'Pudding before Meat', 1866. Artist: John Tenniel
'Pudding before Meat', 1866. Earl Gr-v-n-r exclaims Why, John! Beef before Pudding! Dizzy adds Ha! Ha! What an Absurd Idea! Lord Russell lifts the lid on the meat dish, with 'butler' Gladstone at the rear bringing in the covered dish of redistribution. The Conservative, Disraeli, who had long been a supporter of parliamentary reform, is seated at the right of the picture. Lord Russell, the Liberal Prime Minister, had recently introduced a bill for parliamentary reform. However, he was met with opposition from his own party, chiefly in the form of attacks by Mr Robert Lowe who objected strongly to placing more power in the hands of the lower classes. Further Liberal objections concerned the separation of 'Franchise' and 'Redistribution'. Earl Grosvenor (on the left) felt that before the reduction of the franchise could be meaningfully debated, the House should have details of the scheme for the redistribution of seats. In debates on this bill, however, Disraeli spoke very powerfully against the government and, when it became clear that the government could not win this battle, the Russell administration resigned. From Punch, or the London Charivari, March 31, 1866.
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