Who was the greatest British Liberal?

by Stephen Tall on July 26, 2007

Readers of Lib Dem News will have had their attention drawn by Lord Tom McNally to a poll asking: who is the Greatest British Liberal?

(The question is being posed by The Journal of Liberal History, and voting is open only to members – you can join here.)

Here’s the short-list of 15 drawn up by the Liberal History Group’s executive committee:

Asquith, Herbert Henry
Beveridge, William
Bonham Carter, Violet
Campbell-Bannerman, Henry
Cobden, Richard
Fawcett, Millicent Garrett
Fox, Charles James
Gladstone, William Ewart
Grimond, Jo
Jenkins, Roy
Keynes, John Maynard
Locke, John
Lloyd George, David
Mill, John Stuart
Russell, John

(You had to be dead to qualify.)

The New Statesman has an interesting feature on its blog here, written by York Membery, noting that only two women make the short-list, and expressing surprise at the omission of Charles Dickens, Winston Churchill, WE Forster, T Hobhouse and Joseph Rowntree.

Though, unlike York, I don’t doubt the rationale of including Roy Jenkins – oh, for the days of a liberal home secretary, regardless of party label.