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Since a politician never believes what he says, he is quite surprised to be taken at his word - Charles de Gaulle
Politicians come in for a fair bit of stick, but let's face it - they usually deserve it. Even if they enter politics with aspirations of doing good, those that manage to pull themselves to the top of the greasy pole (with a few notable exceptions) seem to hang on to office for their own sake, long after any good they might do, rather than for the benefit of their constituency.
The politicians we show here make a collection of some of the better examples of this breed.
Britain and its Empire are naturally well represented. The impending end of the Empire is rather poignantly illustrated by our photo of the 1944 Imperial Conference. The British Dominions are represented by their leaders. Mackenzie King (Canada), Jan Smuts (South Africa), Peter Frazer (New Zealand) and John Curtin (Australia) are seated with Churchill, who himself was to be rejected by the British public just over a year later.
Pictures of Victorian and Edwardian politicians include John Bright (Anti-Corn Law League), Herbert Gladstone (son of Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone, that friend of the working girl, and himself the first Governor-General of the Union of South Africa), Joseph Chamberlain (of that Birmingham dynasty), Robert Peel (son of the founder of that great British institution, the police force) and the Marquis of Salisbury (weird beard).
Revolutionary politics is featured through pictures of Eamon de Valera (who of course became President of Ireland), Che Guevara, Fidel Castro (see also our Cuba section) and Leon Trotsky - crazy hair, crazy guy!
Nothing is so abject and pathetic as a politician who has lost his job, save only a retired stud-horse - H L Mencken