Category: In the News

Churchill’s Consistency: Politics Before Country (Part 2)

Churchill’s Consistency: Politics Before Country (Part 2)

Consistency in Politics…

…was a theme of Churchill’s, and he often wrote about it. He made many mis­takes, but through­out his career he was sel­dom guilty of lack­ing con­sis­ten­cy. Con­tin­ued from Part 1

“Much better if he had never lived”

Churchill main­tained friend­ly rela­tions with Bald­win until Bald­win died in 1947. Nevertheless—which was rare for him—he nev­er for­gave and nev­er for­got. In Jan­u­ary 1946 he made an aston­ish­ing state­ment: “I wish Stan­ley Bald­win no ill, but it would have been much bet­ter if he had nev­er lived.” Offi­cial biog­ra­ph­er Mar­tin Gilbert wrote that this was not Churchill’s usu­al con­sis­ten­cy, but exact­ly the opposite:

In my long search for Churchill few let­ters have struck a clear­er note than this one.…

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Churchill’s Consistency: “Politics Before Country” (Part 1)

Churchill’s Consistency: “Politics Before Country” (Part 1)

“Churchill’s Con­sis­ten­cy,” first pub­lished in 2011, is updat­ed with mate­r­i­al from my book, Churchill and the Avoid­able War. It exon­er­ates, par­tial­ly, the state­ments and actions of Mr. Bald­win in the debate of rear­ma­ment in the 1930s.

“Politics before country”

A U.S. Con­gress­man, observ­ing America’s spend­ing prob­lem, pro­posed an elab­o­rate plan to fix it. In the process he didn’t wilt under the assault direct­ed toward any­one who defies the sta­tus quo by propos­ing prac­ti­cal change. Intend­ing to defend his ideas in a speech, his pri­vate office asked me to ver­i­fy what Churchill said on con­sis­ten­cy among politi­cians.…

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Winston Churchill, Magnanimity and the “Feeble-Minded,” Part 2

Winston Churchill, Magnanimity and the “Feeble-Minded,” Part 2

Con­tin­ued from Part 1

Youthful discretions

Churchill was born into a world in which vir­tu­al­ly all Britons, from the Sov­er­eign to a Covent Gar­den gro­cer, believed in their moral supe­ri­or­i­ty. They preached it to their chil­dren. All learned that the red por­tions of the map showed where Bri­tan­nic civ­i­liza­tion had tamed sav­agery and cured pan­demics. Churchill’s asser­tions, espe­cial­ly as a young man, were often in line with this. And yet he con­sis­tent­ly dis­played this odd streak of mag­na­nim­i­ty and lib­er­tar­i­an impulse.

It was Churchill, the aris­to­crat­ic Vic­to­ri­an, who argued that Dervish ene­my in Sudan had a “claim beyond the grave…no less good than that which any of our coun­try­men could make.”…

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