Tag: General Wavell

Churchill on Action vs. Inaction

Churchill on Action vs. Inaction

Could you ver­i­fy the cor­rect word­ing for the Win­ston Churchill state­ment below?  I have seen sev­er­al dif­fer­ent ver­sions of this state­ment: “I nev­er wor­ry about action, but only inac­tion.” —S.D.

From Churchill by Him­self, page 190 (note the quotemarks around “wor­ry”):

I nev­er “wor­ry” about action, but only about inac­tion.

Ref­er­ence: 1940s. Pas­sim. Mar­tin Gilbert, The Churchill War Papers, Vol­ume II: Nev­er Sur­ren­der, May 1940-Decem­ber 1940. Lon­don: Heine­mann, New York: Nor­ton, 1994, page xvi, where Sir Mar­tin writes in his Pref­ace:

Inef­fi­cien­cy, incom­pe­tence and neg­a­tive atti­tudes roused his ire: I have indi­cat­ed some exam­ples of this in the Churchill index entry, under “rebukes by.” He did not take kind­ly to what he called “a driz­zle of carp­ing crit­i­cism,” or to those offi­cials, mil­i­tary or civil­ian, who, as he expressed it, “failed to rise to the height of cir­cum­stances.” Among his injunc­tions to his Min­is­ters were, “Don’t let this mat­ter sleep,” and, “I nev­er ‘wor­ry’ about action, but only about inac­tion.”

There are sev­er­al appear­ances of the quote.…

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