A Partly Political, Polemical, and Poetical Paragraph
Author: Anon [Andrea Castanea]
Publication: Kilmarnock Standard
Published: 26 September 1868
Publication type: Newspaper/Periodical
No full copy of this poem is available.
Archive/Library: Burns Monument Centre
This poem weighs up the claims of the two Liberal candidates for the Kilmarnock Burghs seat, Edwin Chadwick and Edward Pleydell-Bouverie (two other candidates appear later in the campaign). The speaker's initial feeling is that they are two good candidates – ''Twixt Edwin and Edward I'm sure I can't tell' – and that 'both are advanced in the Liberal ranks'. This latter point evades the central issue of the election: that Chadwick was being run as a more 'advanced' Liberal than the incumbent, a moderate with a poor relationship with Gladstone who was perceived as insufficiently dedicated to the cause of reform. The Standard would position itself throughout the election as a pro-Bouverie organ, and even this even-handed treatment of Chadwick sets up this defence of the status quo in its conclusion, which is that it is ultimately neither terribly 'moral' nor 'Liberal' to 'try to get in at the cost of a brother'.