Dear Ian - copied to Express and Star reporters who published your piece and to your assistant Cllr Keiran and to former Defence Secretary, Michael Portillo for comments/correction, please.
You are as enthusiastic for dear Winston as Andrew Roberts. We all have our prejudices! But do take a look at Andrew Marr's book, 'A History of Modern Britain'. My own thoughts on Britain's Greatest Briton are these that gives a different perspective and are influenced by Marr and the 99 year old interviewed on the 'Today' programme earlier this month. I think we are all a mixture of good and evil and of hero and villain. We are all frail and flimsy. Please hear both sides of the argument.
- Churchill loved action, militarism, imperialism, nationalism and the thrill of warfare. He loved nothing better than a good scrap.
- He would have loved the British empire to have lasted "for a thousand years" to rival Hitler's Third Reich. But both were no more after the one World War in two halves. Winston's greater love for war did it for Empire - both Germany and ours.
- He was a leading protagonist for war in the Cabinet discussions up to 4 August 1914 declaration of war, from what I have read.
- Yet, this was a war that was nearly lost, by our side, in the first few weeks.
- This was war, more than once, that could have gone either way. Only the USA intervention in 1917 turned it in our favour.
- There was a 'peace' treaty that seems to have failed to recognise the above facts. It was hardly a treaty that was magnanimous in victory - a wonderful phrase attributed to dear Winston. Akin to "justice tempered with mercy."
- Even IDS, the former Conservative leader, has spoken of how that disastrous war led to its sequel in 1939.
- According to Marr, on the 28 May 1940 at the time of the Dunkirk evacuation, if it had been only Conservative politicians present who wanted to cut a deal with Hitler, Churchill would have been outvoted. The Conservative Foreign Secretary, Lord Halifax had found "Hitler most sincere and Goering frankly attractive." However, Clement Attlee and Arthur Greenwood, the two Labour men in the Government of National Unity, "were solid for fighting on and so, by a squeak, Churchill had his majority." (Marr)
- Marr has most of the Establishment and many Conservatives, looking on Churchill as "a rather ridiculous, drunken, dodgy man with a penchant for wild speeches and silly hats. Behind their gloved hands, they called him the rogue elephant, even the gangster." In Labour circles, he was seen as an enemy of the working class, a pink faced toff who called in the army against strikers. Tonypandy, first time?
- When he won his majority for war on the 28 May 1940, Churchill told the full War Cabinet, that they were all to fight on to the death. There would be no parley or surrender. "Let it end only when each one of us lies choking in his own blood upon the ground."
- Therefore, twice, Churchill wanted all out total war to the death. The first half imperial war led to the second half in 1939. Surprisingly, two Labour MPs gave him his majority for our nation to fight on after Dunkirk. One was the Labour leader, Attlee and the other was Arthur Greenwood. The Conservatives, Halifax and Chamberlain wanted to parley and surrender. It was the Labour Party that won the war (and lost the peace) and not the Conservatives!!
- Much later, Attlee led us into the Korean War that had disastrous consequences for that peninsular to this day.
- It was Attlee who gave us our own deadly WMD with their amassment and renewal by every government, including Labour, ever since. So much for Labour politicians being wimps for glorious, heroic war! Only in 2015, did the latest new Labour Party leader pronounce that, for him, "war must be the last resort". And the man still hangs on to this day. Extraordinary!
- For Churchill and the War Cabinet, when victory was certain for our side in February 1945, it ended for 24,000 Dresden residents not in blood but in fire, flame and burning flesh. Listen on BBC Sounds. My e-mail to Ian on 14 Feb, here: "Did you hear that 99 year old hero soldier, Victor Gregg, from the 2nd World War who was interviewed on Monday 11 Feb on the 'Today' programme? He survived the war solely because Churchill and Harris ordered the fire bombing of Dresden in February 1945. His book is called 'Dresden: A Survivor's Story'. His interview starts at 0742:50 hrs."
- Churchill might easily have lost the war in 1940/1 but the USA came to our rescue in 1941.
- Radar was an important factor in us winning the Battle of Britain, together with the young pilots and not Winston's magnificent, morale boosting oratory.
- As Margaret Thatcher was so lucky with her enemies (Galtieri and Scargill), Winston was lucky with his friends in North America and the Empire that won it for him. Give credit where credit is due.
- Was it Churchill who thought up the idea of convoys to protect our merchant shipping? That was a real brainwave.
- There was Hitler's massive mistakes, of course that helped the Brits and Americans and, the Empire to win.
- The Soviet Union and Stalin diverted the Nazi war effort onto the Eastern Front. Did Churchill ever formally thank the USSR for their invaluable help and sacrifice?
- 20 to 30 million Russians died defending our shores from Hitler.
- Have you ever bowed your head in silent remembrance of the death and sacrifice of those millions of evil Commies, Ian?
- Correlli Barnett wrote something like, "In 1945, we were psychologically victorious but, materially defeated and economically bankrupt."
Anyone is welcome to correct my history or to expand on these notes, here - please.