"The Middle East is one of the hardest-hearted areas in the world. It has always been fought over, and peace has only reigned when a major power has established firm influence and shown that it would maintain its will. Your friends must be supported with every vigour and if necessary they must be avenged. Force, or perhaps force and bribery, are the only things that will be respected.... At present our friendship is not valued, and our enmity is not feared." —WSC, 1958
Churchill and Palestine had a long association, spanning two world wars and thirty years. It began in 1917, when British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour promised a “Jewish National Home” in Palestine. Almost simultaneously, Lawrence of Arabia was offering the Arabs sovereignty over a Middle East ruled for nearly half a millennium by the Turks. By war’s end, the Ottoman Empire was a shambles. “At this truly horrendous moment,” Professor Fromkin told us, “Prime Minister David Lloyd George turned to his Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill and said in effect, ‘You deal with it.’”
For him, the safety and honor of the nation always came first. He pursued that tenaciously, often at risk to his career. Second came the constituents who elected him. He makes a fine distinction between a “representative” (the duty of the Member) and a “delegate.” There is a world of constitutional contrast between them. Third among his priorities was “duty to the party organization or programme.” All too often, representatives today place that duty above the other two.
Churchill shared Wells’s faith in science, but he never lost his reservations about experts. Four months after they met, he declared in Parliament: “It was a principle of our Constitution not to employ experts, whether business men or military men, in the highest affairs of State.” Four decades laster he reiterated: “Expert knowledge, however indispensable, is no substitute for a generous and comprehending outlook upon the human story with all its sadness and with all its unquenchable hope.”
The funeral quandary: “...everyone here thought my duty next week lay at home, at a time when so many Ministers are out of the country” (per Martin Gilbert). “P.M. of course wanted to go. A[nthony Eden] thought they oughtn’t both to be away together.... P.M. says he’ll go and A. can stay. I told A. that, if P.M. goes, he must.... Churchill deeply regretted in after years that he allowed himself to be persuaded not to go at once to Washington” (per Alexander Cadogan).
“Rapscallions”: Excerpted from an article for the Hillsdale College Churchill Project. For the original text including endnotes, please click here. Subscriptions to this site are free. You will receive regular notices of new posts as published. Just fill out SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW (at right). Your email address will remain a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
On cancelling Winston
Mary Ellen Synon is a feisty Irish journalist who doesn’t mind taking a contrarian’s position on popular orthodoxies. Writing to oppose the latest uproar over Winston Churchill, she first explains that she’s entitled to be offended by him: “If you think Churchill was heavy on Indians, Muslims and Africans, brace yourself for what he said about the Irish.”…
“The great title deeds”
In an illuminating interview on the Northwest Ordinance, Hillsdale College President Larry P. Arnn explains one of America’s key founding documents. This is not a usual subject here. Indeed Churchill’s History of the English-Speaking Peoples doesn’t even mention it. Nonetheless— the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 qualifies as one of Churchill’s “great title-deeds of Anglo-American liberties.”
. The interview didn’t answer all my questions but taught me things I didn’t know. I doubt that many American schoolchildren know them either. Nevertheless, the Northwest Ordinance deserves broader familiarity.
Northwest Ordinance Provisions Dr. Arnn’s remarks need little elaboration here.…
“The British Boxing Controversy” is excerpted from an essay for the Hillsdale College Churchill Project. For the original text including more images and endnotes, please click here. Subscriptions to this site are free. You will receive regular notices of new posts as published. Just scroll to SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW. Your email address is never given out and remains a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
In February a Cambridge University panel of four, all sharing the same opinions, branded Winston Churchill an overrated racist imperialist. The British Empire, one speaker added, was worse than the Third Reich.…
Excerpted from “What Good’s a Monarchy? Churchill’s Case for an Anachronism,” for the Hillsdale College Churchill Project. For the original text including endnotes please click here.
Subscriptions to this site are free. You will receive regular notices of new posts as published. Just scroll to SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW. Your email address is never given out and remains a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
“It is wise in human affairs, and in the government of men, to separate pomp from power.” —Winston S. Churchill1
In an age of lampooning anything which smacks of tradition, the question arises: what good is monarchy?…
Eighty-eight years ago Hitler became Chancellor of Germany and the Oxford Union passed a resolution: “That this House refuses in any circumstances to fight for King and Country.” A week later Winston Churchill said: “We have all seen with a sense of nausea the abject, squalid, shameless avowal made in the Oxford Union.…