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AndyHollinger

Winston S Churchill

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salesie
Salesie

I take it that you never actually read the link then?  :)

Oh, I read it all right. So, in your opinion, the communists had nothing to do with the Greek civil war?

Cheers - salesie.

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salesie
Sorry Salesie but you've been a bit economical with the truth.

There was discussion with the National Liberals before they agreed to support the Tories in 1951 after the election ergo the Tories formed the government in 1951 only as a result of the support of the National LIberals as originally stated.

Please do not insult my intelligence by pulling up hurriedly researched stuff from Wikipedia (of all places). This is an area I am well briefed upon and your post smacks of someone leaping in feet first. Perhaps you have another agenda other than accuracy so any continuation in this thread seems pretty pointless.

I make no apologies for following Lord Fisher's views regarding orders as posted by Angie 99 as I felt I couldn't allow this misrepresentation to go unchallenged.

Thanks for reading, that's me done.

Ok, Chrismac, no more shallowness.

You intimate that the Tories and National Liberals did not merge in 1947. If so, by definition, Churchill must have formed a coalition government in 1951, or at least forged a parliamentary "understanding." Given that coalition government is not unheard of in the Uk, and the Labour government itself managed to stay in power for a while in the 1970's with its Lib-Lab pact, precisely what is your point? Are you trying to say that by cutting a political deal in this way then it's somehow detrimental to Churchill's qualities as a man and a leader?

I can understand a need for accuracy, but not as an end in itself. Surely, there must be a relevant point lurking somewhere in your assertions?

Cheers - salesie.

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Max

Just one more warning. Less of the personal attack and back on subject. No more chances.

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healdav

Just a thought.

Don't go criticising Churchill in several other countries not too far from Britain.

Not if you want a long and healthy life, that is.

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AndyHollinger

A long and winding road, this one.

My take on Churchill is that he believed that he was a man of destiny ... and party was the only road to where he could exercise the power to fulfill his destiny.

By 1945 I believe that he was trying vainly to play in the same leagues as Stalin and Roosevelt ... and therefore we have Greece.

Throughout WWI I believe he was constantly searching for his idea, his one addition to the cause that would fulfill his destiny (saving the Empire) ...

Okay, back to the argument ...

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PhilB

I happily go along with the praise for WSC as wartime leader. There are a couple of things from earlier that I have long wondered about.

1/ Why is there such disparity between his apparent lack of intellect and academic achievement at school and his subsequent intellectual acclaim?

2/ Did he get more "bites at the political cherries" than was his due because of his connections? Or was he a genuinely talented politician? Or both? Phil B

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healdav

I don't think it's so unusual to find someone who is hopeless at school and yet wins through afterwards. Think Branson.

Personally, I know one man who was utterly hopeless at school and was his parents despair.

Unfortunately, his father wanted him to be a mathematician like Dad and Mum wanted much the same.

I was his Scout leader and always stuck up for him saying that he was a natural leader and would win through no matter what.

He is now a senior officer in the Met Police.

Naturally, Mum and Dad laud him to the skies 'despite those people who said he was no good'.

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PhilB

I don't think it's so unusual to find someone who is hopeless at school and yet wins through afterwards. Think Branson.

Wasn`t he dyslexic? Phil B

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salesie
I happily go along with the praise for WSC as wartime leader. There are a couple of things from earlier that I have long wondered about.

1/ Why is there such disparity between his apparent lack of intellect and academic achievement at school and his subsequent intellectual acclaim?

2/ Did he get more "bites at the political cherries" than was his due because of his connections? Or was he a genuinely talented politician? Or both?    Phil B

Interesting questions. Intelligence and academic achievement are not necessesarily one of the same thing, especially when it comes to the real world outside the ivory towers of academia. Indeed, the number of high achieving men and women throughout history, who were thought of by their teachers as also-rans, makes me believe that a "failure" endorsment from teachers is a more accurate guide to future success than any high academic award. Not that we can blame teachers for this distinct lack of accuracy in predicting who will and who won't be successful in later life, after all they're bound to be blinkered by the very job they do; their own professional success is measured in the number of their pupils who pass certain exams at certain ages. In my opinion, the problem with academics per se is that they see the search for knowledge as an end in itself, whereas any highly successful non-academic seeks knowledge only to use as a tool in whatever endeavour they're involved with, they see it as a means to an end. Perhaps that's what Oscar Wilde meant with his statetment, "Those who can do, those who can't teach"?

As for Churchill's connections taking him further than he would have done on merit alone? In my opinion, that's more difficult to answer simply because it's impossible to say with any degree of accuracy. There's no doubt he was born into priviledge, into the kind of society that regarded pedigree above any other single thing. However, it was also a society that quickly ostracised any family regarded as being beyond the pale, and the "scandal" involving Randolph Churchill, his father, meant that the young Winston didn't have the connections he would normally have had given his noble birth. His father's "disgrace" seemed to haunt him throughout life, and perhaps fired his passions and excesses? Also, any connections he had managed to forge soon disappeared during his "wilderness years," when he stood firm, despite much ridicule, as a lone voice against National Socialism.

Your questions raise complex and deep issues, and, of course, two puny paragraphs cannot give comprehensive answers, but I hope you get my drift?

Cheers - salesie.

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Guest
Also, any connections he had managed to forge soon disappeared during his "wilderness years," when he stood firm, despite much ridicule, as a lone voice against National Socialism.

I would be very reluctant to call him a voice against National Socialism in the 1930s as opposed to a voice against Germany. I don't think he had anything to say about the internal policies of the Nazis and he confined himself to German rearmament and territorial ambitions.

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salesie
I would be very reluctant to call him a voice against National Socialism in the 1930s as opposed to a voice against Germany. I don't think he had anything to say about the internal policies of the Nazis and he confined himself to German rearmament and territorial ambitions.

A fine distinction, Angie, seeing as German rearmament and territorial ambitions were cornerstones of Nazi policy. However, seeing as Churchill warned that, "Germany would never accept the Treaty of Versaille," in the late twenties, shortly after the failed Nazi putsch in Munich, I did consider amending the last part of my sentence to read, as a lone voice against the obvious result of German resentment?

But, seeing as Germany and National Socialism quickly became synonymous with each other during the "wilderness years," and, in a speech in the commons within months of Hitler coming to power, Churchill warned, "If Hitler were to turn on this Island....etc." I can't see any valid reason to make any amendment. Unless, of course, you raise a valid point to make the distinction you draw not so fine?

Cheers - salesie.

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BeppoSapone
However, seeing as Churchill warned that, "Germany would never accept the Treaty of Versaille," in the late twenties, shortly after the failed Nazi putsch in Munich, I did consider amending the last part of my sentence to read, as a lone voice against the obvious result of German resentment?

Cheers - salesie.

"The late twenties" was not "shortly after" the Munich Putsch, which took place in November 1923.

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Gibbo

On WSC's performance at school, I read a few years ago that somebody had found his school reports & in fact his marks in certain subjects, such as history & english, were very high but those in others were low. It appeared from this that he did very well in subjects that he liked but didn't try very hard in those that didn't interest him.

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salesie
"The late twenties" was not "shortly after" the Munich Putsch, which took place in November 1923.

Quite right, Beppo, it was in 1923, so substitute late for mid twenties. But a typing error doesn't make my point any less valid or relevant, does it?

When making this warning in 1925 (less than eighteen months after the Munich putsch), Churchill was concerned that France's insistence on maintaining draconian reparations from Germany as well as her intransigence over the Polish border issue would lead to war in the future. So, although warning that Germany would never accept Versaille, he obviously saw France as the main obstacle to her acceptance at that time. Not bad thinking for a man who, in the opinion of some, only had one good year some fifteen years later - perhaps if France, and our own politicians, had listened?

Cheers - salesie.

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BeppoSapone
Quite right, Beppo, it was in 1923, so substitute late for mid twenties. But a typing error doesn't make my point any less valid or relevant, does it?

When making this warning in 1925 (less than eighteen months after the Munich putsch), Churchill was concerned that France's insistence on maintaining draconian reparations from Germany as well as her intransigence over the Polish border issue would lead to war in the future. So, although warning that Germany would never accept Versaille, he obviously saw France as the main obstacle to her acceptance at that time. Not bad thinking for a man who, in the opinion of some, only had one good year some fifteen years later - perhaps if France, and our own politicians, had listened?

Cheers - salesie.

So, Churchill was making his 'warning' at the height of prosperity for the Weimar Republic.

In the "Era of Stresemann" the Germans no more listened to Hitler than we listened to Churchill.

Normal people want work, food and peace.

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salesie
So, Churchill was making his 'warning' at the height of prosperity for the Weimar Republic.

In the "Era of Stresemann" the Germans no more listened to Hitler than we listened to Churchill.

Normal people want work, food and peace.

Sorry, Beppo, but you've missed the point. It's obvious, from succeeding events, that no one was listening to either Hitler or Churchill at the time, but those succeeding events proved Hitler to be right to a point, and Churchill to be absolutley right, in their respective prophecies. The real tragedy is that Hitler was listened to by his people well before Churchill was by his. I would strongly argue that if the reverse were true then we would never have heard the name Hitler; strongly argue that work, food and peace may just have been available without, "Blood, toil, tears and sweat."

Of course, no one will ever truly know what would have happened if Churchill's warnings had been listened to from the beginning. But one thing is clear, his predictions were highly accurate, and his proposed solutions in 1925, vis-a-vis France and the easing of Germany's financial burden and their simmering resentment, were eminently sensible in light of what subsequently occured.

Cheers - salesie.

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BeppoSapone
Of course, no one will ever truly know what would have happened if Churchill's warnings had been listened to from the beginning. But one thing is clear, his predictions were highly accurate, and his proposed solutions in 1925, vis-a-vis France and the easing of Germany's financial burden and their simmering resentment, were eminently sensible in light of what subsequently occured.

Cheers - salesie.

If it had not been Churchill that made these warnings people would have been far more likely to listen. "Tonypandy" Churchill was possibly a victim of his past actions and also of his present, 1925, actions.

What Churchill did re: the gold standard, it has been argued, caused the General Strike and the strike itself gave Churchill another chance to tread the face of the working class into the ground. Not the best way to win people over to your ideas!

http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=461

Note that J M Keynes "wondered in public why Churchilll was doing 'such a silly thing' ”.

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salesie
If it had not been Churchill that made these warnings people would have been far more likely to listen. "Tonypandy" Churchill was possibly a victim of his past actions and also of his present, 1925, actions.

What Churchill did re: the gold standard, it has been argued, caused the General Strike and the strike itself gave Churchill another chance to tread the face of the working class into the ground. Not the best way to win people over to your ideas!

http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=461

Note that J M Keynes "wondered in public why Churchilll was doing 'such a silly thing' ”.

Beppo, the return to the gold standard was a mistake, especially at the pre-war rate, and caused many problems, but as an answer to my earlier points this is nothing more than a red-herring for three reasons:

1) Churchill's voice was a lone voice as far as Germany and future war was concerned. But he was far from alone about the gold standard, many supported the decision, but he was reluctant to do it and very nearly convinced not to accept it:

Full text here: http://www.winstonchurchill.org/i4a/pages/....cfm?pageid=192

"Churchill's eventual agreement, in March, 1925, to the Bank of England's return to the gold standard at pre-war parity was not easily achieved. At the outset, Churchill prepared a lengthy memorandum in which he challenged Montague Norman, the Governor of the Bank of England: "If we are to take the very important step of removing the embargo on gold export, it is essential that we should be prepared to answer any criticism which may be subsequently made upon our policy." The British banker, Lord Bradbury, accused Churchill of having "his spiritual home in the Keynes McKenna sanctuary." Some of Churchill's letters seem to reflect that view: "The Treasury has never, it seems to me, faced the profound significance of what Mr. Keynes calls 'The paradox of unemployment amidst dearth.' The Governor shows himself perfectly happy in the spectacle of Britain possessing the finest credit in the world simultaneously with a million and a quarter unemployed...."

Churchill eventually made his decision shortly after a dinner and late night "Symposium," where he brought together Keynes and McKenna with the two principal advocates from the Treasury Department. Keynes's accurate predictions of deflation and increased unemployment were eventually overcome by the Treasury arguments that inflation was a greater danger."

2) Some one million miners were joined by one and a half million other workers in the general strike. Two and a half million were a small minority of the people of this country; hardly correct to say that the total population refused to listen to Churchill's warnings about Germany because of the gold standard and the general strike.

3) Here's a quote from a marxist site (not a capitalist one), giving a clear insight into the probable true cause of the general strike.

Full text here: http://www.marxist.com/History/british_gen_strike_1926.html

"A new militancy saw a shift left in the unions. The key to this swing left was the work of the National Minority Movement. This rank and file body had taken off in 1924 under the leadership of the young Communist Party (CP). The task of the Minority Movement was declared to be "not to organise independent revolutionary trade unions or to split revolutionary elements away from existing organisations affiliated to the TUC...but to convert the revolutionary minority within each industry into a revolutionary majority."

