Samuel Johnson on the Tory Leadership Ballot

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Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel

There is much speculation as to who he could have been referring to.

1 thought on “Samuel Johnson on the Tory Leadership Ballot

  1. “…patriotism could be dangerous. It was regarded in the eighteenth and much of the nineteenth centuries as a profoundly anti-authority ideology (hence the Tory Dr Johnson’s famous jibe: ‘the last refuge of a scoundrel’). Patriots – ‘your prating Patriots’, as one loyalist propaganda organ called them – were people who believed in the defence of British liberties against British governments who were trampling them underfoot.”

    (from Bernard Porter ‘The absent-minded imperialists’ (OUP, 2004) p.119. )

    Take care in quoting Johnson!

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