The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

11 October
Comments Off on By The 1930s Churchill Was Regarded As An Outdated Relic-Which Was Exactly Why He Was The Man For The Moment In 1940

By The 1930s Churchill Was Regarded As An Outdated Relic-Which Was Exactly Why He Was The Man For The Moment In 1940

This nonsense about Winston Churchill just shows how the lunatic fringe has moved into the mainstream. Ben Shapiro and Andrew Roberts have both forensically dismissed the claim that Churchill should not be regarded as a hero so I need not attempt to walk in their shoes but there are some points to be made arising from the “debate”

Even in the 1930s public opinion saw Churchill as an old fashioned figure, a relic of the Victorian/Edwardian era out of sync with modern attitudes. He had opposed votes for women, self government for India and helped break the General Strike of 1926. He believed in the Empire, hated Bolshevism and despised the League of Nations.
Within the Conservative Party he was seen as a relic and a troublemaker. Even as late as 1960 when, as a university student I helped campaign for the Tories in a council election I heard the local candidate use those very words about Churchill even when most of us saw him as the hero who saved our nation in 1940.

After Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933 he became almost a one man band constantly warning against the rise of German militarism and the need to re-arm. His warnings fell largely on deaf ears, not just from his fellow politicians but also the general public. My parents remembered vividly times in cinemas when the newsreels showed Churchill and there were cries or “warmonger” from the audience. Rumours swirled that he wanted war because he had shares in the armaments industry. He was a voice in the wilderness when he refused to acclaim Chamberlain for Munich.

Yet when the nation was awakened to the possibility of defeat in 1940, when many politicians and media figures were pushing for “terms” and Chamberlain sought to create a government of national unity the Labour Party refused to serve under anybody else except Churchill. When George VI unwillingly appointed him Prime Minsister the country largely fell in behind him…..beecause, at that moment of crisis, his old fashioned, outdated ideas of patriotism mirrored the public mood

“It is to wage war by sea, land, and air, war with all our minds and with all the strength that God gives us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crimes.”

For a country totally alone, weakened militarily and economically it was manifestly an irrational response. No “modern” politician would have dared used that phrase…..which was why Churchill was the only one who could say it with conviction.

Subsequently as a wartime PM his path was not always even. The latecomers from Washington and Moscow gradually took up the greater part of the burden. But without that moment in 1940 the “monstrous tyranny” could well have been secure in Europe even until this present day…..

Share
 
Comments are closed.
17 visitors online now
7 guests, 10 bots, 0 members
Max visitors today: 22 at 10:52 am BST
This month: 26 at 10-18-2018 04:27 pm BST
This year: 47 at 01-02-2018 03:33 am GMT
All time: 280 at 12-06-2017 12:08 am GMT
Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: