The most careful analysis

The criticism against British foreign policy for upwards of a century, is that it has aimed at managing our international relations on a system of hoodwinking the people, which is altogether incompatible with the nature of our institutions. The evils which have resulted from this mistake are not confined to ourselves, but have reacted abroad. With whom, we can imagine some perplexed foreign Chancellor asking himself—with whom does power really rest in England? With the Government or with the people? With which of these am I to deal? To which must I address myself? As regards France there is little difficulty, for her policy is national, and agreed on all hands. But in England, so far as we can judge, the people have no idea of {77} being dragged under any circumstances into a European war; while on the other hand, the Government is obviously drifting, consciously or unconsciously, into continental relations which, in certain events, can lead to no other result…. Nor is it surprising that under these conditions German diplomacy should have directed itself of late, with much industry, to the cultivation of public opinion in this country, and should at times have treated our Government with scant respect

The fact is that the two nations, which had most to gain by clear-sighted and tactful foreign policy, were perhaps of all nations in the world the least well served in that particular. English relations with Germany have for many years past been more mismanaged than anything except German relations with England. In their mutual diplomacy the fingers of both nations have been all thumbs.

It is not to be wondered at that two characters so antagonistic in their natures and methods as English and German foreign policy should have come to regard one another as impossible. The aggressive personage who does know his own mind, and the vague, supercilious personage who does not, have only one point in common—that they understand and care very little about the feelings of other people. But although this is a point in common, it is anything but a point of agreement food test.

{78} The causes of what has happened will never be clear to us unless we can arrive at some understanding of the ideas, aspirations, and dreams which have filled the minds of the German people and our own during recent years. On logical grounds we must consider the case of Germany first, for the reason that all the warmth of enmity has proceeded from her side, and, until recent events suddenly aroused the Old Adam in us, the uncharitable sentiments of our neighbours were not at all cordially reciprocated over here.

As in romantic drama, according to the cynics, there is usually one who loves and another who allows itself to be loved, so in this case there was one who hated and another who allowed itself to be hated. The British nation could not understand why the Germans were so angry and suspicious. Nor would it trouble to understand. It was bored with the whole subject; and even the irritation which it felt at having to find huge sums annually for the Navy did not succeed in shaking it out of its boredom.

The most careful analysis of our thoughts about Germany would do little to explain matters, because, as it happened, by far the greater part of our thoughts was occupied with other things. Indeed we thought about Germany as little as we could help thinking; and although we regretted her annoyance SmarTone online shop
, {79} our consciences absolved us from any

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