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ID
c79
Title
"Country Parliament."
Genre
Essay
Page Count
7
Word Count
1900
Publisher
Life and Letters To-day
Publication Year
1941
Document Types
Full-text Online
Autobiographical
Social Commentary
Topics
Rural Living

Bates writes of four satisfying years as chairman of his Parish Council, and at the same time reflects on the poor state of rural government: "a combination of carelessness and somnolent indifference to what can be and ought to be done, or a combination of grandiose ideas and a serious misconception of everything fundamental to rural life. Yet they are run like this in England to-day; and they are run too on the equally questionable combinations of bigotry and jealousy, pecksniffing and back-biting, bureaucratic jiggery-pokery, and plain, dumb slackness of heart." What might be a parochial article with little relevance to today is rightly ended with a reflection that "in this stagnant rural apathy...may be seen the workings of the same dry rot that contributed to the fall of France and may still, even after victory [in the World War], bring the roof of English democracy tottering about our ears." Bates wrote regularly about rural concerns, including government, in his Country Life essays. In Life and Letters To-day (London, January 1941, xxviii, 41, pp. 198-204).


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