Saturday, 31 January 2015

Churchill Hero, Villain or Flawed Relic of Empire?

I'm surprised that there hasn't been a outpouring of Righteous Indignation from the UK media including BBC(Wast Britain)b over this

Churchill is no hero in the Rhondda.
He sided with pit owners against the miners in the Tonypandy riots of 1910/11.
It started in Penygraig.

There has been the expected  hagiography  of Churchill this week as we all are expected to celebrate him on the 50 anniversary of his death.

I'm not going into the Pros and Cons of Churchill's life  but   the media treatment of Churchill by the media this week resembled something out of North Korea.

There are however stories of booing from the audience in the South wales Valleys whenever Churchill appeared on screen in newsreels. i

The fact is even immediately after the War there were many who were not enamoured by the Churchill 

In the 1945 labour and the Liberals decided  not to oppose Churchill in his Woodford  constituency. A independent decided to run against him and received a surprising number of votes. 
General Election 1945: Woodford
ConservativeRt Hon Sir Winston Churchill27,68872.53
IndependentAlexander Hancock10,48827.47
Conservative holdSwing

And of course this reflected throughout the country as Labour won the Election by a Landslide.

The role of Clement Attlee Churchills deputy during World War II has bee n greatly overlooked 

In the coalition government, three inter-connected committees effectively ran the country. Churchill chaired the first two, the War Cabinet and the Defence Committee, with Attlee deputising for him in these, and answering for the government in Parliament when Churchill was absent. Attlee himself chaired the third and final body, the Lord President's Committee, which was responsible for domestic affairs.
Whilst Churchill war time role in the War has largely blinded people to the fact that he was a Right Wing Tory who in the past  had admired fascist leaders

In 1927 he He also wrote this about Benito Mussolini 

I could not help being charmed, like so many other people have been, by Signor Mussolini’s gentle and simple bearing and by his calm, detached poise in spite of so many burdens and dangers. Secondly, anyone could see that he thought of nothing but the lasting good, as he understood it, of the Italian people, and that no lesser interest was of the slightest consequence to him. If I had been an Italian I am sure that I should have been whole-heartedly with you from the start to finish in your triumphant struggle against the bestial appetites and passions of Leninism. I will, however, say a word on an international aspect of fascism. Externally, your movement has rendered service to the whole world. The great fear which has always beset every democratic leader or a working class leader has been that of being undermined by someone more extreme than he. Italy has shown that there is a way of fighting the subversive forces which can rally the masses of the people, properly led, to value and wish to defend the honour and stability of civilised society. She has provided the necessary antidote to the Russian poison. Hereafter no great nation will be unprovided with an ultimate means of protection against the cancerous growth of Bolshevism.” After a visit to Rome in 1927.
Some years earlier in 1920 he had wrote;

The part played in the creation of Bolshevism and in the actual bringing about of the Russian Revolution by these international and for the most part atheistic Jews ... is certainly a very great one; it probably outweighs all others. With the notable exception of Lenin, the majority of the leading figures are Jews. Moreover, the principal inspiration and driving power comes from Jewish leaders ... The same evil prominence was obtained by Jews in (Hungary and Germany, especially Bavaria). Although in all these countries there are many non-Jews every whit as bad as the worst of the Jewish revolutionaries, the part played by the latter in proportion to their numbers in the population is astonishing. The fact that in many cases Jewish interests and Jewish places of worship are excepted by the Bolsheviks from their universal hostility has tended more and more to associate the Jewish race in Russia with the villainies which are now being perpetrated”. CHURCHILL Illustrated Sunday Herald - 8th February 1920

 We must take this however in the context of the time without excusing it as charges against Saunders Lewis the former Plaid leader should be.

You can decide whether Churchill was a Hero ,Villain. or simply a flawed relic of the British Empire. but what we don't need is the hagiography we are usually treated to by the maintain media

His role in World War ii should not blind us to other events i his life that casts along shadow. 

1 comment:

  1. Following the recent spat between Tim Williams and Richard Wyn Jones regarding Saunders Lewis can we now expect a similar rant from 'down under' on this famous Briton?