On the matter of Churchill’s taxes, a friend quotes a very good historian we both respect: “His relationship with the taxman was scandalous. As Chancellor of the Exchequer, Churchill exploited tax loopholes and he retired as an author on more than one occasion to avoid paying tax.”
My friend writes: “Surely what Churchill did was just on the borderline of tax-optimization? It would only be scandalous if it was tax evasion. But it was in fact legal.”
I am not an expert on Churchill’s taxes. I accept that he took whatever measures that were open and legal to minimize the bite.…
Optimist and Pessimist: Fifteen minutes of fame! David Davis MP, Secretary of State for Brexit, boots one in his recent speech and I’m finally in The Guardian. Probably the first and last time, given my opinions. **
Question: Referring to your posts of quotations Churchill never said, do you know who actually did say “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty”? I find no attribution other than to Churchill.
How great was Atatürk? The question came up examining Turkish attitudes to Churchill, which one might expect would be hostile. In 1914, Churchill’s Admiralty denied Turkey two battleships being built in Britain as World War I erupted. In 1915, Churchill pushed hard (though did not conceive of) the attacks on the Dardanelles and Gallipoli. (See also “comments” on this post from thoughtful Turks.)
One historian speculated that Churchill mirrored the courage and resourcefulness of Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk). Another said there “might be a lingering impression that Churchill had helped save Turkey from the red menace by his resistance to Russian demands on the Dardanelles Straits—of course it was Harry Truman who did the heavy lifting there [through the Truman Doctrine]”
The Turks have abundant reasons to feel positive toward Churchill, aside from his personal courage, and his post-1945 resistance to Soviet designs on the Dardanelles (when he was out of office and powerless).…