‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.’
Edmund Burke was an Irish statesman, political theorist, and philosopher, and above all, a man who refused to ‘do nothing.’ His detestation of injustice and the abuse of power led him to great political battles: for more equal treatment of Catholics in Ireland; against British oppression of the 13 American colonies; against the power of the East India Company in India; and most famously, against the dogma of the French Revolution.
Featured on this tea towel is a design inspired by Peter May's photograph of a statue representing "Die Gute" (Goodness) on Dresden Town Hall which was left overlooking the ruins of the town in 1946. The quote is usually attributed to Burke but is more likely based on a paraphrase of some of his ideas or they may have been adapted from lines of his in Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents (1770): ‘When bad men combine the good must associate; else they will fall one by one an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.’
Either way, it’s a reminder to us all in turbulent times: to stand by is worth nothing, but to speak up? Well, that’s worth noting.