My friend Steve Hayward had the wit to paraphrase, in reaction to the arrival of Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street, some comments about another incoming PM, eighty years ago next May. “Cambridge Cute,” a friend remarked of Steve’s good piece.
Speaking of Cambridge Cuties, I immediately thought of what Andrew Roberts described as “The Respectable Tendency,” the British establishment, in his great book, Eminent Churchilllians. So I dug into a dozen books to find more of what they said back then. (Lightly paraphrased.)
So they go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent. So we go on preparing more months and years—precious, perhaps vital, to the greatness of Britain—for the locusts to eat. —Churchill, House of Commons, 12 November 1936
For me the most adroit analysis of Britain’s Brexit Bedlam we can read to date was by Andrew Roberts in the Sunday Telegraph. You can register for free to read the article.…
Your book Churchill By Himself is a treasure to which I frequently refer. I am a retired professor who recently lost his wife. I am preparing a memorial to her and found Churchill’s words as quoted in Andrew Roberts’ recent biography to be perfect. The sense of his words is that his wife Clementine was was a frequent, strong and fair critic of his writings, always helpful. I know that is not much to go on but I would appreciate corroborating information. —M.S., via email
A: “Here firm, though all be drifting”
I will have to ponder your question, because his remarks about Lady Churchill are mainly tributes to her as wife, friend and advisor, not literary critic–although of course she was that too.…