Tag: George Orwell

“Rough Men Stand Ready…”

“Rough Men Stand Ready…”

Rough men stand ready….David Low’s Churchil­lesque car­toon, “Very well, alone,” sym­bol­ized the sen­ti­ment,  June 1940.

“Peo­ple sleep peace­ably in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do vio­lence on their behalf.” Is this some­thing Churchill said? I see it fre­quent­ly cred­it­ed to him: “We sleep sound­ly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to vis­it vio­lence on those who would do us harm.” —L.K., Dal­las

​He did not. From Churchill by Him­self, Red Her­rings Appen­dix, 572-73:

Defend­ers of the peace

​”​Peo­ple sleep peace­ably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do vio­lence on their behalf.”​ [Alter­na­tive: ​”​We sleep safe­ly at night because rough men stand ready to vis­it vio­lence on those who would harm us.”​]

We may be fair­ly con­fi­dent that Churchill would approve of the sen­ti­ment, hav­ing argued for a life­time that lib­er­ty and peace can best be main­tained by mil­i­tary pre­pared­ness, but I have been unable to track this phrase to him.…

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Churchill, Orwell and “1984”

Churchill, Orwell and “1984”

It’s the 50th anniver­sary of George Orwell’s pre­scient mas­ter­piece 1984, to which end The Sun­day Times pub­lished a review by Robert Har­ris on May 31st.

But in prais­ing  1984, Har­ris finds the need to take a whack at Churchill—which he does with sin­gu­lar inac­cu­ra­cy: “Giv­en that only five years pre­vi­ous­ly Churchill, Roo­sevelt and Stal­in had divid­ed up the world into ‘zones of influ­ence’ at the Teheran con­fer­ence, [Orwell’s] vision did not seem entire­ly fan­tas­tic.”

What is fan­tas­tic is where peo­ple get such notions. “Zones of influ­ence” came up not at Teheran but at the Moscow  (“Tol­stoy”) con­fer­ence between Churchill and Stal­in a year lat­er, with the Red Army now far advanced in east­ern Europe.…

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Bulldog Not: Say it isn’t So

Bulldog Not: Say it isn’t So

Churchill after the 1951 elec­tion, which returned him to Down­ing Street.

“The clas­sic British bull­dog, a sym­bol of defi­ance and pugnac­i­ty, may now dis­ap­pear. A shake-up of breed­ing  stan­dards by the Ken­nel Club has sig­nalled the end of the dog’s Churchillian jowl. Instead, the dog will  have a shrunk­en face, a sunken nose, longer legs and a lean­er body. The British Bull­dog Breed Coun­cil is threat­en­ing legal action against the Ken­nel Club. Chair­man Robin Sear­le said: ‘What you’ll get is a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent dog, not a British bull­dog.’

I referred this one to long­time col­league, promi­nent motor­ing writer and bull­dog par­ti­san Gra­ham Rob­son, who writes:

As a long-time bull­dog own­er (you have met var­i­ous of my much-loved mutts) I am at once delight­ed and appalled by what is being pro­posed.…

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