Address to the people of Lambeth, 1839
PRO HO 44/32/114


TO THE PEOPLE OF LAMBETH.
ADDRESS
OF THE COUNCIL OF THE LAMBETH POLITICAL UNION.
FELLOW CITIZENS,
The aristocratical government under which this country groans can only be subdued and changed by constant and vigorous efforts on the part of the people. Unless the controlling power of the State shall be speedily rendered decidedly popular, there is little hope that property can be made secure, industry free, and labour protected against the aggressions of the powerful. To call the present electoral system a Representation of the People is at once a fraud and a mockery. The House of Commons, though pretending to represent the people of this country, is chosen by a a narrow class nominally of £10 householders, who do not amount in number to more than ONE SIXTH part of the adult male inhabitants of the United Kingdom; whilst from the difficulties interposed in the way of registrations, scarcely a third of those persons who are actually £10 householders have attained the electoral franchise. The consequences are that a selfish, short-sighted, and tyrannical aristocracy, and a few greedy class interests reign supreme in the Legislature, the rights of the people are contemned, and wasteful expenditure, imbecility, and a misrule characterise the administration of the British Government in all parts of the British empire. To this system the Ministers of the Crown again declare their intention to adhere. The complaints and demands of the people are unnoticed or despised. The recent Speech of the executive chief magistrate studiously avoids even a reference to most of the topics which agitate every city, town, and village in Great Britain; and notices one of them only to threaten persecution and legal penalties. To aid in obtaining the redress of such grievances, the LAMBETH POLITICAL UNION was formed. That Union maintains "that every male person of full age, sane mind, and unconvicted of crime, ought to have a vote in the election of representatives in the House of Commons; that such representatives ought to be chosen for one year only; that the requirement of any Property Qualification for such representatives, inasmuch as it limits the choice of electors, is unjust, and ought to be abolished; that adequate salaries ought to be paid to the representatives of the people from the national Treasury; that electoral districts, containing as nearly as may be, equal numbers of adult male inhabitants, ought to be formed, and that all elections of members to the House of Commons all votes ought to be taken by Ballot." And further, "That the people of the United Kingdom should have full liberty to dispose of the produce of their labour, their capital, and their land to the best advantage, and therefore all restrictive, discriminating, and prohibitory duties ought to be absolutely abolished."
In carrying out these principles the Lambeth Political Union seeks to unite liberal and just men of all classes; - disclaiming alike all exclusive objects of any one class which shall be inconsistent with the JUST RIGHTS of any other, - anxious to join in one common political effort the energies of the masses and the influences of property, employers and employed, capitalists and workmen, - it will endeavour to do so by all legal and practical means. For that purpose the Lambeth Political Union will urge the abolition of all restrictions upon the Press; more ready interchange of thought, by the adoption of a uniform Penny Postage; the superintendence of the Registration of Electors with the Borough of Lambeth; appeals and instructions to those who can, by some legal contrivance or personal exertion, be placed upon the register of voters; the support of candidates who will pledge themselves to the popular principles of the Union; the reformation of local and parochial abuses; and, above all, by the incessant agitation of the Borough through addresses and public meetings.
In furtherence of these objects, the Council of the Lambeth Political Union will shortly convene a Public Meeting of the Borough of Lambeth.
By Order of the Council,
GEO. HUGGETT,
Secretary.
White Hart Inn,
Kennigton [sic] Cross, Lambeth.
*** The Council meets at the White Hart Inn, Kennington Cross, every Thursday Evening, at Eight o'Clock, where Members may be admitted.
GUTHRIE, PRINTER, 366, STRAND.

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