“a party that does not understand for what it is fighting has no right to win…”

Ever since spending nine hours in the basement of Belfast central Library scouring the pages of the News Letter over the Famine periood, I’ve been a big fan of the direct style of Victorian journalism. This extract is from page 9 of The Spectator magazine in August 1891:

We suppose it is not, on the whole, disadvantageous for each party to have its turn in Opposition and in Office, in the responsibilities of criticism and in the responsibilities of administration.

Responsibility renders the Radicals less disposed to destruction, and renders the Tories more willing for Reform. But in the present case a great deal more is at stake than any issue of that limited kind.

Unless the Unionists can realise that all the political traditions and constitutional forms under which our democratic institutions- have been developed are at stake, they do not understand, for what they are fighting; and a party that does not understand for what it is fighting has no right to win.[emphasis added]

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty