Tag: House of Commons

Churchill’s 1943 Speech to Congress

Churchill’s 1943 Speech to Congress

A friend writes ask­ing for the audio of Churchill’s sec­ond of three speech­es to Con­gress, and pos­es a ques­tion: “Roo­sevelt attend­ed nei­ther the 1941 nor 1943 speech­es. Why not?”

Click here for clear audio of the 50-minute speech.

Pres­i­dents nev­er attend speech­es to Con­gress by for­eign heads of state or gov­ern­ment. Part of this is cer­tain­ly cour­tesy, so as not to steal focus from the guest. In a deep­er sense, it is an asser­tion of the sep­a­ra­tion of pow­ers between Con­gress and the Exec­u­tive. A sim­i­lar tra­di­tion in Britain is when the House of Com­mons slams the door on Black Rod, when he sum­mons Mem­bers to the House of Lords to hear the Queen’s Speech.…

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“Boneless Wonder” vs. “Dodgy Dave”

“Boneless Wonder” vs. “Dodgy Dave”

A col­league asks: “Why was Win­ston Churchill able to get away with call­ing Prime Min­is­ter Ram­say Mac­Don­ald the “Bone­less Won­der,” where­as a Labour MP was sent home by the Speak­er last week for call­ing Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron “Dodgy Dave”?

Good ques­tion! Ah for the likes of Ques­tion Time in the U.S. Con­gress, where Pres­i­dent Trump or Madam Pres­i­dent Clin­ton gets to be grilled with all the famous gus­to of the House of Com­mons.

Dodgy: 11 April 2016  Mr. Skin­ner fires all bar­rels at Mr. Cameron.

Eighty-four-year-old Den­nis Skin­ner (Lab., Bolsover) was eject­ed from the House of Com­mons by the Speak­er, John Bercow, for refus­ing to with­draw, and in fact repeat­ing, the term “Dodgy Dave” with respect to David Cameron.…

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Urinal Humor: Churchill & Attlee

Urinal Humor: Churchill & Attlee

Churchill and Clement Attlee (Hansard Soci­ety)

Syn­di­cat­ed colum­nist Charles Krautham­mer cit­ed an amus­ing encounter between Churchill and social­ist Prime Min­is­ter Clement Attlee in the Mem­bers’ uri­nal at the House of Com­mons, cir­ca 1951. Attlee is stand­ing over the trough as Churchill enters on the same mis­sion. Observ­ing Attlee, Churchill shuf­fles as far away as pos­si­ble.

Attlee: “Feel­ing stand­off­ish today, are we, Win­ston?”

WSC: “That’s right. Every time you see some­thing big you want to nation­alise it.”

I labeled this an unat­trib­uted quip in the “Red Her­rings” appen­dix to my quo­ta­tions book, Churchill by Him­self.  I am hap­py to say that I was wrong, thanks to the help of colum­nist Chris­t­ian Schnei­der, who also recent­ly pub­lished the quote in the Mil­wau­kee Jour­nal-Sen­tinel.  

Mr.…

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