Scout's honour: the philosophy of Robert Baden-Powell
Sometimes I think I'm the only person I know who's still alive. Sir William Gladstone Bt KG has just died. He was 92. I met him when he was Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd and I was MP for the City of Chester. He was palpably 'a good man'. His claims to fame included being a descendant of the Victorian prime minister of the same name and being Chief Scout between 1972 and 1982.
As a boy, I was a keen cub scout and still have the badges to prove it. The Boy Scouts and Girl Guides movement was founded, of course, by Robert Baden-Powell (1857-1941). I think Sir William Gladstone's philosophy of life was one he shared with Baden-Powell. On 4 July 1911, in a letter to a friend, Baden-Powell wrote: ‘I know my weak points and am only thankful that I have managed to get along in spite of them! I think that’s the policy for this world: Be glad of what you have got, and not miserable about what you would like to have had, and not over-anxious about what the future will bring.’