Month: April 2015

Churchill’s Average Voter

Churchill’s Average Voter

(Or: “Churchillian Drift,” Part 1,398….)

Sher­iff Court, 1908: vot­ers acclaim Churchill’s elec­tion as Lib­er­al Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment for Dundee. (Illus­trat­ed Lon­don News)

On the eve of the British Gen­er­al Elec­tion, Metro UK declares: “Win­ston Churchill said the best argu­ment against democ­ra­cy is a five-minute con­ver­sa­tion with the aver­age vot­er.”

This is alas a reap­pear­ance of an ever-pop­u­lar red-her­ring quote that Churchill nev­er said.

Churchill had thought­ful cri­tiques of democ­ra­cy. See in par­tic­u­lar his essay on “Mass Effects in Mod­ern Life” in his book, Thoughts and Adven­tures. But he also had more respect for the aver­age vot­er than this non-quote sug­gests.…

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Dardanelles-Gallipoli Centenary

Dardanelles-Gallipoli Centenary

First Lord of the Admi­ral­ty Win­ston Churchill with Admi­ral John Arbuth­not “Jacky” Fish­er, who served as his First Sea Lord in 1914-15.

Anzac Day, April 25th, marks the Cen­te­nary of the land­ings on the Gal­lipoli Penin­su­la, in the end a trag­ic fail­ure, with heavy loss­es of British, Aus­tralian and New Zealand life. Churchill usu­al­ly comes in for (and deserves) some of the blame, but rarely does every­body “get it right.” Such is a piece in Forbes: “Win­ston Churchill’s Ter­ri­ble Lead­er­ship Fail­ure.”

This piece gets sev­er­al facts wrong and over­sim­pli­fies to the point of con­fu­sion.…

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Churchill-Mussolini Non-Letters

Churchill-Mussolini Non-Letters

(Or: “You Haven’t Looked Hard Enough”)

Ben­i­to Mus­soli­ni (Wiki­me­dia)

“The Untold Sto­ry of Mussolini’s Fake Diaries” (Dai­ly Beast, 12 April 2015) eval­u­ates Mussolini’s sup­posed diaries, let­ters or doc­u­ments ped­dled over the years, while rais­ing some incrim­i­nat­ing charges, or sup­po­si­tions, about Win­ston Churchill:

Before the war, Churchill offered Il Duce a deal. After the war, British intel­li­gence tried to destroy their cor­re­spon­dence…. When Churchill became prime min­is­ter in May 1940 he tried, in a series of let­ters, to dis­suade Mus­soli­ni from join­ing the Axis pow­ers. He was ignored. Three weeks lat­er Italy joined Nazi Ger­many and declared war on Great Britain.…

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