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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All the “Quotes” Winston Churchill Never Said (1)

All the “Quotes” Winston Churchill Never Said (1)

Fake Quotes: A-E

In 1686 the Oxford Eng­lish Dic­tio­nary described “red her­ring,” a metaphor to draw pur­suers off a track, as “the trail­ing or drag­ging of a dead Cat or Fox (and in case of neces­si­ty a Red-Her­ring) three or four miles…and then lay­ing the Dogs on the scent…to attempt to divert atten­tion from the real ques­tion.” I apply the term to quotes, alleged­ly by Churchill, which he nev­er said—or if he did, was quot­ing some­body else.

Hence my Red Her­rings Appen­dix, updat­ed here­with, for the new, expand­ed edi­tion of my quotes book Churchill by Him­self.…

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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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