This proved a highly successful strategy which we could learn a lot from today. They built their support amongst transport, railway and engineering workers and above all amongst the miners. When Hodges resigned from the leadership of the Fed in 1924 (to take up a government post) the Minority Movement supported the miners agent for central Rhondda, Arthur James Cook for the leadership. Cook had resigned from the CP in 1921 but still declared himself a "disciple of Karl Marx and a humble follower of Lenin.""

Cheers - salesie.

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BeppoSapone

Now. lets see. Who shall I believe? J K Galbraith or The Churchill Center?

I wonder which one could possibly have a hidden agenda?

The fact remains that Churchill was not listened to about Germany because he was Churchill, and he had alienated large numbers of people. Before WW1, during WW1 and after WW1.

In fact, didn't this 10% drop in wages, caused by Churchill, even cause part of the Royal Navy to mutiny?

I put it to you that is was Churchill that caused the Invergordon Mutiny, and the "reds under the beds" (hammocks?) idea is just an attempt at a cover up.

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salesie
Now. lets see. Who shall I believe? J K Galbraith or The Churchill Center?

I wonder which one could possibly have a hidden agenda?

The fact remains that Churchill was not listened to about Germany because he was Churchill, and he had alienated large numbers of people. Before WW1, during WW1 and after WW1.

In fact, didn't this 10% drop in wages, caused by Churchill, even cause part of the Royal Navy to mutiny?

I put it to you that is was Churchill that caused the Invergordon Mutiny, and the "reds under the beds" (hammocks?) idea is just an attempt at a cover up.

An interesting theory, Beppo; marxist.com is attempting to cover up for Churchill? If so, by definition, marxist.com is now a supporter of Churchill's? If not, why would they cover up for him with, what you call, a reds under the beds idea? Although I welcome anyone who has seen the light, I find it hard to believe that marxist.com has become a prodigal son.

As for the Invergordon mutiny? I have to respectfully point out that this event happened when Churchill was more isolated from the corridors of power than at any other time. In 1931, when the mutiny took place, there had been a Labour government under Ramsey Macdonald for two whole years, but shortly before the mutiny Macdonald became prime minister of the National government (which Churchill was not asked to join). Not long after this, the Tories returned to power but Churchill was excluded from government, and he remained excluded until the outbreak of WW2.

Given the reasoning in my two previous paragraphs, I'm at a loss to fathom your last post. Therefore, with respect, could you please explain your reasons for stating that Churchill caused the Invergordon mutiny, and why marxist.com is covering up for him?

Cheers - salesie.

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BeppoSapone
An interesting theory, Beppo; marxist.com is attempting to cover up for Churchill? If so, by definition, marxist.com is now a supporter of Churchill's? If not, why would they cover up for him with, what you call, a reds under the beds idea? Although I welcome anyone who has seen the light, I find it hard to believe that marxist.com has become a prodigal son.

As for the Invergordon mutiny? I have to respectfully point out that this event happened when Churchill was more isolated from the corridors of power than at any other time. In 1931, when the mutiny took place, there had been a Labour government under Ramsey Macdonald for two whole years, but shortly before the mutiny Macdonald became prime minister of the National government (which Churchill was not asked to join). Not long after this, the Tories returned to power but Churchill was excluded from government, and he remained excluded until the outbreak of WW2.

Given the reasoning in my two previous paragraphs, I'm at a loss to fathom your last post. Therefore, with respect, could you please explain your reasons for stating that Churchill caused the Invergordon mutiny, and why marxist.com is covering up for him?

Cheers - salesie.

Nice try Salesie. That's not what I said, and you know it.

My comment was not about "marxist.com", but "The Churchill Center", whose quote you also use. Maybe you can tell us something about this organisation?

I don't know why you are so 'hung up' on this Marxist thing anyway. Have we not established that your hero sat down with just about the worst Marxist of all time, Joe Stalin, and divided up parts of Europe without so much as consulting the people who actually lived there? As a direct result of which British servicemen, who had been welcomed as liberators, were killed in the Greek Civil War.

