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Elaborate Lord Cantilupe's political faith and prejudices, explaining why he was a Tory and why he left politics. (Lord Cantilupe's Political Faith...


Lord Cantilupe didn't intend to go into politics. He only got involved because it was expected of him, because it was considered a family duty. The noble Lord has no political principles, as he freely admits—only prejudices. And those prejudices are rooted in the Toryism to which most people of his class subscribe.

Uppermost of these is the belief in a hierarchical society. Cantilupe frankly tells us that he doesn't believe in equality; he wants to live in a society which is organized according to distinct ranks and classes. He doesn't necessarily consider himself better than the village carpenter, for example, but he is different, and he thinks that society should reflect that difference in how it is organized.

Lord Cantilupe also harbors a virulent prejudice against trade. As well as lacking in respectability, he also thinks that it has caused immense disruption to society, removing workers from the land and turning them into an impoverished industrial proletariat. Like many Tories of his era, Cantilupe has a rather romanticized notion of what life in the countryside was like prior to the Industrial Revolution, when village life was based on an organic community in which everyone, from the Lord of the manor right down to the humblest farm worker, knew their place.

His Lordship is simply out of joint with the times. Society has changed, but he most certainly has not. All he has left are his unshakable prejudices to keep him warm as he lives out the rest of his days as a country gentleman. In choosing to retire to the country, he's turning his back on politics for good. He's given up the political role he never really wanted in the first place because, as far as he's concerned, Toryism is dead: it hasn't held back the tide of the rapid social and economic change he finds so distasteful.

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