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Horatio Bottomley

14 October 2016

October 13th, 1916

THE utterances of Mr. Horatio Bottomley are, as a rule, about the last subject likely to receive notice in these columns, or in those of any other reputable journal. We may be surprised that even his unlettered public should still believe in an oracle which has proved almost infallibly wrong. We may be amused by the demands for a “Business Government” from Mr. Bottomley. We may wish that the Press censorship could deal with some of the John Bull advertisements which are allowed to disfigure London. But these are hardly matters of importance. . .

Yet we cannot allow his latest production to pass without comment. For one thing, it was printed, not in John Bull, but in the Sunday Pictorial, a rather undistinguished journal, but one which at least finds its way into homes where John Bull would not be tolerated. For another, it dealt not merely with matters of opinion — Mr. Bottomley’s opinions have little interest for any person of intelligence — but with matters of fact. And, finally, the argument he bases upon a gross travesty of facts is of a kind capable of doing immense harm. . .

“The Bishops’ Blunder” is the title, with a sub-title in emphatic capitals: “A Mistaken Mission — Pride, not Repentance.” And an editorial note informs us that “Mr. Bottomley voices the view” — to “voice” a “view” seems a remarkable feat — “of the general public in protesting against the action of the Church in choosing the present moment — when our bravest and best are giving their lives for the cause of the world’s freedom, and when their splendid sacrifice is being rewarded with the promise of victory — to inaugurate a ‘National Mission of Repentance and Hope.’” That which is “voiced” is, of course, the strident shout of Mr. Bottomley alone. . .


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