The General Strike took place because Churchill decided to return to the gold standard, and cut miners wages by 10%. The Invergordon Mutiny took place because the National Government, in the face of world depression and inspired by Churchill's idea of industrial relations, decided to cut the wages of public sector workers by 10%. This badly hit the poorly paid Royal Navy, in particular those sailors in receipt of the much lower "1925 rates of pay" who feared that their wives would end up going on the streets. See any continuity there? I know that I can.

Also, as in 1926, the establishment would not admit that they had got things so badly wrong and made scapegoats of members of the Royal Navy who had been involved in the protest. Very few, if any, members of the lower deck involved at Invergordon were Communists, although at least one later joined the party.

Despite promises of 'no victimisation' the Admiralty used the incident to 'rid' the Royal Navy of people it did not like: some people involved in this protest, but also 'barrack room lawyers', homosexuals etc etc. One historian of this period, Alan Ereira, argues that it was the Invergordon Mutiny that caused the government to abandon Churchill's idea of the gold standard:

"The Invergordon Mutiny: A Narrative History of the last Great Mutiny in the Royal

Navy and How it Forced Britain off the Gold Standard" by Alan Ereira.

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salesie
Nice try Salesie. That's not what I said, and you know it.

My comment was about "marxist.com", but "The Churchill Center", whose quote you also use. Maybe you can tell us something about this organisation?

I don't know why you are so 'hung up' on this Marxist thing anyway. Have we not established that your hero sat down with just about the worst Marxist of all time, Joe Stalin, and divided up parts of Europe without so much as consulting the people who actually lived there? As a direct result of which British servicemen, who had been welcomed as liberators,  were killed in the Greek Civil War.

The General Strike took place because Churchill decided to return to the gold standard, and cut miners wages by 10%. The Invergordon Mutiny took place because the National Government, in the face of world depression and inspired by Churchill's idea of industrial relations, decided to cut the wages of public sector workers by 10%. This badly hit the poorly paid Royal Navy, in particular those sailors in receipt of the much lower "1925 rates of pay" who feared that their wives would end up going on the streets. See any continuity there? I know that I can.

Also, as in 1926, the establishment would not admit that they had got things so badly wrong and made scapegoats of members of the Royal Navy who had been involved in the protest. Very few, if any, members of the lower deck involved at Invergordon were Communists, although at least one later joined the party.

Despite promises of 'no victimisation' the Admiralty used the incident to 'rid' the Royal Navy of people it did not like: some people involved in this protest, but also 'barrack room lawyers', homosexuals etc etc.  One historian of this period, Alan Ereira, argues that it was the Invergordon Mutiny that caused the government to abandon Churchill's idea of the gold standard:

"The Invergordon Mutiny: A Narrative History of the last Great Mutiny in the Royal

Navy and How it Forced Britain off the Gold Standard" by Alan Ereira.

Continuity? I never linked communist agitation with Invergordon, you did. I doubt very strongly that communist agitators caused a portion of the Atlantic Fleet to hold a two strike over pay, and would agree that to blame communists would be a cover up. But to blame Churchill for it is worse than any cover up, it is character assassination. You say the National government (headed by a Labour prime minister), inspired by Churchillian doctrine, caused the naval strike - yet, this very same government was so inspired by Churchill they denied him any office within their ranks? If this government were so inspired by him, would they not have rushed to welcome their idealistic icon into the fold? After two years of Labour goverment, and a month of a National government, I think the blame has to lie squarely with those directly responsible - unless, of course, you think these "blameless" men, who in reality abhored Churchill and conspired to keep him out of office for ten years, were in fact manipulated by him from afar? Do you believe Churchill to be so powerful at that time? If so, why did you insist in an earlier post that no one listened to him? Sorry, Beppo, with respect, I cannot for the life of me see any logic in that kind of continuity - they listen, they don't, which one is it?

Although I never mentioned communists in the same breath as Invergordon - I repeat you did, it is clear that communist agitation played a major part in the miners' strike followed by the general strike of 1926 (by their own admission, see marxist.com). Returning to the gold standard played its part, but the main part it played was into the agitators' hands when the mine owners, not Churchill, cut the miners' wages due to the weakness of the pound (caused by the return to the gold standard) in the face of foreign imports. Churchill, as Chancellor, arranged a goverment subsidy to maintain miners' wages for nine months until a Royal Commission, headed by Sir Herbert Samuel, reported. The commission did not do the miners any favours and they refused any pay cut and were locked out by the mine owners thus setting in motion a chain of events that led to the general strike. The communist agitators relished this opportunity to force a general election in the hope that a socialist government would be returned. In the event, the general strike lasted just nine days because it became obvious to the vast majority of strikers that there was little support for them in the country as a whole, and that they had in fact been manipulated. The miners stayed out for much longer, suffering great hardship in many cases, but I would say they only have themselves to blame for that.

