Churchill Derangement Syndrome: A is for Aryans, R is for Racism

Churchill Derangement Syndrome: A is for Aryans, R is for Racism

“Quality local journalism”

In our elec­tron­ic Speaker’s Cor­ner (the Inter­net), Win­ston Churchill is beset by haters. Their knee-jerk spouts are laced with out-of-con­text quotes and pre­con­ceived notions. Call it Churchill Derange­ment Syn­drome. Where is the truth? Per­haps we need a Derange­ment Index. Click on “A” for Aryan Suprema­cy, “B” for the Ben­gal Famine, etc. A handy ref­er­ence to every derange­ment you can access with a cou­ple of clicks.

An e-zine called This is Local Lon­don, describ­ing its offer­ings as “qual­i­ty local jour­nal­ism,” is a stan­dard exam­ple. Well, maybe not so stan­dard. “The Prob­lem with Glo­ry­ing Win­ston Churchill” was writ­ten not by a his­to­ri­an or researcher, but a stu­dent at Walling­ton Coun­ty Gram­mar School. If this what they’re teach­ing in British gram­mar schools, the Prime Min­is­ter has a big­ger prob­lem than Brex­it.

It’s a tongue-lash­ing for the ages. “Blind wor­ship and roman­ti­ci­sa­tion [sic] of Churchill…is dan­ger­ous to our under­stand­ings of race and under­stand­ing” [sic]. Espe­cial­ly giv­en “the har­row­ing real­i­ty.” What is that? Why, you doo­fus, it’s Churchill’s “vir­u­lent racism, sym­pa­thy for fas­cist and extrem­ist ide­ol­o­gy.” Yet—can you believe it?—we still air­brush his “hor­ri­ble actions and dis­taste­ful racist, xeno­pho­bic ven­om.” Why do we glo­ri­fy “this self-iden­ti­fied white suprema­cist as a fig­ure wor­thy of acclaim?”

Derangement Primer

Here­in we encap­su­late this episode of Churchill Derange­ment in alpha­bet­i­cal order. Young Reporter’s accu­sa­tions are in ital­ics. Incor­rect, unsourced, inac­cu­rate or oth­er­wise false quotes are marked with curly brack­ets {like this}. They are not wor­thy of quotemarks.

“A” is for Aryans

Churchill’s con­vic­tion of the {supe­ri­or­i­ty of the Aryan race} “is stark­ly rem­i­nis­cent of Hitler’s.” Churchill said whites were “a stronger race, a high­er grade race’ than black peo­ple or Indi­ans.” Also, Churchill’s “almost Nazi belief that ‘the Aryan stock is bound to triumph’…compelled him to engage in a num­ber of impe­r­i­al con­quests. Many of the ideals he espoused are right­ly regard­ed as racist big­otry in today’s polit­i­cal cli­mate.”

First, ques­tion: What impe­r­i­al con­quests?  Churchill said “The Aryan stock is bound to tri­umph” in 1901 when he was 27, the Empire long estab­lished. He spoke of “a high­er grade race” to the Peel Com­mis­sion on Pales­tine in 1937. Hard­ly rem­i­nis­cent of Hitler and his plan for geno­cide.

It’s quite true that in “today’s polit­i­cal cli­mate” those words sound pret­ty bad. And say­ing “every­body thought that way in 1901 or 1937” is a poor defense of Churchill. The real defense does exist, how­ev­er. Writ­ten by a thought­ful schol­ar. Any­body can read it. Per­haps “Young Reporter” should read it:

We spend a lot of time argu­ing that Churchill was remark­able. Then when some­thing comes along that we do not like, we excuse it or explain it as typ­i­cal of the age. I do not think Churchill was typ­i­cal of the age on this ques­tion, if the age was racist…. You can quote Abra­ham Lin­coln in pre­cise­ly the same sense. The remark­able thing is that Lin­coln, for the slaves, and Churchill, for the Empire, believed that peo­ple of all col­ors should enjoy the same rights, and that it was the mis­sion of their coun­try to pro­tect those rights. There­fore to say that Win­ston Churchill was “a man of his time,” or that “every­one back then was a racist,” is to miss the sin­gu­lar fea­ture.

