Churchill. The Flawed Saviour

People tend to make one of two mistakes when they assess Sir Winston Churchill. One is to praise him to the rooftops and try and ignore his faults, and I am not talking about personal habits here. The other is to concentrate on his faults, and there were many, and ignore his successes that helped Britain. John McDonnell being the latest example
If Hitler had not risen to power, if Churchill had died before 1933, his political career would have been marked as one with exceptional gifts, fatally damaged by his major flaws of judgement, rather akin to his father, Lord Randolph Churchill, who quit in a public huff as Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1886. But, tragically, Hitler did rise to power and, thankfully, Churchill did not die before 1940, so this always puts people in a quandary when they like their heroes to be flawless and their villains to be without redemption and it is natural to wrestle over Churchill's political views, although many on the hard Left who attack Churchill do throw stones in glass houses given how some of them praise Mao, Stalin, Trotsky, Castro, Lenin, Maduro etc..
Perhaps the best assesment of Churchill came from Michael Foot, who wrote an obiturary of Churchill in 1965 and stated that, all his life Churchill was looking for enemies and nearly always picked the wrong ones. He was wrong about the Miners, he was wrong about India, he was wrong on most things. But he got it right once, and when he did he got it so right his attitude helped saved Britain.
I would add that in being right he put many seemingly decent people to shame. From the outset he correctly assessed what the Nazis were about and consistently argued against them and attacked them at every oppurtunity. He recognised appeasment for what it was and his ability to stiffen spines and give hope during the Second World War cannot be underestimated. In some respects Churchill was a hero, a very flawed hero, but a hero nonetheless.


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