to need at present, in England
, three things in especial: more equality, education for the middle classes, and a thorough municipal system.
A system of local assemblies is but the natural complement of a thorough municipal system.
Wholes neither too large nor too small, not necessarily of equal population by any means, but with characters rendering them in themselves fairly homogeneous and coherent, are the fit units for choosing these local assemblies.
Such units occur immediately to one's mind in the provinces of Ireland
, the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland
, north and south, groups of English counties such as present themselves in the circuits of the judges or under the names of East Anglia or the Midlands.
No one will suppose me guilty of the pedantry of here laying out definitive districts; I do but indicate such units as may enable the reader to conceive the kind of basis required for the local assemblies of which I am speaking.
The business of these districts would be more advantageously done in assemblies of the kind; they would form a useful school for the increasing number of aspirants to public life, and the House of Commons would be relieved.
The strain in Ireland
would be relieved too, and by natural and safe means.