Month: May 2015

Churchillnomics: The “Stricken Field”

Churchillnomics: The “Stricken Field”

Young Win­ston Churchill’s sec­ond speech in Par­lia­ment was a bravu­ra per­for­mance tak­ing up his father’s theme for econ­o­my in the bud­get.

In Churchill in His Own Words (p 45) I date this quo­ta­tion 12 May 1901 and cite Churchill’s Mr. Brodrick’s Army, his 1903 vol­ume of speech­es (fac­sim­i­le edi­tion, Sacra­men­to: Churchilliana Com­pa­ny, 1977), 16:

Wise words, Sir, stand the test of time, and I am very glad the House has allowed me, after an inter­val of fif­teen years, to raise the tat­tered flag I found lying on a strick­en field.

The “tat­tered flag” was Lord Ran­dolph Churchill’s cam­paign for econ­o­my in the late 1880s.…

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Driving in Britain Then & Now

Driving in Britain Then & Now

A friend head­ed for Eng­land who heard about their speed cam­eras asks how many he’ll encounter. Answer: a lot. Even out in the coun­try, they snap away at you.

Hav­ing logged about 80,000 road miles in the UK since 1974, I’ve noticed this and oth­er changes that turned dri­ving from a joy to drudgery. Of course a lot has to do with the huge growth of cars on cramped roads, and maybe mod­ern depre­da­tions of the State is a result rather than a cause. Head­ed into Dorch­ester one Sat­ur­day morn­ing, I had to resort to an Ord­nance Sur­vey map to get in using one-track roads—all the arter­ies were packed and stuck.…

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“Rats in a Hole”: Churchill’s Apology

“Rats in a Hole”: Churchill’s Apology

Imag­ine if the Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States declared, “We will dig out ter­ror­ists ‘like rats in a hole.” Many would applaud and think maybe they had mis­judged him. Or would they?

A col­league sends an exchange in the House of Com­mons on 7 March 1916. “Colonel Churchill,” recent­ly returned from the Front but still a Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment, was speak­ing about the naval war with Ger­many. British naval plan­ners must pro­vide, Churchill was say­ing,

against what will be a con­tin­u­al­ly increas­ing ele­ment of the unknown. I must also just point out anoth­er argu­ment which shows that, great as were the anx­i­eties with which we were faced in the first four months of the War, they have not by any means been removed, or, indeed, sen­si­bly dimin­ished by the course of events.…

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