In 1962 Maxwell Fyfe wrote of the electorate:


'We were dimly conscious, or some of us were, of a new craving for a new standard to gather round.

This feeling was extremely difficult to define, it was vague, unsubstantial, and very real,

and we were absolutely baffled by it.'


New phantoms were rising.


That new standard was to become the banner of Elizabethan Britain.

On it was emblazoned the quest for individual identity, for social liberalism, and equality,

and a steady return to material inequality.


It marked the end of making things, and the birth of empire of capital.

And it was fuelled by the post-industrial revolution of instant shared knowledge.


Big ideas do not hold up well in the spotlight of Elizabethan cynicism.

The question is always 'What's in it for me?'

Or at best, when conjoined with the bid for social equality 'What's in it for my tribe.'

Ideas for everyone, everywhere, and forever fade.


However, this Elizabethan mindset is ripe for change.

The persistent demand for instant acquiescence in anything called progress can do funny things to people.

Who are sold license at the expense of liberty?


It may be worth taking a moment to reflect on the conclusions of forgotten ghosts.



(as a speech) Yet I am haunted by some words from a song to which we used to listen in more carefree days:


"On fait des serments

Et simplement

On les oublie"


Having propounded high ideals in defeated Germany I feel the responsibility

for doing my part to see that they are not forgotten by the victors.



Maxwell Fyfe left behind a credo.

He was asked by a broadcaster, as part of a series, to describe what he believed.

This is how he started.



If I must label what I believe, I think I could best describe it as the faith of the romantic.

By romance, I don’t mean sentimentality or foolish optimism, but some idealism,

an imaginative perception, a pervading sense of tradition, and a strong sense of the adventure of living.


By tradition, I mean a sense of unity, not only with the past but with those who share the past.

Shared achievements, shared misfortune, and above all shared sacrifice

nourish the virtues that I consider most important; loyalty, tolerance, and understanding.


I know that my faith receives many pitying smiles from the cynic and the intellectual,

yet I know of no other that can help me in what I believe to be my most important task,

namely to try to secure that in the second half of our mad century

the spiritual stature of mankind will approximate to his material and scientific advances.





All shall be well

And all shall be well,

And all manner of thing,

Shall be, shall be well

All manner of thing shall be well


Often I wondered why in God’s great wisdom

The beginning of sin was not hindered

For then all should have been well

If sin had not been, we should all have been clean,

And like to our Lord as he made us

But Jesus said sin is behovely

And all shall be well


All shall be well

And all shall be well,

And all manner of thing,

Shall be, shall be well

All manner of thing shall be well


For our Lord’s passion is comfort to us

And so is His blessed will

And all shall be, all shall be well

And all shall be, all shall be well,

And all manner of thing shall be well.



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