Category: Red Herrings: False Quotes

Memo to Peggy Noonan and the WSJ: Churchill was NOT a drunk

Memo to Peggy Noonan and the WSJ: Churchill was NOT a drunk

On 15 June in the Wall Street Jour­nal opin­ion colum­nist Peg­gy Noo­nan wrote a per­cep­tive piece about the prospects and chal­lenges for Boris John­son as Britain’s new Prime Min­is­ter: “Eng­land Needs a Slap, and So Does Chi­na” (sor­ry, that link car­ries a pay­wall).

It was a good col­umn, say­ing essen­tial­ly what Britons of all stripes were say­ing to me on a recent vis­it.

“Talk to me about any­thing, except Brex­it.” “Right, we vot­ed, so let’s get on with it.” “We’re tired of plat­i­tudes and use­less debates.”  “Keep did­dling and we end up with Cor­byn.” “Just do it.” (Or as Hen­ry Joy, a famous Pres­i­dent of the Packard Motor Car Com­pa­ny liked to say: “Let’s do some­thing, even if it’s wrong!”)

Crikey, it’s not the end of the world.…

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Current Churchill Contentions: “The Invasion of the Idiots”

Current Churchill Contentions: “The Invasion of the Idiots”

“Cur­rent Con­tentions” was deliv­ered at Hills­dale College’s Cen­ter for Con­struc­tive Alter­na­tives sem­i­nar on “Churchill and the Movies,” 27 March 2019. For the video, please click here.

Edit­ed tran­script: The orig­i­nal speech includ­ed cer­tain sub­jects cov­ered ear­li­er and else­where. These are sum­ma­rized below, and pro­vid­ed with links to the orig­i­nal texts. The video, which is unabridged, includes ques­tions and answers with the audi­ence.

Churchill’s World of 1932

Eighty-sev­en years ago, Churchill was here in Michi­gan, in Detroit, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, on a U.S. lec­ture tour. East, west, north, and south he rode the rails, “liv­ing all day on my back in a rail­way com­part­ment and address­ing in the evening large audi­ences.” He con­clud­ed, star­tling­ly for some­one with his back­ground, that it was the hard­est work he’d had in his life.…

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Success: What Churchill REALLY Said

Success: What Churchill REALLY Said

It is Com­mence­ment time across col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties, and some speak­ers will be quot­ing Churchill on suc­cess in life. In the hope that they will quote him accu­rate­ly, here is a small selec­tion. At the bot­tom are two no-nos: things he nev­er said, but is always cred­it­ed as say­ing.

University of Miami, 26 February 1946:

I am sur­prised that in my lat­er life I should have become so expe­ri­enced in tak­ing degrees, when, as a school-boy I was so bad at pass­ing exam­i­na­tions. In fact one might almost say that no one ever passed so few exam­i­na­tions and received so many degrees.…

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