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Lloyd George and Ireland

16 October 2020

October 15th, 1920.

IF THE Prime Minister’s speech at Carnarvon on Saturday does not justify the belief that Britain is governed by the man Mr Lloyd George spoke to last, it does afford yet another example of the readiness with which Mr George responds to his environment. Indeed as we read the speech, with its air of irresponsibility and its justification of police murders, it has all the appearance of the wild talk of an excited nobody. Certainly it has none of the qualities to be looked for in a considered utterance by the foremost statesman in the world on a topic that is exciting interest and perplexity wherever affairs are discussed. In Ireland the speech must be productive of even worse conditions than have lately prevailed, for short of formally sanctioning a policy of reprisals, the Prime Minister has made it perfectly plain that such a policy can be safely pursued so far as the Government’s connivance is concerned. The responsibility for the terrible state of Ireland rests more than ever before upon the consciences of two men — the one, [the Unionist politician] Sir Edward Carson, possessed of a most dogged obstinacy, and the other, Mr Lloyd George, who cares for nothing so much as the avoidance of the inconveniences of the moment.

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