…the talk is of nothing else but that dashing young Mr Clegg, who has triumphed over the rather gruff Mr Huhne in the contest for the leadership of our local debating society. In truth, the town has not been so abuzz with rumour and counter-rumour since the arrival of the railway, not five years past.
I quite confess that the ballot has been a topic of much consideration between Lady Rosalind and myself, from deciding to whom our favour should be granted, from attending gatherings in Newbury (which, whilst not entirely without its charms, lacks the gentility of our rather more established metropolis) and Leeds (with its brutal industrial landscape, where children might still be found engaged in quite unsuitable activities), to the drama of completing our ballots and prevailing upon the Royal Mail to convey them by express mail coach to a discreet establishment in London where such matters are resolved by frightfully clever gentlemen equipped with the very latest counting machines.
It will indeed be good for the town to see our debating society revitalised, as it provides an outlet for the men of the town to distract themselves from talk of trade and industry, whatever the latter might mean, and even more so from the temptations of hard liquor and whatever else passes for discourse in the inns and taverns. In fact, as a means of improving the manners of some of the rougher elements, whose leafleting goes on unchecked, and whose presence outside of polling stations brings so much distress to those of a more sensitive, liberal persuasion, the example that might potentially be set by Mr Clegg may well prove to be of great value.
His talk of a more radical leadership is, I admit, of concern to the members of our literary salon, but I am sure that a more self-confident, more energetic approach is just what is needed to invigorate the town. I am sure that the electors of our proud metropolis will give him all of the support he needs in the coming years, accordingly.