Before you start screaming about that last sentence, Beppo, you should know that I hail from a long line of miners/steelworkers in South Yorkshire, and that I speak about miners and steelworkers from the heart as well as the head. I was brought up on this kind of debate, and I can assure you that by no means all of these men are, or were, supporters of socialist worker nonsense. In fact, my grandfather's words, steelworker for almost fifty years when he died in the 70's, about the communists in the unions are unprintable on a public forum.

Right, now that my proud working class pedigree is out of the way, let's get back to the crux of this debate. Churchill was absolutely right in his warnings about Germany/National Socialism, and if he'd been listened to then there is a strong argument to say WW2 would never have happened.

You blame him for not being listened to, you blame him for things that happened when he had no public office, intimating that the true culprits did in fact listen to him. I repeat, there is no continuity or logic in your stance. The fact is, Churchill warned as early as 1925 about future problems with Germany and was, in the main, ignored even when he held high office. The main culprits you should attack, Beppo, are the men charged with high office who had nowhere near Churchill's forsight and who ignored him for their own advancement. Attack the narrow-minded appeasers who led this country into a conflict that only their nemesis could retrieve us from - those kind of men are certainly worth attacking.

Full text can be seen at the Churchill Centre (backed up by public records from the time, and personal letters and diaries).

Summer 1925:

"During this same period, Churchill was instrumental in defeating a proposal in the Cabinet, by Foreign Secretary Austen Chamberlain for a defense pact with France based upon maintaining the Versailles treaty and guaranteeing Britain would come to France's aid if attacked by Germany. Churchill was opposed to helping France until she backed off the oppressive terms of Versailles and agreed to a "real peace" with Germany, one which involved a "substantial rectification" of Germany's frontier with Poland. As Churchill had earlier told the French President, Doumergue, he "was personally convinced that [Germany] would never acquiesce permanently in the condition of her eastern frontier." Without such a revision, Churchill presciently told the Committee of Imperial Defense, a new war loomed on the horizon over Poland:

"This war which has occurred between France and Germany several times has broken up the world. What guarantee have we got while things are going as they are that we shall not have another war. In fact, it seems as if we were moving towards it, although it may not be for twenty years, certainly not until Germany has been able to acquire some methods of waging war, chemically or otherwise."

In March, the senior Cabinet ministers assembled, in Austen Chamberlain's absence in Paris, and endorsed Churchill's view that no defense pact with France would be concluded unless it included an arrangement with Germany as well."

A man worth attacking or man worth listening to, Beppo? A warmonger or a man trying to avoid future war? An imperfect perfect leader?

Cheers - salesie.

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BeppoSapone
Continuity? I never linked communist agitation with Invergordon, you did. I doubt very strongly that communist agitators caused a portion of the Atlantic Fleet to hold a two strike over pay, and would agree that to blame communists would be a cover up. But to blame Churchill for it is worse than any cover up, it is character assassination. You say the National government (headed by a Labour prime minister), inspired by Churchillian doctrine, caused the naval strike - yet, this very same government was so inspired by Churchill they denied him any office within their ranks?  If this government were so inspired by him, would they not have rushed to welcome their idealistic icon into the fold? After two years of Labour goverment, and a month of a National government, I think the blame has to lie squarely with those directly responsible - unless, of course, you think these "blameless" men, who in reality abhored Churchill and conspired to keep him out of office for ten years, were in fact manipulated by him from afar? Do you believe Churchill to be so powerful at that time? If so, why did you insist in an earlier post that no one listened to him? Sorry, Beppo, with respect, I cannot for the life of me see any logic in that kind of continuity - they listen, they don't, which one is it?

