Tag: Rab Butler

“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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A Love of the (Hot-Water) Bottle: Wartime Anecdotes

A Love of the (Hot-Water) Bottle: Wartime Anecdotes

Living Hot-Water Bottle

Q. “Rab” But­ler, Churchill’s Min­is­ter of Edu­ca­tion (1941-45) and Chan­cel­lor of the Exche­quer (1951-55), recalled that Churchill once told him he was doing less for the war effort than Churchill’s grey cat Nel­son, who saved fuel and pow­er by act­ing as a Prime Min­is­te­r­i­al hot-water bot­tle. True?

A. Yes. But­ler said this in a speech to the Rt. Hon. Sir Win­ston Spencer Churchill Soci­ety of Edmon­ton, Alber­ta. (This was the orig­i­nal Churchill Soci­ety, the only one sanc­tioned by Churchill per­son­al­ly). But­ler spoke at their annu­al din­ner on 6 May 1968.…

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“Churchill’s Secret”: Worth a Look

“Churchill’s Secret”: Worth a Look

Churchill’s Secret, co-pro­duced by PBS Mas­ter­piece and ITV (UK). Direct­ed by Charles Stur­ridge, star­ring Michael Gam­bon as Sir Win­ston and Lind­say Dun­can as Lady Churchill. To watch, click here. 

Excerpt­ed from a review for the Hills­dale Col­lege Churchill Project.

PBS and ITV have suc­ceed­ed where many failed. They offer a Churchill doc­u­men­tary with a min­i­mum of dra­mat­ic license, rea­son­ably faith­ful to his­to­ry (as much as we know of it). Churchill’s Secret limns the pathos, humor, hope and trau­ma of a lit­tle-known episode: Churchill’s stroke on 23 June 1953, and his mirac­u­lous recov­ery. For weeks after­ward, his faith­ful lieu­tenants in secret ran the gov­ern­ment.…

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