Matthew Parris Matthew Parris

The wisdom of pitchfork-waving crowds

In a way the headline to my fellow columnist Dominic Lawson’s Sunday Times commentary on 12 April said it all. ‘Join the pitchfork wavers on tax, Mr Cameron, and you end up skewered.’ The column had something of an 18th-century ring to it, conjuring in my mind’s eye an elegant London dinner party, with men-about-town in powdered wigs twitching back the heavy damask curtains to sneak worried glances at a riot outside: an unruly and enraged mob rampaging up the street.

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