Tag: depression

Churchill, Taxes, the War and the Vote

Churchill, Taxes, the War and the Vote

Broad­cast­ing, 1940 (BBC)

Writ­ing in The Inde­pen­dent on April 13th Dominic Law­son, son of Mar­garet Thatcher’s Chan­cel­lor of the Exche­quer, says that “the pub­lic want hon­esty, but not when it comes to their tax­es.” The vot­ers, Law­son argues force­ful­ly, will nev­er undo the gov­ern­ment enti­tle­ments that are bank­rupt­ing mod­ern democ­ra­cies. It is ludi­crous, he adds, for British Con­ser­v­a­tives to deplore the nation­al debt, and then “to pro­pose mea­sures which would do noth­ing to reduce it, but actu­al­ly increase it….as if Win­ston Churchill had declared, ‘I have noth­ing to offer but blood, toil, tears, sweat and tax cuts.’”

My inter­est was piqued when Mr.…

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Depression or “Black Dog”

Depression or “Black Dog”

What is the truth about Churchill suf­fer­ing from depres­sion, which he referred to as his “black dog”? —A.L. Kansas

Churchill him­self makes a few ear­ly men­tions of his “black dog,” but the expres­sion is much old­er than he was. It was fre­quent­ly used by Vic­to­ri­an nan­nies, like Churchill’s Mrs. Ever­est, when their charges were in a dark mood. One ref­er­ence dates it to Boswell’s Life of John­son. Vis­it the Churchill Cen­tre search engine and enter “Black Dog”; you will be led to numer­ous illu­mi­nat­ing ref­er­ences. The first one is by his daugh­ter Lady Soames, who I think has it right:

A lot has been made of the depres­sive side of his char­ac­ter by psy­chi­a­trists who were nev­er in the same room with him.…

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