Saturday, 24 January 2015

Winston...


As a result of the Second World War, Britain ceased to be a credible world power. In fact we were ordered to dismantle our Empire by the United States at the Bretton Woods Conference on pain of bankruptcy. We have been since then, in the words of Quentin Crisp (though he meant something quite different), an island off the coast of America. It's an unfortunate legacy for Winston Churchill, the man who spent his entire life defending British Imperial interests in his political capacities and in his A History of the English Speaking Peoples; an apologia for the British epic of liberty. It is worth reading more for its literary style and highly personal quality than for its scholarship.

My father remembers Churchill's funeral. My grandparents had bought, rather than rented, a television set for the Coronation and watched the service. A much more sober and fitting occasion than that of Diana Spencer thirty-two years later. No media-driven hysteria, no candles in the wind, no bogus eulogies; just genuine grief and deference for a man whose rhetoric in May 1940 turned cowardice into courage.

I don't really have much else to say. I have never really liked Churchill. May he rest in peace.

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