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LOCAL LIBERAL LIBERTY. Conservatives may be pardoned if they have a suspicion that their political opponents have a hankering after the sweets of office, and that in order to attain that end they will not pause at such trifles as right and wrong, conscience, custom, etiquette, and courtesy. The local Liberals are always boasting of their liberal prin- ciples, but it is unfortunate that those principles are seldom carried into practice. Liberty and freedom is ever in their mouths, but is seldom found elsewhere where they arc. Their liberty means liberty to be free with their neighbours' rights and privileges, and their freedom signifies freedom to assail and abuse their opponents. It is precious little liberty and freedom that the rank and file of the party get; the leaders, in a most proper spirit, no doubt, take care that none of those much-vaunted ingredients of human happiness shall be wasted upon the residuum of the town. Particularly is this the case at Aberystwyth and the neighbourhood, where an attempt is made to make Liberalism and Dissent synonymous terms. Sometimes Liberty is displayed in chapels, after the sermons are over. There liberty is given to the humble and willing to do as they like— provided always that they do not stray from the fold, and do not venture to differ in opinion from their spiritual leaders. As a rule they obey the orders given them, but occasionally a few of the number become unmanageable, and even venture to think for themselves. Such people must of course be firmly dealt with, for if their example were widely followed there would soon be an end to all discipline. In political and muni- cipal matters the same rules are observed, and the same liberty is given. For instance, this week the vacancy created by the resigna- tion of Alderman Jones had to be filled. For some days before the election it was un- derstood that the senior Councillor, Mr D. Roberts, the worthy Mayor of the town, would be unanimously chosen, for two reasons, because he was the senior member, and the majority of his colleagues on the Council thought him the best man. But, to the surprise of the Mayor and his friends, no less than the public, it was discovered at the meeting that another candidate, with no claims, was to be nominated. On a vote, however, the Mayor was elected, and very properly so. It afterwards transpired that certain office-seekers were busy at work, and that on the previous day they and a few friends had met together to concert measures the nature of which would not show to advantage in the light of public opinion. The following letter, which we are assured is genuine, will speak for itself:— Aberystwyth, 15th October, 1879. Dear Sir, I am directed by the Liberal Association to send you the enclosed copy of a resolution passed at their meeting held yesterday. Yours truly, GRIFFITH JONES. COPT RESOLUTION. Tha.t this Meeting hereby desires to express a hope that the Nonconformist Members of tha Conned will remain true to their principles hy using- tkeir efforts to secure the election of a Nonconformist for the vacant Aldennanic Seat. If this letter is a forgery, and if Mr Griffith Jones never signed such an attempt to pre- vent the free exercise of the rights and liberties of Town Councillors to think as they like, and to vote for the best man, we shall be most happy to give him space to set himself right with the public. If, on the other hand, the letter was really sent to the Nonconformist members of the Council, and we believe it was, then Mr Jones must bear the stigma of violating a vital principle of self government—the liberty of the subject. To submit to such an attempt would be simply to resign all opinion and self-respect. It is satisfactory to know that two of the gentlemen for whom this coercive missile n was intended had the courage of their con- victions, and voted as their consciences and their wisdom dictated. If this is an instance of Liberal organisation and liberty, then we shall heartily desire to bo delivered from Liberal liberty, and hold fast to the good old Tory principles.




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