Lord Frost speech Observations on present state of nation, 12 October 2021


Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

A year and a half ago, in the days immediately after the UK finally left the EU, I went to Brussels to give a speech which attracted some attention at the time. I called it “Reflections on the Revolutions in Europe” – that was a deliberate nod to the Irish-British scholar-politician Edmund Burke and his critique, as regards the French Revolution, of what we would now call the hyper-rationalist creation of a new legal order in contrast to organic, custom-based change.

My title today – which is, for those who missed it, “Observations on the Present State of the Nation” – is a similarly deliberate echo of Burke’s first significant work – it was a pamphlet with that title, from 1769. In it he reviewed the economic condition of Britain and France, the two superpowers of their day, and first developed his thought that he developed in work subsequently, and I quote “politics should be adjusted, not to…

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