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.…
A friend sends a letter from a planning firm, “reaching out” to his homeowners association. The planners seek a consultant contract. They promise “awesome” results. Their proposals are so full of jargon that my friend wondered what Churchill would make of it. The letter contains many sentences Churchill would have deplored:
“The committee tasked us with the planning and completion of an inclusive and productive process.”
“General understanding offers guidance for the implementation committee.”
And: “An outward and honest marketing position achieves awesome goals…”
“Tasked,” of course, is a new verb, converted from the noun “task” by modern Newspeak.…
Andrew Roberts, Churchill: Walking with Destiny. New York, Viking, 2018, 1152 pages, $40, Amazon $25.47, Kindle $17.99. Also published by the Hillsdale College Churchill Project. For Hillsdale reviews of Churchill works since 2014, click here. For a list of and notes on books about Churchill from 1905 currently through 1995, visit Hillsdale’s annotated bibliography.