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Benjamin Disraeli
1804 - 1881

Prime Minister of England (1874-1880) and leader of the Conservative Party. Disraeli was a "progressive" conservative. He came to lead his party after splitting it through his opposition to the repeal of the protectionist Corn Laws and causing the defeat of his government. His opposition to the Liberal government of William Gladstone led in the following election to a majority government. Social reforms passed by the Disraeli government included: the Factory Act (1874), the Artisans Dwellings Act (1875), the Public Health Act (1875), the Pure Food and Drugs Act (1875), the Climbing Boys Act (1875), the Education Act (1876). He was an imperialist abroad and a social reformer at home.

When men are pure, laws are useless; when men are corrupt, laws are broken.

The secret of success is constancy of purpose.

Never complain and never explain.

Change is as inexorable as time, yet nothing meets with more resistance.

There is no education like adversity.

Whenever is found what is called a paternal government, there is found state education. It has been discovered that the best way to ensure implicit obedience is to commence tyranny in the nursery.

I have climbed to the top of the greasy pole.

To tax the community for the advantage of a class is not protection, it is plunder.

May 14, 1850 - from a speech in the British Parliament, quoted in Power Quotes, Daniel Baker, ed.
If you establish a democracy, you must in due time reap the fruits of a democracy. You will in due season have great impatience of the public burdens, combined in due season with great increase of the public expenditure. You will in due season have wars entered into from passion and not from reason; and you will in due season submit to peace ignominiously sought and ignominiously obtained, which will diminish your authority and perhaps endanger your independence. You will in due season find your property is less valuable, and your freedom less complete.

Mar. 31, 1850 - from a speech in the British House of Commons
The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.

1844 - from his novel Coningsby, the New Generation
I am a Conservative to preserve all that is good in our constitution, a Radical to remove all that is bad. I seek to preserve property and to respect order, and I equally decry the appeal to the passions of the many or the prejudices of the few.

Man is not the creature of circumstances. Circumstances are the creatures of men.

The tone and tendency of liberalism...is to attack the institutions of the country under the name of reform and to make war on the manners and customs of the people under the pretext of progress.

... how much easier it is to be critical than correct.

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.

attributed to him by Mark Twain
I must follow the people. Am I not their leader?