“B” is for Bengal Famine

“Churchill orches­trat­ed the Ben­gal famine, export­ing grain and being respon­si­ble for the unnec­es­sary deaths of four mil­lion Indi­ans.”

This vicious, tired, and hack­neyed accu­sa­tion has been a rou­tine derange­ment since an ill-researched book made the claim a decade ago. That book was reviewed by the dis­tin­guished Gand­hi biog­ra­ph­er Arthur Her­man: “Absent Churchill, Bengal’s Famine would have been Worse.” How so? All you have to do is read.

“D” is for Dung Eaters

Churchill also likened the Pales­tini­ans to {bar­bar­ic hoards who ate lit­tle but camel dung}, Young Reporter writes..

This derange­ment is based on hearsay, though I wouldn’t dis­pute the con­text. Michael Makovsky, in his excel­lent work Churchill’s Promised Land, cred­it­ed Mal­colm Mac­Don­ald, then colo­nial sec­re­tary: “He told me I was crazy to help the Arabs, because they were a back­ward peo­ple who ate noth­ing but camel dung.” Makovsky wrote: “While these might not have been Churchill’s exact words the gist of the com­ment jibed with what he had thought of the Pales­tin­ian Arabs at least since encoun­ter­ing them in the ear­ly 1920s.” So Churchill had his prejudices—which didn’t stop him from urg­ing fair treat­ment of Arabs and Jews in Pales­tine.

“E” is for Eugenics

Churchill was dri­ven by a deep loathing of democ­ra­cy for any­one oth­er than the British and a tiny clique of sup­pos­ed­ly supe­ri­or races and warned the Prime Min­is­ter at the time, Stan­ley Bald­win, not to appoint him to Cab­i­net as his views on race and eugen­ics were so thor­ough­ly anti­quat­ed and moral­ly rep­re­hen­si­ble.

Not much derange­ment here. Yes, cir­ca 1913, young Churchill had a fling with Eugen­ics. He aban­doned it with­in two years. Decid­ing it was an affront to civ­il lib­er­ties, he nev­er spoke of it again. Churchill nev­er warned Bald­win not to appoint him—from the mid-1930s he des­per­ate­ly want­ed to be appoint­ed. Bald­win exclud­ed Churchill for his inces­sant rear­ma­ment demands. My book, Churchill and the Avoid­able War, spends sev­er­al chap­ters on all this. I would be hap­py to make a gift of it to Young Reporter—provided he promised to read it. By all accounts Bald­win was more of a white suprema­cist than Churchill.

 “G” is for Gallipoli

“Churchill was also at the helm of the dia­bol­i­cal Gal­lipoli cam­paign dur­ing World War II, in which tens of thou­sands of British civil­ians died unnec­es­sar­i­ly as a result of Churchill’s need­less com­pe­tence.”

Yes, Young Reporter did say “World War II” and “need­less com­pe­tence.” He means World War I and need­less incom­pe­tence. But Churchill’s dia­bol­i­cal helms­man­ship was over the Dar­d­anelles, not Gal­lipoli. He nei­ther planned nor direct­ed the dis­as­trous Gal­lipoli land­ings. Also, he learned from his mis­takes. After World War II he wrote of the Dar­d­anelles: “…a supreme enter­prise was cast away, through my try­ing to car­ry out a major and car­di­nal oper­a­tion of war from a sub­or­di­nate posi­tion. Men are ill-advised to try such ven­tures. This les­son had sunk into my nature.” Some derange­ment.

“H” is for Hitler

Churchill’s “sym­pa­thy for fas­cist ide­ol­o­gy” begins with Hitler. In 1935, he wrote: “If our coun­try were defeat­ed, I hope we should find a cham­pi­on as indomitable to restore our courage and lead us back to our place among the nations.”

