We recently read H.G Wells, The New Machiavelli at one of our literary sessions. This excerpt (adapted slightly) explains his thoughts on the issue of politics back in the 1800’s when he was a rising star in Parliament.

“It soon became manifest that my opening bored my audience a good deal. The richer and wider my phrases the thinner sounded my voice in these non-resonating gatherings.

They did not recognise themselves as man-kind; preparing a fresh stage in the history of humanity had no appeal to them. They thought politics as a kind of dog fight.

They wanted fun, they wanted spice, they wanted hits they wanted the chance to say ERE ERE in an intelligent and honorable manor.

So after one too many attempts to lift my audience I began to adapt myself to them. I cut down my review of our imperial outlook more and more and began a series of hits and anecdotes. Crudifications of the issue.

I began to speak about things I didn’t care to and I was rewarded with brighter meetings and readier applause. ‘It’s ok’, ‘after all’ I told myself, ‘if one wants to get to Westminster one must follow the road that goes there’.

But I found the road ever more distasteful. ‘When one gets there’ I said, ‘then it is that one begins’. But I found myself lying awake at night with headache and sore throat that come from speaking loudly all day in ill ventilated rooms”


You may be able to think of an example from your life where you too have had to toe the line in order to make headway. I found this excerpt thought provoking, and wanted to share it with you too. What do you make of it?