Churchill: A Great Paradox

Last week marked the day in which Winston Churchill became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 1940. As with many historical events, the press and public look back and ponder the ‘what ifs’, we see montages of his greatest moments and we idolise the man who led a nation in its darkest hour, Britain’s saviour one could say.

When considering Churchill’s legacy, we think of the Second World War, his grand speeches in parliament, his defiance in the face of overwhelming adversity and how it emboldened the people of the United Kingdom to fight fascism. What is often overlooked however is his immense role in the ghastly actions of Imperial-Age Britain.

Many do not include the British Empire in the club of murderous, tyrannical empires of the past. We are not the Mongols, or the Romans, we are not the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany. We modernised more than half the world and established democracies that still remain to this day, albeit independent from our rule. These are all wonderful aspects of the British Empire, aren’t they? It is for that reason we can soundly proclaim we were the ‘good guys’, right?

Unsurprisingly, it is not that simple. For every road paved, for every child literate and for every clean water well there are hundreds of dead, incarcerated and oppressed people’s. The blood shed by the British Empire throughout its centuries-long history is unfathomable, yet we are blind to these realities – A selective view of history instilled in our minds from the moment we enter the education system.


Winston Churchill is a product of this time in our history. A man who firmly believed the British Empire was the moral authority around the globe. A civilised nation whose god given right it was to spread British values, democracy and culture. He was an imperialist, plain and simple. In recent years, many have argued that by modern definitions he was a white supremacist as throughout his career there are examples of his contempt for supposedly ‘lesser’ cultures.

Speaking of the indigenous peoples of America and Australia, Churchill claimed:

“I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.”

As well as a contempt for indigenous populations, Churchill had spoken in an almost Nazi-esque fashion, claiming: “The Aryan stock is bound to triumph.”

A statement more at home in Mein Kampf than a biography of Britain’s most celebrated leader.

Let us examine a selection of his darkest actions.


In 1919 during Britain’s third occupation of Afghanistan, Churchill advocated the use of chemical weapons against the insurrectionist tribes of the region. These surely are not the actions of a moral and just individual, are they? Even more sordid when considering the devastating affects gas had upon British troops during the First World War.

“We proceeded systematically, village by village, and we destroyed the houses, filled up the wells…burned the crops and broke the reservoirs in punitive devastation.”

As a young officer, Churchill witnessed – and perhaps acquired his taste for – great brutality against indigenous populations in South Africa during the Boer War, where concentration camps were pioneered. He even claimed this method ‘reduced suffering‘.

Over 28,000 white Boers died as well as anywhere up to 14,000 black South African peoples.

These methods were also used in Kenya during the 1950’s, where over 100,000 black civilians – which Churchill labelled ‘blackamoors’ – were interred in concentration camps. Britain’s actions at this time were particularly brutal, and focused firmly on maintaining the control of the minority white population in the country.


One of the worst atrocities carried out by the United Kingdom, and often erased from our history books, is the Bengal famine of 1943. At the height of the Second World War, Britain’s resources were stretched beyond breaking point. Food supplies throughout the Commonwealth and in Britain were dangerously low, and one may be forgiven for assuming that the defence of mainland Britain was a priority.

When famine struck however, Churchill it seems disregarded the gravity of the situation, and is even claimed to have placed the blame at the feet of the Indian population, saying they ‘breed like rabbits’ – A callous remark met with an equally callous response. Wheat shipments from Australia were bypassed to the European theatre of war and this led to increased suffering in the Bengal region.

Churchill’s actions, or there lack of, appear to have aggravated the situation further, and it is believed that over three million people died. His disregard for the people of India is evident during his time in politics and is likely due to his contemptuous view of the people. The Viceroy of India claimed:

“Churchill’s attitude towards India and the famine is negligent, hostile and contemptuous”

A topic still hotly debated to this day is British involvement in Iran. Western meddling in the Middle-East is often acknowledged as one of the main factors of numerous problems. Churchill had long meddled in the affairs of the Iranian people and viewed the mineral wealth of the nation as a massive prize for the British Empire, so much so that he helped orchestrate the complete seizure of the nations oil supply.

