“Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened.”
— Winston Churchill
In a video marking the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s death last week, Prime Minister David Cameron hailed him as “Britain’s greatest ever prime minister” and said: “We owe him everything.” So on goes the whitewashing propaganda of the great paternal warrior to cover up the venal reality.
In Winston Churchill’s only novel, ‘Savrola’, written in 1899, and dedicated to the officers of his regiment the 4th Hussars, the title character is described as ‘vehement, high and daring’, the sort of man who could ‘know rest only in action, contentment only in danger, and in confusion find their only peace… Ambition was the motive force, and he was powerless to resist it’. Young Winston could have been describing himself.
In her diary, Beatrice Webb recorded sitting beside Churchill at dinner: “First impression: restless, almost intolerably so… egotistical, bumptious, shallow minded and reactionary but with a certain personal magnetism… More of the American speculator than the English aristocrat. Talked exclusively about himself and his electioneering plans…”
Having changed political parties four times during his career, Churchill was clandestinely known by some MPs in the House of Commons as ‘the shit house’ — an abbreviation of his initials WC.