Churchill wrote that in the Evening Stan­dard on 17 Sep­tem­ber 1937, after he had been attacked by the Nazi press as an ene­my of Ger­many. He said he’d been wronged, men­tion­ing all his over­tures to Ger­many after World War I. These includ­ed ship­ping food to block­ad­ed Ham­burg, repa­tri­at­ing pris­on­ers, oppos­ing France’s inva­sion of the Ruhr, and so on.

Before the sen­tence quot­ed, he wrote: “One may dis­like Hitler’s sys­tem and yet admire his patri­ot­ic achieve­ment.” At the time, Churchill was walk­ing on eggs. His arti­cle had to clear the For­eign Office, anx­ious not to insult dear old Adolf. Even so, there is noth­ing that sug­gests “sym­pa­thy for fas­cist ide­ol­o­gy.” In fact, Churchill had Hitler’s num­ber from the get-go. You can look it up.

“I” is for Indians

“Churchill open­ly admit­ted his vis­cer­al hatred of Indi­ans, refer­ring to them as ‘a beast­ly peo­ple with a beast­ly reli­gion,’ and that it was their fault for dying in the famine because they ‘bred like rab­bits’ and because they were ‘the beast­li­est peo­ple in the world, next to the Ger­mans….’ Leo Amery, British Sec­re­tary of State for India, said Churchill ‘didn’t see much dif­fer­ence between his out­look and Hitler’s’ {regard­ing race and eugen­ics}. “But, whilst there is most­ly a gen­er­al con­sen­sus that Hitler is a white suprema­cist, author­i­tar­i­an mass mur­der­ing [exple­tive delet­ed], this tag is sim­i­lar­ly applic­a­ble to Churchill.”

Churchill Derange­ment has a feast of words here. WSC did make those out­bursts, frus­trat­ed with dis­pu­ta­tious demands from Del­hi in the midst of all-out war. William F. Buck­ley put them in con­text: “I don’t doubt that the famous gleam came to his eyes when he said this, with mis­chie­vous glee—an offense, in modem con­ven­tion, of geno­ci­dal mag­ni­tude.” Indeed so.

Amery did say that to Churchill, “which annoyed him no lit­tle.” It was Amery’s job to plead India’s case—and Churchill’s to set pri­or­i­ties in a war to the death. Yet in the end, Arthur Her­man explained: “Even Amery admitted…the ‘unas­sail­able’ case against divert­ing vital war ship­ping to India.” Churchill’s appoint­ment of Field Mar­shal Wavell as Viceroy ulti­mate­ly eased India’s famine. “Far from a racist con­spir­a­cy to break the coun­try, the Viceroy not­ed that ‘all the Domin­ion Gov­ern­ments are doing their best to help.’”

This is the same Churchill who wrote of the 2.5 mil­lion-vol­un­teer Indi­an Army: “the response of the Indi­an peo­ples, no less than the con­duct of their sol­diers, makes a glo­ri­ous final page in the sto­ry of our Indi­an Empire.” Was that derange­ment?

“K” is for Kurds

Churchill “was a man who advo­cat­ed gassing the Kurds and who declared him­self ‘strong­ly in favour of using poi­soned gas against uncivilised tribes.’”

This Gold­en Oldie has been around longer even than the Ben­gal famine non­sense. The quote is easy trap for the gullible—if they don’t read the sur­round­ing words…

It is sheer affec­ta­tion to lac­er­ate a man with the poi­so­nous frag­ment of a burst­ing shell and to bog­gle at mak­ing his eyes water by means of lachry­ma­to­ry gas. I am strong­ly in favour of using poi­soned gas against uncivilised tribes. The moral effect should be so good that the loss of life should be reduced to a min­i­mum. It is not nec­es­sary to use only the most dead­ly gasses: gasses can be used which cause great incon­ve­nience and would spread a live­ly ter­ror and yet would leave no seri­ous per­ma­nent effects on most of those affect­ed. [Ital­ics mine.]

For those of you in Rio Lin­da, or Walling­ton Coun­ty Gram­mar School, “lachry­ma­to­ry gas” is tear gas. 

