'Cobden's Logic', 1863. Cobden, MP for Manchester, made a speech in neighbouring Rochdale in which, on the one hand he condemned the British proletariat for their illiteracy, yet, on the other hand, advocated that the masses should be enfranchised. Punch, of course, never slow to pick these things up, made the most of this ambiguity by depicting John Bright, a firm supporter of parliamentary reform, supporting Cobden who is telling the local representative of what is surely the lumpenproletariat, that he should have the right to vote. Obviously, this representative of the illiterate masses, and by extension, the working class generally, would have no idea of what he would be voting for. From Punch, or the London Charivari, December 5, 1863.
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