Throughout the 2015 Churchill death commemoration we’ve read: Well, yes, he saved the West—but he was human and he made mistakes (duh!). Why, he even said things that would shock us in our modern enlightened age: this age of beheadings and massacres and and drone strikes and burning people alive—so far removed from the bad old days of the Pax Britannica.…
“Very often the eagles have been squalled down by the parrots.” —Churchill, House of Commons, 18 January 1945
“Winston’s Bag: He hunts lions and brings back cats.” David Low in The Star, London, 21 January 1920.
Some seasoned students of the man were of two minds about the January 2015 Winston Churchill death celebrations: gratified that people still remember; shock at the ill-considered assertions.
The Great Debate: “Resolved, that Winston Churchill was more a liability than an asset to the free world.” Sponsored by Intelligence Squared, viewable on C-Span.
LONDON, 3 SEPT 1999— It was avidly awaited but fell flat. Tabling a truly ridiculous motion, Intelligence Squared (“the only institution in town aside from Parliament to provide a forum for debate on the crucial issues of the day”) combined with C-Span to bring us this spectacle. It would have been more interesting to debate whether Hitler or Churchill was the better painter.
I will spare you wisecracks about Intelligence Squared.…