“L” is for Landslide (1945)

“It is telling that as soon as those incred­i­bly brave sol­diers returned home, they helped to vote Win­ston Churchill out of office in large num­bers, in what was a land­slide vic­to­ry for the most rad­i­cal­ly left-wing Labour gov­ern­ment in his­to­ry.”

It is telling, but not in that way. In 1945, Britons vot­ed mas­sive­ly for the Labour oppo­si­tion (hard­ly the most rad­i­cal in his­to­ry). Not because of Churchill, who was hand­i­ly reelect­ed. Vot­ers reject­ed the Con­ser­v­a­tive Par­ty, which who had brought them a decade of appease­ment and war. And for Labour, which promised a grand future. “I wouldn’t call it [ingrat­i­tude],” Churchill said. “They have had a very hard time.”

“M” is for Mussolini 

Churchill was “a rav­ing sup­port­er of Mus­soli­ni.” He said {fas­cism has ren­dered a ser­vice to the entire world}. And: “If I were Ital­ian, I am sure I should have been whole­heart­ed­ly with you from the start to fin­ish in your tri­umphant strug­gle against the bes­tial appetites and pas­sions of Lenin­ism.”

My book, Win­ston Churchill, Myth and Real­i­ty, devotes a chap­ter to “Mus­soli­ni, Law-Giv­er and Jack­al.” Churchill did praise Mus­so twice. The first time (cor­rect­ly quot­ed above), was in 1927, when WSC was Chan­cel­lor of the Exche­quer. His aim was to get Il Duce to cough up the Ital­ian war debt. (He did get some of it.) The sec­ond was in 1940 when he tossed a few bou­quets at the Ital­ian, hop­ing he wouldn’t join the war with Hitler. He failed. For Churchill, Mus­soli­ni then became the “whipped jack­al” yelp­ing at the side of “the Ger­man tiger.” Ear­ly on, of course, lots of peo­ple who feared Lenin­ism were prais­ing Mus­soli­ni. But Churchill and the Ital­ians deliv­ered the final ver­dict. They must have suf­fered from Mus­soli­ni Derange­ment.

“N” is for Nuking the Soviets

“Churchill want­ed to inflict nuclear holo­caust on Sovi­et Union in peace­time,” Young Reporter breath­less­ly asserts.

The truth is less spec­tac­u­lar. Short­ly after the war, Churchill spec­u­lat­ed pri­vate­ly about tak­ing out the Sovi­ets in a nuclear strike. He said as much to Cana­di­an Prime Min­is­ter Macken­zie King and New Hamp­shire Sen­a­tor Styles Bridges. Often he voiced apoc­a­lyp­tic sce­nar­ios to vis­i­tors to gauge their reac­tion. He nev­er for­mal­ly pro­posed to bomb Moscow to Amer­i­can pres­i­dents or ambas­sadors.

Churchill’s for­mal state­ments took a dif­fer­ent tack, as Gra­ham Farme­lo cor­rect­ly wrote: “He soon soft­ened his line. In the House of Com­mons he went no fur­ther than the words he used after British rela­tions with the Sovi­et Union dete­ri­o­rat­ed again, in Jan­u­ary 1948: the best chance of avoid­ing war was ‘to bring mat­ters to a head with the Sovi­et Government…to arrive at a last­ing set­tle­ment.’” He sought that set­tle­ment through 1955. When it con­tin­ued to elude him, he retired as prime min­is­ter.

“O” is for Ordinary People

“Churchill just didn’t have the inter­ests of ordi­nary work­ing class­es, or indeed any­one, oth­er than a nar­row cir­cle of mid­dle-class straight white men at heart.”

