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» The Conservatives, who thought the Bill went too far. Lord Cranborne (later Lord Salisbury) compared the state to a joint-stock company, arguing that ‘the wildest dreamer never suggested that all the shareholders should hold a single vote without reference to the number of shares they might hold’. Even Disraeli thought the Bill would bring into Parliament ‘a horde of selfish and obscure mediocnties, incapable of anything but mischief’. » A section of the Liberals led by Robert Lowe, who told Parliament: ‘You are about to take away the management of affairs from the upper and middle classes, and you are about to place it in the hands of people of whose politics you know nothing.’ He claimed that the working classes were ignorant of politics, would be incapable of deciding who to vote for and would be open to bribery. They were full of ‘venality, ignorance, drunkenness and the facility for being intimidated’. Bright nicknamed Lowe and his supporters the Adullamites (after the Bible story about the discontented Israelites who left Saul and went to join David in the cave of Adullam — see 1 Samuel 22, verses 1-2). The opposition introduced an amendment to reduce the number of new voters, and when the Commons passed the amendment, Russell (now aged 74) resigned. It was a sad end to Russell's career in politics, since he had hoped to bow out with parliamentary reform as his crowning achievement. (b) pressure for reform mounts The incoming Conservative government hoped to move slowly and introduce some mild reform in 1868. However, public interest was now thoroughly aroused, and pressure built up for immediate action. Bright embarked on another speaking tour to campaign for reform; there was a short, sharp economic crisis which developed in 1866, several companies went bankrupt and there was widespread unemployment. Bread was expensive following the poor harvest of 1865, and there was a sudden cholera epidemic that killed 8,000 people in London alone. In July, a demonstration was planned to take place in Hyde Park. When the government closed the park to the meeting, there were some disturbances, during which 1,400 yards of railings were demolished. The combination of all these circumstances convinced the Conservatives that reform could not wait. Derby and Disraeli decided to make a bid for popularity that would prolong their stay in office and, in Derby’s words, ‘dish the Liberals’.