053).

For others it may bring to mind Ming Campbell’s nag in Five Days that Changed Britain: “If you have a dog… for long enough, eventually you begin to look like your pet. Well, if you have a coalition partner, then it seems to me there’s a very grave risk eventually you’ll come to look like them.”

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10 Comments

  • Jeremy Hargreaves 1st Aug '10 - 1:30pm

    Not sure the roles of the House of Lords in 1910 and of the Lib Dems in the coalition government in 2010 are really very similar…

  • Ming is right; sadly, when my membership expires in September I cannot at the moment see my renewing (after 40 odd years in the Libs and Lib Dems…). I think 2 year degrees was about the last straw!

  • Andrew – people may well think they can complete them in a fortnight; still doesn’t make pedagogical sense…..

  • Bob Stevens 1st Aug '10 - 10:03pm

    The moral objection to two year degrees ?

    When they are introduced as a quick money saving exercise rather than any academic rationale.

    why bother with two weeks ? Why not just stick half a dozen degrees on ebay each year and take the revenue. It would suit the sordid carboot sale attitude of this government.

  • Betty Harris 2nd Aug '10 - 10:31am

    Can’t understand the objection to two year degrees. Have heard students from some universities comment that they only had to do two essays a term and had too much spare time. I write as a 2 year trained teacher who for 20 years ran a school in East London described as a Beacon; teaching hasn’t improved with the 3 year courses.

  • Betty – glad to see you’ve based your opinions on hearsay evidence and on your own experience of 20 years ago. I believe this is called ‘evidence-based practice’…!! [yes – this IS sarcasm]

  • Dominic Curran 2nd Aug '10 - 4:21pm

    Felix – i did a four year course and reckon i could have completed it in two. although having a very slack time seemed fun when i was 19, that’s two years less opportunity to experience other things in life, be it going up the career ladder of going off round the world. Having done a Masters in 9 months, i think for many course (by no means all) two years is quite feasible.

    However, that’s not to say that there aren’t many other reasons to consider ripping up the membership card. My main one would be the utter lack of protest at the abondonement of cherished policies from the party. Not to mention Cleggy’s deceitfulness.

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