Although I never mentioned communists in the same breath as Invergordon - I repeat you did, it is clear that communist agitation played a major part in the miners' strike followed by the general strike of 1926 (by their own admission, see marxist.com). Returning to the gold standard played its part, but the main part it played was into the agitators' hands when the mine owners, not Churchill, cut the miners' wages due to the weakness of the pound (caused by the return to the gold standard) in the face of foreign imports. Churchill, as Chancellor, arranged a goverment subsidy to maintain miners' wages for nine months until a Royal Commission, headed by Sir Herbert Samuel, reported. The commission did not do the miners any favours and they refused any pay cut and were locked out by the mine owners thus setting in motion a chain of events that led to the general strike. The communist agitators relished this opportunity to force a general election in the hope that a socialist government would be returned. In the event, the general strike lasted just nine days because it became obvious to the vast majority of strikers that there was little support for them in the country as a whole, and that they had in fact been manipulated. The miners stayed out for much longer, suffering great hardship in many cases, but I would say they only have themselves to blame for that.

Before you start screaming about that last sentence, Beppo, you should know that I hail from a long line of miners/steelworkers in South Yorkshire, and that I speak about miners and steelworkers from the heart as well as the head. I was brought up on this kind of debate, and I can assure you that by no means all of these men are, or were, supporters of socialist worker nonsense. In fact, my grandfather's words, steelworker for almost fifty years when he died in the 70's, about the communists in the unions are unprintable on a public forum.

Right, now that my proud working class pedigree is out of the way, let's get back to the crux of this debate. Churchill was absolutely right in his warnings about Germany/National Socialism, and if he'd been listened to then there is a strong argument to say WW2 would never have happened.

You blame him for not being listened to, you blame him for things that happened when he had no public office, intimating that the true culprits did in fact listen to him. I repeat, there is no continuity or logic in your stance. The fact is, Churchill warned as early as 1925 about future problems with Germany and was, in the main, ignored even when he held high office. The main culprits you should attack, Beppo, are the men charged with high office who had nowhere near Churchill's forsight and who ignored him for their own advancement. Attack the narrow-minded appeasers who led this country into a conflict that only their nemesis could retrieve us from - those kind of men are certainly worth attacking.

Full text can be seen at the Churchill Centre (backed up by public records from the time, and personal letters and diaries).

Summer 1925:

"During this same period, Churchill was instrumental in defeating a proposal in the Cabinet, by Foreign Secretary Austen Chamberlain for a defense pact with France based upon maintaining the Versailles treaty and guaranteeing Britain would come to France's aid if attacked by Germany. Churchill was opposed to helping France until she backed off the oppressive terms of Versailles and agreed to a "real peace" with Germany, one which involved a "substantial rectification" of Germany's frontier with Poland. As Churchill had earlier told the French President, Doumergue, he "was personally convinced that [Germany] would never acquiesce permanently in the condition of her eastern frontier." Without such a revision, Churchill presciently told the Committee of Imperial Defense, a new war loomed on the horizon over Poland:

"This war which has occurred between France and Germany several times has broken up the world. What guarantee have we got while things are going as they are that we shall not have another war. In fact, it seems as if we were moving towards it, although it may not be for twenty years, certainly not until Germany has been able to acquire some methods of waging war, chemically or otherwise."

In March, the senior Cabinet ministers assembled, in Austen Chamberlain's absence in Paris, and endorsed Churchill's view that no defense pact with France would be concluded unless it included an arrangement with Germany as well."

A man worth attacking or man worth listening to, Beppo? A warmonger or a man trying to avoid future war? An imperfect perfect leader?

Cheers - salesie.

Salesie

Actually when I spoke of continuity I was thinking of the causes of the problems in 1926 and at Invergordon, and not the scapegoats ie 'Communists'. The cause in both cases was an establishment that thought that the working man should "know his place" and be happy to take a 10% cut in wages. Be honest Salesie, how would you feel about that? In particular if you were on the bread line in the first place. I don't for one moment suppose that you would have has such a high regard for Churchill under those circumstances.

I know that you get your ideas from this "Churchill Centre" which is not going to admit that Churchill caused the General Strike, and the following mass unemployment. J K Galbraith says different and, to be honest, who do I believe? The choice is between a foreign organisation that exists solely in order to glorify Churchill and a more impartial observer.

Continuity also comes into play in that the gold standard policy that the National Government was trying to maintain was put in place by none other than Winston Churchill. It is a long time since I have heard Ramsay MacDonald at this time being called a "Labour" Prime Minister. He was actually expelled from the Labout Party because of his colluding with the Conservatives in the National Government. He formed the "National Labour Party", which had little support in the country and was really a conservative body. As for the National Government "welcoming Churchill into the fold" I would imagine that they had enough problems without looking for a maverick to cause more. The answer to your conundrum is probably that they no longer listened to Churchill, but were stuck with his mess, that remained in place.

You cite your working class background and continue: "I can assure you that by no means all of these men are, or were, supporters of socialist worker nonsense. In fact, my grandfather's words, steelworker for almost fifty years when he died in the 70's, about the communists in the unions are unprintable on a public forum.".

You might be surprised to find that I agree with you. You were the one that first introduced the Communist bogeyman into this debate. I think it is dross. The Communist Party in Britain has never had a large following. Except in the "Daily Mail" and when it pleases the Conservative Party to 'trot out', no pun intended, the old lie. From the "Zinoviev Letter" to "The Enemy Within" the 'Red Scare' has been used to deny a living wage to sections of the British people.

Lets face it, Britain is a Conservative country that votes Labour from time to time. The working class/trades unionists/Labour Party are mostly not even Socialists let alone Communists. If you seek the origins of industrial unrest look at the poor wages being paid, and those people bravely trying to raise their kids who find themselves under attack from Churchill and his ilk.

The alternative would be that the British people are mindless puppets or "droogs". I don't think so. Do you?

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salesie
Salesie

Actually when I spoke of continuity I was thinking of the causes of the problems in 1926 and at Invergordon, and not the scapegoats ie 'Communists'. The cause in both cases was an establishment that thought that the working man should "know his place" and be happy to take a 10% cut in wages. Be honest Salesie, how would you feel about that? In particular if you were on the bread line in the first place. I don't for one moment suppose that you would have has such a high regard for Churchill under those circumstances.

I know that you get your ideas from this "Churchill Centre" which is not going to admit that Churchill caused the General Strike, and the following mass unemployment. J K Galbraith says different and, to be honest, who do I believe? The choice is between a foreign organisation that exists solely in order to glorify Churchill and a more impartial observer.

Continuity also comes into play in that the gold standard policy that the National Government was trying to maintain was put in place by none other than Winston Churchill. It is a long time since I have heard Ramsay MacDonald at this time being called a "Labour" Prime Minister. He was actually expelled from the Labout Party because of his colluding with the Conservatives in the National Government. He formed the "National Labour Party", which had little support in the country and was really a conservative body. As for the National Government "welcoming Churchill into the fold" I would imagine that they had enough problems without looking for a maverick to cause more. The answer to your conundrum is probably that they no longer listened to Churchill, but were stuck with his mess, that remained in place.

You cite your working class background and continue: "I can assure you that by no means all of these men are, or were, supporters of socialist worker nonsense. In fact, my grandfather's words, steelworker for almost fifty years when he died in the 70's, about the communists in the unions are unprintable on a public forum.".

You might be surprised to find that I agree with you. You were the one that first introduced the Communist bogeyman into this debate. I think it is dross. The Communist Party in Britain has never had a large following. Except in the "Daily Mail" and when it pleases the Conservative Party to 'trot out', no pun intended, the old lie. From the "Zinoviev Letter" to "The Enemy Within" the 'Red Scare' has been used to deny a living wage to sections of the British people.

Lets face it, Britain is a Conservative country that votes Labour from time to time. The working class/trades unionists/Labour Party are mostly not even Socialists let alone Communists.  If you seek the origins of industrial unrest look at the poor wages being paid, and those people bravely trying to raise their kids who find themselves under attack from Churchill and his ilk.

The alternative would be that the British people are mindless puppets or "droogs". I don't think so. Do you?

It seems we agree on many things, Beppo, especially that the British people, in the main, are not puppets or droogs - after all, a substantial proportion agree with me that Churcill was the greatest ever Briton, even with his undoubted flaws.

See the results of the recent BBC poll; http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/t...dio/2509465.stm

I think that just about sums up the crux of the matter except to say, try using causality next time instead of continuity; a subtle if somewhat complex concept, but a much more reliable rationale when attempting to apportion true blame.

I've really enjoyed our little sparring match, Beppo, but I must focus now on other things - but, you never know, our swords may cross again sometime?

Cheers - salesie.

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PFF

One commet I remember reading about WSC as a battalion commander was that he wore the French style helmet.

Did he wear it because it was more protective from shell fragments?

Also-there is a photo of WSC about 1913 as a Naval Pilot.

How good was he a pilot? B)

Did he keep his license up to date? :rolleyes:

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