Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman triumphant

Newly returned to the House of Commons former Prime Minister Arthur Balfour disastrously misjudges the new mood of the House. Prime Minister Campbell-Bannerman’s response is devastating: ‘The right hon. gentleman is like the Bourbons. He has learned nothing. He comes back to this new House of Commons with the same airy graces – the same subtle dialectics – and the same light and frivolous way of dealing with the great questions. He little knows the temper of the new House of Commons if he thinks those methods will prevail here…[his questions are] utterly futile, nonsensical and misleading. They are invented by the right hon. gentleman for the purpose of occupying time in this debate. I say, enough of this foolery…Move your amendments and let us get to business’. Balfour’s sister-in-law would later write that this was ‘the greatest Parliamentary triumph that I had ever witnessed’.