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A Leap in the Dark
A Criticism of the Principles of Home Rule as Illustrated by the
Bill of 1893

written by "Dicey, Albert Venn, 1835-1922"
... bound in prudence to maintain her power. iv. The Policy of Trust. 'I believe myself that suspicion is the besetting vice of politicians and that trust is often the truest wisdom.'122 This sentiment is followed by curious and ambiguous qualifications. It is not cited for the sake of fixing Mr. Gladstone with any doctrine whatever; it is quoted because it neatly expresses the sentiment which, in one form or another, underlies most of the arguments in favour of Home Rule or of our new constitution. The right attitude for a politician, it is urged, is trust; he should trust the Irish leaders and their assurances or professions; he should trust in the training conferred upon men by the exercise of power; he should trust in the healing effects of a policy of conciliation, or, to put the matter shortly, he should trust in the goodness and reasonableness of human nature. Exercise only a little trustfulness and the policy of Home Rule, it is suggested, may be seen to be a wise and prudent policy.123 How far, then, is trust in any of the three forms, which it may on this occasion take, a reasonable sentiment? We are told to trust the Irish leaders. My answer to this advice is plain and decided. Confidence is not a matter of choice. You cannot give your trust ...

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