Denigration of Churchill: Anyone see a trend?

#1
Winston Churchill blamed for 1m deaths in India famine - Telegraph

This was in the Telegraph this morning (10Sep10) - in a nutshell, Churchill is being linked to the famine deaths of c. 1m in India during WWII. Coming so soon after another report (last week?) regarding pre-WWII letters from Churchill on the subject of Il Duce and Fascist Italy and an alleged attempt to get SOE / MI6 to recover them following Mussolini's death, are we seeing a concerted effort from some quarters to "smear" the man, or is it just a co-incidence?

C_P
 
#2
I like churchill but he was very far from perfect.
the famine happened on his watch and he was less than sympathtic (might have been a touch preoccupied elsewhere)

most people can live with shades of grey would'nt get elected these days but then again we are not facing a fight for our survival.

As the man said history will be kind to me as I intend to write it and HE DID:)
 
#4
Churchill also warned the Beveridge Plan for a Welfare State would be a disaster for Britain and boy was he right!
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
Churchill was an imperialist and a drunkard, and arguably, an elitist and a racist.

But when you compare these faults to his achievements, I think he still merits the title "Great Man."
Where is your evidence that he was a drunkard? He was a man of his times and to call him names is plain silly. I suspect that the Victorians and Edwardians would find more justifiable criticisms of us than we of them - and be too polite to mention them.




(1 edit)
 
#6
Churchill was a vicious old pirate but he was our pirate. Without a shadow of a doubt if we had lost WW2 he would have been hanged at the Old Bailey War Crimes trials. The trouble is we keep trying to put a template of 2010 onto the events of seventy years ago, while expecting people who were born sixty years before that in a different world again to behave like some PC lefty on steroids.

As for his drinking:

Lord Moran commented: “It makes his speech more difficult to understand and fuddles what is left of his wits; and yet he does not attempt to control his thirst." When the subject was raised with Churchill, he replied enigmatically: Lord Moran commented: “It makes his speech more difficult to understand and fuddles what is left of his wits; and yet he does not attempt to control his thirst." When the subject was raised with Churchill, he replied enigmatically: "Is alcohol a food?"

In the 10 years of retirement before he died, Churchill drank more than ever. He never missed having a bottle of champagne for lunch and very often had another one for dinner. One visitor from the period noted: “There is always some alcohol in his blood, and it reaches its peak late in the evening after he has had two or three scotches, several glasses of champagne, at least two brandies, and a highball… but his family never sees him the worst for drink.”

Churchill's ability to shovel the real material away stood him ingood stead with Uncle Joe. When FDR had gone to bed with a milky drink, WSC and Uncle Joe would get into the jelly-meat of thrashing the Hun and restructuring the world. When you consider how much they must have put away, the events of 1945-1989 suddenly seem far less Alice in Wonderland after all!

At the end of the day, churchill may have been a drunkard but he never drank so much that he could find Bessie Braddock attractive...
 
#7
There is nothing new here, Churchill was not a nice bloke but cometh the hour cometh the man, history it seems throws up these type of people who can galvanise a nation in some cases (ours) against overwhelming odds and triumph. Or are these people always there but the opportunity to shine, such as a conflict do not always exist? There is no one I could see in politics today who would be prepared to make a unilateral decision to take this country in to a war. More recently take Thatcher, mad as a box of frogs but if it was not for her the Falklands would now be Malvinas and we would still be negotiating at the Iranian embassy. These type of people made it possible for others to write whatever they wish.
 
#8
Churchill and the Indian famine is old hat. I recall hot young socialists getting all het up about it when I was an undergraduate, and I'm in my 40s now.

In 60 years, people will be gasping in horror that the monstrous Tony Blair ordered the invasion of Iraq; young lefties will be saying it makes our whole culture one of war and theft, and on the ARRSE of 2070 lots of hover-chair generals will be saying how the very necessary Iraq intervention has to be seen in its proper historical context.
 
#10
Who'd want to smear Churchill? Bacofoil time?

Historic reappraisals go on all the time and frankly Churchill is all the more interesting because of the contradictions, failures (like the Dardanelles) and paradoxes. History forgets the real saints for the same reasons. To see an excellent example of a liberal academic handle Churchill watch one of the Simon Schama History episodes called 'The Two Winstons'.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
Churchill was a vicious old pirate but he was our pirate. Without a shadow of a doubt if we had lost WW2 he would have been hanged at the Old Bailey War Crimes trials. The trouble is we keep trying to put a template of 2010 onto the events of seventy years ago, while expecting people who were born sixty years before that in a different world again to behave like some PC lefty on steroids.

As for his drinking:

Lord Moran commented: “It makes his speech more difficult to understand and fuddles what is left of his wits; and yet he does not attempt to control his thirst." When the subject was raised with Churchill, he replied enigmatically: Lord Moran commented: “It makes his speech more difficult to understand and fuddles what is left of his wits; and yet he does not attempt to control his thirst." When the subject was raised with Churchill, he replied enigmatically: "Is alcohol a food?"

