Regardless of whether you like the movie—and Jeremy Irons gives it an authentic, watchable flavor—we know much more about Munich in the light of scholarship since. We know that Soviet Russia was prepared to stand with Czechoslovakia in 1938, and had become a German ally in 1939. We know how—with the help of Czech armaments—Poland was eradicated in three weeks, the Low Countries in eighteen days, France in six weeks. If resisting Hitler was so ludicrous an idea in 1938, what was there about fighting him in 1939-40 that made it preferable? Given what we know, we are obliged to consider Churchill’s opinion—which was, characteristically, far from baseless.
Journalist Leo McKinstry’s Churchill and Attlee is a deft analysis of a political odd couple who led Britain’s Second World War coalition government. Now, eighty years since the death of Neville Chamberlain, he has published an excellent appraisal in The Spectator. Churchill’s predecessor as Prime Minister, Chamberlain negotiated the 1938 Munich agreement. “Peace for our time,” he famously referred to it. In the end, he bought the world peace for a time.
Mr. McKinstry is right to regret that Chamberlain has been roughly handled by history. “The reality is that in the late 1930s Chamberlain’s approach was a rational one,” he writes.…
Brexit aftermath, June 2016: In voting to leave the European Union, Britain has opted to become another Norway. One of the most prosperous and contented countries in the world, Norway does fine with its own laws, currency, and trade agreements, including a good one with the EU. It is hardly a bad model.
The gnashing of teeth over the upset Brexit victory resounds around the world. For awhile, chaos will attend financial markets, and the pound will take a dip (boosting British exports).
The Scots voted against Brexit, though not in the numbers predicted.…