Gough’s grandchildren are the third generation welfare dependents who are becoming a new underclass, like their colleagues in the welfare states around the world.
Pericles was an Athenian soldier and statesman.
Extracts from the Funeral Oration of Pericles circa 430 BC.
We do not copy our neighbours but try to be an example. Our administration favours the many instead of the few: this is why it is called a democracy. The law affords equal justice to all alike in their private disputes, but we do not ignore the claims of excellence.
The freedom we enjoy extends also to ordinary life; we are not suspicious of one another, and do not nag our neighbour if he chooses to go his own way. But this freedom does not make us lawless. We are taught to respect the magistrates and the laws, and never to forget that we must protect the injured. And we are also taught to observe those unwritten laws whose sanction lies only in the universal feeling of what is right.
Our city is thrown open to the world; we never expel a foreigner. We are free to live exactly as we please, and yet we are always ready to face any danger.
We love beauty without indulging in fancies, and although we try to improve our intellect, this does not weaken our will.
To admit one’s poverty is no disgrace with us; but we consider it disgraceful not to make an effort to avoid it.
We consider a man who takes no interest in the state not as harmless, but as useless; and although only a few may originate a policy, we are all able to judge it.
We believe that happiness is the fruit of freedom and freedom that of valour, and we do not shrink from the dangers of war.
To sum up, I think that Athens is the School of Hellas, and that the individual Athenian grows up to develop a happy versatility, a readiness for emergencies, and self-reliance.