A century ago today…

by Stephen Tall on April 8, 2008

… Herbert Asquith formally became Prime Minister, the last leader of a Liberal government. To mark the occasion, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography has put up this webpage to Asquith and the dynasty that came after him.

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Yes the PM who did not see the First World War coming and a source of shame to this day.
See Propect`s demolition job

by newmania on April 8, 2008 at 1:29 pm. Reply #

Wasn’t Lloyd George the last leader of a Liberal Government?

Asquith was, I think, the last Liberal leader to win an outright Parliamentary majority at the ballot box…

by Joe Taylor on April 8, 2008 at 2:30 pm. Reply #

http://474towin.blogspot.com/2008/04/today-8th-april-is-100th-anniversary-of.html

Very recent pictures of the Asquith legacy and descendants

by Ed Fordham on April 8, 2008 at 2:53 pm. Reply #

Yes the PM who did not see the First World War coming and a source of shame to this day.

Really? What more shameful than Conservative support for the Iraq war? If you say so . . .

by Laurence Boyce on April 8, 2008 at 3:11 pm. Reply #

Iraq may have been handled badly but the support the Liberal Party gave to SH will always stagger me.
Appeasement has a long and inglorious history …..

by newmania on April 8, 2008 at 3:31 pm. Reply #

Joe – Lloyd George was the last Liberal PM, but he led a national coalition rather than a Liberal government.

by Stephen Tall on April 8, 2008 at 3:41 pm. Reply #

“Really? What more shameful than Conservative support for the Iraq war? If you say so . . .”

The First World War killed 800,000 British and some 200,000 Commonwealth servicemen. I don’t think the modern Tory Party attains quite those levels of barbaric incompetence.

Asquith belonged to the era when war was a noble enterprise undertaken in the name of God. Spilling enemy blood was a sacred act which proved one’s manhood. The authoritarian right still believes that.

by Sesenco on April 8, 2008 at 3:48 pm. Reply #

Yes, but do the electorate factor in stuff from a hundred years ago?

by Laurence Boyce on April 8, 2008 at 4:39 pm. Reply #

Newmania- I think very few people predicted the first world war

by Rob on April 8, 2008 at 4:47 pm. Reply #

As I discovered yesterday, Asquith was counsel for the Carbolic Smoke Ball Company in the original trial but couldn’t appear in the appeal as he had (rather inconveniently) become Home Secretary

by Hywel Morgan on April 8, 2008 at 5:06 pm. Reply #

I’m flattered 🙂

by asquith on April 8, 2008 at 5:22 pm. Reply #

Actually Campbell-Bannerman was the last Liberal leader to win an outright victory (in terms of a majority of seats) at the ballot box, in 1906. The two elections that Asquith ‘won’, in 1910, in fact resulted in minority governments, though the Liberals stayed in power with the support for Irish Nationalist and Labour MPs. And Lloyd George was the last Liberal Prime Minister, though his governments were always coalitions of Liberal and Conservative (and a few Labour and other) MPs, with Liberals always in the minority. So it depends how you define your terms, really.

Nevertheless, we should remember Asquith. Whatever his shortcomings, he was the second longest-serving PM of the 20th century, and played a key role in the foundation of the welfare state.

by Duncan Brack on April 12, 2008 at 5:18 pm. Reply #

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