Grant­ed, it was pret­ty hard to spot non-white folks in 1904 Britain, when Churchill began being called a “trai­tor to his class.” (Speak­ing of derange­ment.) Why? Because Churchill, and Lloyd George, insti­tut­ed the most sweep­ing anti-pover­ty leg­is­la­tion in British his­to­ry. Tax­a­tion, old age pen­sions, unem­ploy­ment ben­e­fits, wid­ows and orphans support—all ini­tia­tives of the great reform­ing Lib­er­al gov­ern­ments. Churchill was in the van­guard. He shared an under­stand­ing of the actu­al caus­es of pover­ty, wrote Mal­colm Hill: He did not believe the state should take all respon­si­bil­i­ty for retire­ment, edu­ca­tion, health and wel­fare. But he showed “unusu­al stature” in his efforts to mit­i­gate pover­ty.

Ordi­nary peo­ple? Churchill said in 1944: “At the bot­tom of all the trib­utes paid to democ­ra­cy is the lit­tle man, walk­ing into the lit­tle booth, with a lit­tle pen­cil, mak­ing a lit­tle cross on a lit­tle bit of paper. No amount of rhetoric or volu­mi­nous dis­cus­sion can pos­si­bly dimin­ish the over­whelm­ing impor­tance of that point.” Game, set and match.

“P” is for Prejudice

“Churchill’s ram­pant racial prej­u­dice was con­sid­ered back­wards [sic], even by Vic­to­ri­an stan­dards,” writes Young Reporter. “Indeed, even at the time, Churchill was seen as extrem­ist in his ide­ol­o­gy and at the most bru­tal and racist end of the British impe­ri­al­ist spec­trum.”

By whom? Is this the same Win­ston Churchill who in 1899 argued with his Boer jail­er in Pre­to­ria about equal rights for black Africans? Or the Churchill remem­bered kind­ly by Gand­hi for his efforts to ease inequal­i­ties for Indi­ans in South Africa? The Churchill who, dur­ing WW2, said Amer­i­cans could seg­re­gate their black sol­diers if they liked, but not the British. Read the evi­dence. If you still want to call Churchill a racist, by all means do. But first “dig a lit­tle deep­er.”

“S” is for Savages

Churchill referred to also Egyp­tians as “degrad­ed sav­ages.” He believed Pak­ista­nis were “deranged jihadists” whose vio­lence was explained by a {strong abo­rig­i­nal propen­si­ty to kill}.

Ah, the won­ders of the par­tial quote. By “degrad­ed sav­ages” Churchill was refer­ring to a Cairo crowd which attacked the BOAC offices in Jan­u­ary 1952. (Andrew Roberts, Emi­nent Churchillians, 214.) In The Sto­ry of the Malakand Field Force Churchill wrote (3): “The strong abo­rig­i­nal propen­si­ty to kill, inher­ent in all human beings, has in these val­leys been pre­served in unex­am­pled strength and vigour.” So… Some Egyp­tians are sav­ages, but not all sav­ages are Egyp­tians. Some Pak­ista­nis have an abo­rig­i­nal propen­si­ty to kill, but not all killers are Pak­ista­nis. Do I have this right? Duh!

“T” is for Tonypandy

“Churchill sent sol­diers to bru­tal­ly crush the strikes of hun­dreds of inno­cent, oppressed Welsh min­ers in Tony­pandy protest­ing for bet­ter rights, say­ing, and these were his own words: {If the Welsh are strik­ing over hunger, then we must fill their bel­lies with lead.}”

This derange­ment has been around for 100 years. Nei­ther the quote nor the asser­tion are cor­rect. Churchill specif­i­cal­ly for­bade the use of troops unless demand­ed by police. The last Welsh strike leader alive, Will Main­war­ing, spoke to the BBC in 1960: “We nev­er thought that Win­ston Churchill had exceed­ed his nat­ur­al respon­si­bil­i­ty as Home Sec­re­tary. The mil­i­tary did not com­mit one sin­gle act that allows the slight­est resent­ment by the strik­ers. On the con­trary, we regard­ed the mil­i­tary as hav­ing come in the form of friends to mod­i­fy the oth­er­wise ruth­less atti­tude of the police forces.”

