Winston Churchill

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The wikipedia article is missing some criticism but is probably fairly accurate. It says of him: "A noted statesman and orator, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, a writer, and an artist. He is the only British prime minister to have received the Nobel Prize in Literature, and was the first person to be made an Honorary Citizen of the United States."

Criticism

... Churchill was a man who met a moment, and the moment was much shorter than he's given credit for - about six months. He made four speeches, all of which were derivative of Shakespeare and Macaulay. Everything else about his wearyingly long public life was self-serving and disastrous: he was a terrible self-publicising hack; he was a loathed soldier; he was the worst First Sea Lord we ever had. A staggeringly inept Home Secretary, he was wrong about absolutely everything he set his sights on. He was responsible for the Dardanelles, the worst disaster of the First World War. He sent soldiers to shoot Welsh miners. He put field guns on to the streets of the East End of London. During the General Strike, he was so rabid that he had to be kept out of government, because he wanted to machine-gun bus drivers. Later, he was the worst sort of empire loyalist, desperate to hold on to India, and racist about Gandhi, that naked little fakir (frankly, if you had to choose the greater man between Gandhi and Churchill, there's no contest). He sent the Black and Tans into Ireland. He'd have bankrupted the country by returning us to the gold standard; he gave away large areas of eastern Europe to Stalin. And he was responsible for the disgraceful but forgotten war of intervention to support the White Russians at the end of the First World War. Altogether, he represents everything I find most dispiriting, snobbish, philistine, proudly anti-intellectual and stubbornly backward-looking about Britain.

The quote is from a New Statesman article by prominent British commentator, A A Gill.

In an article entitled Cromwell and Churchill for "Worst Briton" he says: As someone who championed Shakespeare for the greatest Briton, I would have to vote for Cromwell as my worst - a man who closed down theatres, banned dancing and cancelled Christmas.... My other nomination is Churchill.[1]

Racism

Churchill’s doctor, Lord Moran, once said of Churchill that “Winston thinks only of the colour of their skin.”[2] Churchill himself declared "I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.” When asked in 1944 to explain why he sent no food to aid relieve the 1943 Bengal famine, (in which up to 3 million people starved to death) he replied bluntly "Relief would do no good. Indians breed like rabbits and will outstrip any available food supply."[3]

Imperialism

When Mahatma Gandhi launched his campaign of peaceful resistance against British rule in India, Churchill declared that Gandhi "ought to be lain bound hand and foot at the gates of Delhi, and then trampled on by an enormous elephant with the new Viceroy seated on its back. Gandhi-ism and everything it stands for will have to be grappled with and crushed.”[3]

War crimes

Churchill ordered the saturation bombing of Dresden which resulted in the incineration of over 100,000 German civilians and refugees, mostly women and children, in a single day. The UK's Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Force dropped over 700,000 phosphorus bombs on the city. He had earlier stated "I do not want suggestions as to how we can disable the economy and the machinery of war, what I want are suggestions as to how we can roast the German refugees on their escape from Breslau."

Chemical Weapon Use

Full article: Winston Churchill/Chemical Weapon Use

Churchill was in no doubt that gas should be employed against the Kurds and Iraqis (as well as against other peoples in the Empire), declaring "I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poison gas against uncivilised tribes. It would spread a lively terror."[3]  

A Quote by Winston Churchill

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Related Documents

Title
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References

  1. AA Gill nominates Oliver Cromwell and Winston Churchill as the 'Worst Britons of all Time. New Statemen 16 Dec 2002.
  2. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/not-his-finest-hour-the-dark-side-of-winston-churchill-2118317.html
  3. a b c Winston Churchill: the Imperial Monster, 2015-01-28
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