Tag: Neville Chamberlain

“The Respectable Tendency” and the New PM, 1940-2019

“The Respectable Tendency” and the New PM, 1940-2019

Anent the new PM

My friend Steve Hay­ward had the wit to para­phrase, in reac­tion to the arrival of Boris John­son at 10 Down­ing Street, some com­ments about anoth­er incom­ing PM, eighty years ago next May. “Cam­bridge Cute,” a friend remarked of Steve’s good piece.

Speak­ing of Cam­bridge Cuties, I imme­di­ate­ly thought of what Andrew Roberts described as “The Respectable Ten­den­cy,” the British estab­lish­ment, in his great book, Emi­nent Churchill­lians.  So I dug into a dozen books to find more of what they said back then. (Light­ly para­phrased.)

“Coup of the rabble…”

“Even whilst the new PM was still at Buck­ing­ham Palace kiss­ing hands, the junior pri­vate sec­re­tary and Chamberlain’s PPS, Lord Dun­glass [Alec Dou­glas-Home] had joined Rab But­ler and ‘Chips’ Chan­non at the For­eign Office.…

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Consistency: Politics Before Country, 1936-2011, Part 2

Consistency: Politics Before Country, 1936-2011, Part 2

Con­sis­ten­cy in Pol­i­tics: con­tin­ued from Part 1… Updat­ed with mate­r­i­al from my book, Churchill and the Avoid­able War (2015). It exon­er­ates, par­tial­ly, the actions of Mr. Bald­win.

Churchill reflect­ed in his mem­oirs on why Prime Min­is­ter Stan­ley Bald­win refused to admit his coun­try had a defense problem—Nazi Germany—because he thought the admis­sion might cost him an elec­tion. (Ref­er­ence to Baldwin’s “mis­cal­cu­la­tion” refers to his admis­sion, in Par­lia­ment, that his pre­vi­ous low esti­mates of Ger­man air strength had been cat­a­stroph­i­cal­ly low)….

Mr. Bald­win was of course not moved by any igno­ble wish to remain in office.…

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Facsimile Churchill Holograph Letters

Facsimile Churchill Holograph Letters

“Signed Holograph Letter…

…by the British Prime Min­is­ter, on debossed House of Com­mons Notepa­per, thank­ing a well-wish­er for a kind mes­sage on his birth­day, 1947. Fold­ed once, slight­ly yel­lowed from age, oth­er­wise a fine copy. $1200.” (This was an actu­al offer on the Inter­net, but the hon­est sell­er, alert­ed by an observ­er, con­sci­en­tious­ly with­drew the item.)

More than one col­lec­tor has been tak­en in by these remark­able fac­sim­i­le holo­graph notes, pro­duced by Churchill’s Pri­vate Office from 1945 through at least 1959—some of them so con­vinc­ing that casu­al observers swear they are orig­i­nals.

Facsimile Reproductions

From 1945, at least nine vari­a­tions of repli­ca holo­graph notes were repro­duced by the thou­sands by to thank well-wish­ers, whose con­grat­u­la­tions poured in on his birth­day and oth­er occa­sions.…

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