“W” is for White Supremacy

In the 1955 gen­er­al elec­tion, Churchill want­ed the Con­ser­v­a­tives to pro­mote white suprema­cy: “The Tories should cam­paign on a plat­form of pre­vent­ing {degen­er­ate} ‘coloured’ immi­gra­tion from the West Indies, along with his sug­gest­ed cam­paign slo­gan for the Tories’ 1955 Gen­er­al elec­tion, ‘Keep Eng­land White.’”

Right in the nar­row sense, wrong in the broad. Here is the real­i­ty. “Keep Eng­land White” is hearsay. It was a diary entry by Harold Macmil­lan after Jan­u­ary 1955 cab­i­net meet­ing, Macmil­lan wrote: “The P.M. thinks ‘Keep Eng­land White’ a good cam­paign slo­gan!”

Macmil­lan was not giv­en to exag­ger­a­tion, but the con­text mat­ters. “The P.M. thinks…” is not a quote, nor did the words ever appear in pub­lic. Macmil­lan fol­lowed it with an excla­ma­tion mark, which could mean that Churchill was wise-crack­ing. Ask your­self: Would any astute politi­cian, even then, seri­ous­ly pro­pose “Keep Eng­land White” as a cam­paign slo­gan?

Out of con­text, the words seem stark. In con­text, Churchill was argu­ing for lim­its on Caribbean immi­gra­tion. He did not dis­cuss oth­er black or brown peo­ple. Is this racist? We report, you decide.

“X” is for X-Rated (No attribution or off the wall)

“Churchill claimed that Chi­na was a {bar­bar­ic nation that required British par­ti­tion} to bring it into civ­i­liza­tion.” There is no attri­bu­tion for this state­ment in his pub­lished canon.

“This was a man, who let’s not for­get… force-fed the suf­fragettes.” Churchill force-fed nobody, opposed female suf­frage only once in Par­lia­ment (when he thought more women would vote Con­ser­v­a­tive). The rest of the time he was pro-suf­frage.

Truth at last!

Churchill said of Bald­win: “Occa­sion­al­ly he stum­bled over the truth, but hasti­ly picked him­self up and hur­ried on as if noth­ing had hap­pened.” In the end, hap­pi­ly, Young Reporter stum­bles over the truth:

It would be reduc­tive to mere­ly cred­it [defeat­ing the Nazis] to Churchill and not the role of ordi­nary British cit­i­zens, our allies, the 27 mil­lion Sovi­et sol­diers and civil­ians who died dur­ing that war, the Amer­i­cans, the French Resis­tance and how their blood, strength, tears and sac­ri­fice was piv­otal….”

End of unre­al­i­ty, wel­come to real­i­ty. Churchill him­self said it was the British peo­ple around the world who had the lion heart. “I had the luck to be called upon to give the roar.” Or as Charles Krautham­mer put it:

Yes, it was the ordi­nary man, the tax­pay­er, the grunt who fought and won the wars. Yes, it was Amer­i­ca and its allies [and] the great lead­ers: Roo­sevelt, de Gaulle, Ade­nauer, Tru­man, John Paul II, Mar­garet Thatch­er, Ronald Rea­gan. But above all, vic­to­ry required one man with­out whom the fight would have been lost at the begin­ning. It required Win­ston Churchill.

Young Reporter is an earnest fel­low and, like many old­er prac­ti­tion­ers, con­vinced he’s right. He “firm­ly rejects” Churchill’s “over­stat­ed role,” but not his over­stat­ed sins, like “the deaths of mil­lions” in Gal­lipoli. But hey, he’s very young.  Per­haps by the time he reach­es A-lev­els he’ll have devel­oped the curios­i­ty, and integri­ty, to read a bit more wide­ly.

4 thoughts on “Churchill Derangement Syndrome: A is for Aryans, R is for Racism

  1. I seri­ous­ly inves­ti­gat­ed the charge of “nuk­ing the Mar­alin­ga peo­ple,” which is new to me. Full marks for the most nov­el and orig­i­nal false charge against Win­ston Churchill I’ve heard since—oh, three days ago, when some­one accused him of cas­trat­ing peo­ple.

