Category: Quotations

Churchill Red Herrings: On a Federal Europe and “Keep England White”

Churchill Red Herrings: On a Federal Europe and “Keep England White”

Churchill on Europe

“It is only when plans for unit­ing Europe take a fed­er­al form that we our­selves can­not take part, because we can­not sub­or­di­nate our­selves or the con­trol of British pol­i­cy to fed­er­al author­i­ties.” This quote is a “red her­ring“—not Churchill.

Hoist on my own petard! Alan Ingram, a kind read­er, has helped me cor­rect sev­er­al attri­bu­tions (four of them mine) of this quote to Churchill. The remark, exclud­ing Britain from a fed­er­al Europe, belongs to his then-for­eign sec­re­tary, Antho­ny Eden. I plead…

Guilty, with an explanation:

My error and oth­ers’ occurred by mis­read­ing suc­ces­sive quotes in John Charmley’s Churchill’s Grand Alliance (1995).…

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The Language: Some Issues over “Issues”

The Language: Some Issues over “Issues”

 Trashing tradition

“Issues over Issues” is reprint­ed with revi­sions from an essay in 2007.

“I con­fess myself to be a great admir­er of tra­di­tion. The longer you can look back, the far­ther you can look forward….The wider the span, the longer the con­ti­nu­ity, the greater is the sense of duty in indi­vid­ual men and women, each con­tribut­ing their brief life’s work to the preser­va­tion and progress of the land in which they live, the soci­ety of which they are mem­bers, and the world of which they are the ser­vants.” —Win­ston S. Churchill, Roy­al Col­lege of Physi­cians, 2 March 1944

“The Car­di­nals’ bus from their hotel in mid­town Man­hat­tan was delayed by more than an hour as it made its way to the ball­park on Wednes­day.…

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Origins of Churchill Phrases: “Special Relationship” and “Iron Curtain”

Origins of Churchill Phrases: “Special Relationship” and “Iron Curtain”

Pregnant Phrases

The his­to­ri­an Christo­pher Har­mon capa­bly answers a ques­tion on the ori­gin of these famous expres­sions, and kind­ly asks me to con­firm his find­ings. They are right as usu­al. (Dr. Har­mon wrote a fre­quent­ly cit­ed mono­graph, “Are We Beasts?” Churchill on the Moral Ques­tion of World War II “Area Bomb­ing.” His five books include the grad­u­ate-lev­el text­book Ter­ror­ism Today .)

Special Relationship

Chris Har­mon writes:

“Spe­cial rela­tion­ship” appears sev­er­al times (and in sur­pris­ing ways) in Churchill’s 1946 Ful­ton speech, “The Sinews of Peace.” It is impor­tant nev­er to say that it was coined there.  I believe Churchill coined the phrase in a pri­vate let­ter to Clement Attlee in ear­ly Octo­ber 1945.…

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