In the 10 years of retirement before he died, Churchill drank more than ever. He never missed having a bottle of champagne for lunch and very often had another one for dinner. One visitor from the period noted: “There is always some alcohol in his blood, and it reaches its peak late in the evening after he has had two or three scotches, several glasses of champagne, at least two brandies, and a highball… but his family never sees him the worst for drink.”

Churchill's ability to shovel the real material away stood him ingood stead with Uncle Joe. When FDR had gone to bed with a milky drink, WSC and Uncle Joe would get into the jelly-meat of thrashing the Hun and restructuring the world. When you consider how much they must have put away, the events of 1945-1989 suddenly seem far less Alice in Wonderland after all!

At the end of the day, churchill may have been a drunkard but he never drank so much that he could find Bessie Braddock attractive...
There is a great difference between drinking a lot - Churchill, and being a drunkard - Asquith. Churchill made ninety, was intellectually agile, was considered one of the most formidable Parliamentarians this country has ever produced, was renowned for his demonic energy and ability to work long hours and was capable of consistently producing a considerable written output. Those are not the hallmarks of a drunk. Some people are Vikings and some people are Charles Kennedy or Boris Yeltsin. It is only in our namby pamby, frightened of our own shadow, four units per day, generally cr@p age, that this question would even arise. To paraphrase Lincoln, whatever it was that Churchill drank, it's a pity we can't send it to our other politicians. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr - and from you of all people Cuddles.
 
#13
you sir are drunk
yes but i the morning I will be sober you will still be ugly :)
 
#14
As for his drinking:

Lord Moran commented: “It makes his speech more difficult to understand and fuddles what is left of his wits; and yet he does not attempt to control his thirst." When the subject was raised with Churchill, he replied enigmatically: "Is alcohol a food?"
Walter Thompson, Churchill's bodyguard, didn't think much of Lord Moran. "Wouldn't let him tend a sick dog,etc." It is true though that Churchill seemingly had two hollow legs as he could shift quite a bit of alcohol in his daily activities and not show it. Very handy, as someone else pointed out, during those long parties with Uncle Joe at his country dacha during the war. :p

 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#16
"I have taken more out of alchohol than alchohol has taken out of me." - WSC
 
#17
There is a great difference between drinking a lot - Churchill, and being a drunkard - Asquith. Churchill made ninety, was intellectually agile, was considered one of the most formidable Parliamentarians this country has ever produced, was renowned for his demonic energy and ability to work long hours and was capable of consistently producing a considerable written output. Those are not the hallmarks of a drunk. Some people are Vikings and some people are Charles Kennedy or Boris Yeltsin. It is only in our namby pamby, frightened of our own shadow, four units per day, generally cr@p age, that this question would even arise. To paraphrase Lincoln, whatever it was that Churchill drank, it's a pity we can't send it to our other politicians. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr - and from you of all people Cuddles.
I don't know why that post has incurred your wrath so FF. Winnie was a thug, the sort of chap I suspect that George Orwell was thinking of when he said "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." That is a mere statement of fact and you can take it how you will. I am quite certain that the history of the C20th would have been dramatically different without the Pol Roger-fuelled Harrovian at our helm.

As for his personal detective's view of his personal physician, that seems very much as if Thompson is commenting on matters outwith his competence. In his memoirs Churchill called Moran "a devoted and personal friend" to whose "unfailing care I probably owe my life."
Moran was a decorated MO in the WW1 and was knighted and ennobled for his work as churchill's personal physician but also for his contribution to the Beveridge Report and subsequently the creation of the NHS. He and Chuirchill remained good personal friends throughout the rest of churchill's life - a life which Moran had saved in 1943. Finally, anyone who wrote a book like The Anatomy of courage is all sir Garnet as far as I'm concerned.

Thompson on the other hand in his bid to cash in on his role reminds me of no one quite so much as Paul "The Rock" Burrell.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#19
As always the situation is more complex than trite headlines and publicity: the Famine during the war was pretty much entirley man made as the result of panic buying and hoarding of rice and grain by the populace causing a massive rise in prices beyond the spending power: grain & rice production had not fallen in any significant way indeed was higher than some previous years when rice was freely available.

The sin of the authorities was one of incompetnece and laziness coupled with a refusal to reduce the amount of grain and rice being exported or to introduce compulsory price levels that would put foodstuffs back within the affordable reach of the common people. Churchill is as much to blame for the famine as the speculators, panic buyers and hoarders of rice and grain throughout the region.
 
#20
So ****ing what if an overpopulated country had hunger problems during the war. How many would have died under the Japanese? Don't knock one of our greatest leaders who was struggling to feed people at home let alone those abroad. Any other PM would have thrown in the towel after the defeat in France or again after the collapse in singapore. Churchill kept himself together and waited for the yanks to come in. The person responsible for turning the rice paddies was Louis Mountbatten, he had his priorities in the right place.
 

Similar threads

New Posts

Latest Threads