chapter  2
‘Liberal Imperialist’, 1902–05
Pages 33

At Cambridge, Keynes was active in the Liberal Club as well as in the Eighty Club, and, on a few occasions, such party activism might take him outside his hometown, to Oxford or Edinburgh. The position that Keynes adopted at the beginning of the period considered, to use a political label current at the time, that of a 'Liberal Imperialist'. Liberal Party thereby became more coherent in its radicalism. In origin, new Liberalism was conceived as the liberal response to the social question as framed by the social surveys of Charles Booth and Seebohm Rowntree. Skidelsky's description of Keynes's politics in relation to ethics, the basic assumption of the essay is that Burke's politics derived from his ethics, a feature of Burke's thought that attracted Keynes's attention, as was typical of the late Victorian/Edwardian age. The Cambridge Review is that Keynes concluded the debate with a destructive criticism of the edifice reared by the hon. and gallant Member of Parliament.