Saturday, 15 February 2014

(Unexpected) working class hero

Statue of Sir Robert Peel, in Tamworth

Sir Robert Peel, the early nineteenth-century politician, was MP for Tamworth - and his statue stands proudly before the Town Hall in the centre of Tamworth to this day.

What is hard to believe is that he was a working-class hero (well - a hero to the working class, in fact). It was he who, when he was Prime Minister, brought crashing down the iniquitous Corn Laws, which protected landowners by ensuring a price for their grain - at the expense of the poor.
Peel split his own party on the issue.  Historians may well dispute about his motives, but I still think it was a brave, principled act.

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