    The Churchill Doc­u­ments and com­ment from schol­ars inform this sub­ject. I care­ful­ly read your link and oth­ers on Aus­tralians who wit­nessed ear­ly nuclear tests. (Con­trary to your link’s snide ref­er­ences to Australia’s wartime sac­ri­fices for the “moth­er­land,” they were made for Aus­tralia too. Aus­tralians over­whelm­ing­ly approved of and hon­ored those sac­ri­fices, and still do today.)

    (1) You can’t have nuclear weapons with­out test­ing whether they work. (2) Aus­tralian per­mis­sion for test­ing in the unin­hab­it­ed Monte Bel­lo islands was sought in 1950 by Labour Prime Min­is­ter Clement Attlee. (3) Churchill had replaced him when the tests occurred: two on the islands in 1952, two in the Great Vic­to­ria Desert in 1953.

    Moral con­sid­er­a­tions were def­i­nite­ly con­sid­ered, but involved wildlife, not peo­ple. On 21 May 1952 Lt. Col. Lip­ton (Lab., Lam­beth Cen­tral) ques­tioned Churchill over the destruc­tion of ani­mal life on the Monte Bel­los. Churchill replied:

    The report of a recent spe­cial sur­vey show­ing that there is very lit­tle ani­mal or bird life on Monte Bel­lo Islands was one of the fac­tors in the choice of the site for the test of the Unit­ed King­dom atom­ic weapon. I should add, how­ev­er, that an expe­di­tion which went to the islands fifty years ago report­ed that giant rats, wild cats, and wal­la­bies were seen, and these may have caused the Hon. Mem­ber some anx­i­ety. How­ev­er the offi­cer who explored the islands recent­ly says that he found only some lizards, two sea eagles and what looked like a canary sit­ting on a perch.

    Emrys Hugh­es (Lab., South Ayshire) was not amused: “There are still civ­i­lized peo­ple in this coun­try,” he respond­ed, “who are inter­est­ed in bird and ani­mal life.” This final­ly pro­duced a men­tion of humans—by Churchill: “Cer­tain­ly I think every­thing should be done to avoid the destruc­tion of bid life and ani­mal life and also of human life.” Churchill may been refer­ring to his well-known belief that the bomb’s apoc­a­lyp­tic nature might dis­cour­age its use.

    (4) Churchill had left office by 1956 when the next tests occurred, on the Monte Bel­los and Aus­tralian main­land. These did pro­duce fall-out expo­sure for some peo­ple (the num­bers are uncer­tain). The buck does stop with the Prime Min­is­ter, but the PM was Eden; Churchill was over a year retired. (5) There­fore, Churchill did not “nuke the Mar­alin­ga peo­ple.” (6) This does not excuse the moral imper­a­tive, although mas­sive deserts and unin­hab­it­ed islands are obvi­ous­ly the best places for nuclear test­ing. (7) Six­ty years lat­er, some Aus­tralian ex-mil­i­tary per­son­nel who wit­nessed the orig­i­nal tests devel­oped can­cer, but their opin­ions were divid­ed as to how they con­tract­ed it.

    (8) Among the results of the tests was the nuclear umbrel­la Britain and Amer­i­ca pro­vid­ed Aus­tralia, as much as any­where else, con­sid­er­ing the prox­im­i­ty of two expan­sion­ist com­mu­nist states. (9) Rea­son pre­vailed. The Sovi­et Union’s last nuclear test was in 1990, the UK’s in 1991, the USA’s in 1992, France’s and China’s in 1996. The Com­pre­hen­sive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty of 1996 placed a de fac­to mora­to­ri­um on test­ing, above or below ground. The mora­to­ri­um has since been vio­lat­ed ten times by India (twice), Pak­istan (twice) and North Korea (six times).

  2. A response to “Churchill Derange­ment” in the spir­it of Paul Addi­son. Kudos.

  3. Great response. The “arti­cle” in ques­tion is impure cut and paste to sup­port a par­tic­u­lar view­point with no attempt at bal­ance

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