A recent article suggests that Japan’s decision to surrender in 1945 was by no means unanimous. A few years ago, Sir Ian Kershaw said the same thing about Japan’s decision to go to war in the first place….
“What a story! Think of all these people—decent, educated, the story of the past laid out before them—What to avoid—what to do etc.—patriotic, loyal, clean—trying their utmost—What a ghastly muddle they made of it!…
Politicians, most often Boris Johnson and Donald Trump at the moment, are often compared to Winston Churchill. In a way it’s nice PR for Sir Winston. Half a century since his death, the Greatest Briton still dominates media. His Google hit count is 100 million. (Franklin Roosevelt, the West’s other great war leader, is at 72 million.)
Rightly or wrongly, every day on the Internet, Churchill is praised, lampooned, quoted and misquoted. But comparisons to modern politicians have worn thin. They may emulate him, but not be compared to him.
Johnson’s Day in the barrel
On 15 June the Wall Street Journal focused on British prime minister in waiting Boris Johnson.…
Prime Ministers are always popular targets. Boris Johnson, Britain’s new PM, wears the bullseye over there now. For everything from domestic squabbling to “insensitivity” in reciting “The Road to Mandalay” on a visit to Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). In the immortal words of Richard Nixon, let us say this about that.
* * * * * “I appointed [Lord Roberts] Commander-in-Chief in India when I was Secretary of State. That was the year I annexed Burma. The place was in utter anarchy. They were just butchering one another. We had to step in, and very soon there was an ordered, civilized Government under the vigilant control of the House of Commons.” There was a sort of glare in his eyes as he said “House of Commons.”
—Lord Randolph Churchill to Winston Churchill in The Dream, 1947 Mandalay as Dog Whistle
Generally speaking nowadays, we deem paeans to the British Empire imperialist, racist twaddle.…