Speaking of the seizure of oil, he claimed it was “a prize from fairyland beyond our wildest dreams”


His meddling did not relent, and during his post-war term as Prime Minister he enabled the Shah to overthrow the popular nationalist government under Mohammad Mosaddegh, thus setting off a cataclysm of events that would shock the Middle-East for decades. The Shah committed atrocities against the Iranian people for over two decades, supported by Britain and United States, until the Islamic Revolution of 1979 ushered in a dark new era of regional politics.

There are numerous other examples of Churchill’s callous actions throughout his political career, but there simply is not enough room in this article to delve further, a few other examples are:

  •  The partitioning of the Near East, an issue that still plagues global politics to this day.
  • State endorsed violence in Ireland through the ‘Black & Tans’.
  • Violent suppression of civilian protesters in Greece in 1944.
  •  The appalling treatment of workers in the UK. (See the Tonypandy Riots)

What can be said in an albeit futile defence of the man is that his views on race are not unique for the time. As a man born in Edwardian Britain it is likely these beliefs were held by a great deal more people in the UK. This does not exempt him from criticism however, and upon reflection we today find these views offensive and his actions deplorable.


He was a product of his time, and it must be said his views, although not too dissimilar, do not quite compare to Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini or others who believed in racial or societal hierarchies at the time. The great paradox of Winston Churchill is that he did champion the defence of western capitalism & democracy and he did rouse the people of the UK and other European nations to resist fascism. Whilst doing this however he stands as a living embodiment of what many today would view as the antithesis of modern democratic values; equality and tolerance.

A monumental figure in British and world history, but perhaps not for the supposedly noble reasons we believe. His legacy is one of blood and torment, with a gloss finish of glory.



The Nasty Party MkII

It’s short story time folks so buckle up and let’s delve into a dystopian world in which violence against animals is fully endorsed by the British Prime Minister. One where human life is categorised as ‘low value’ and ‘high value’ and where the working class mindlessly dig their own graves with ballot papers. Sounds horrible, doesn’t it?

Wait, hold on a minute…

With one fell swoop Theresa May has solidified her place as the new Margaret Thatcher – in that I mean truly hated. In scenes reminiscent of a TV political satire, she utterly baffled millions of British voters by openly endorsing the practice of riding around fields in southern England, dressed like an idiot and mutilating animals. Her comments supporting the reintroduction of fox hunting are deplorable, but sadly, nothing out of the ordinary from the Conservative Party.


Conservatives and their harmless ‘traditions’.

The notion that the Tories had changed, that they were no longer the ‘nasty party’ is false. Earlier this week Iain Duncan Smith spoke of other human beings as ‘low value’ – Comments that bear harrowing similarities to the Nazi ‘untermenschen’ concept of the 1930s. (Video link below)

It’s not new though, is it? Under the previous government, NHS workers were demonised to such an extent that you’d think they’d been forcefully euthanising patients. The European Union was portrayed as a tyrannical regime hellbent on the destruction of everything British.

So, basically fish ‘n chips and England fans trashing European city centres.

Now Theresa wishes to bring back a barbaric practice that is largely reserved for their own ilk. I can’t imagine your average Joe Bloggs battering animals to death, what is it about the Tories that makes them like this? Were they raised by psychopaths? Brought up around them? Even pigs aren’t safe.

Sadly for Iain Duncan Smith, the possibility of hunting these ‘low value’ human beings with hounds is out of the question for now. However over the years the Tories have tried their best to degrade and harm defenceless creatures through other means.


Post-Brexit fox and working-class hunts look all the rage.

Whether it be the disabled or miners and steel workers, low-income families and students, foreign nationals and NHS workers, the Tories just love to prey on the weak, demonise foreigners and convince the working class that the source of their problems are other working class people.

If fox hunting once again becomes commonplace then it merely serves as a platform for the Tories to satisfy their insatiable lust for cruelty. I wouldn’t pin your hopes on them stopping their systematic destruction of the working class though, it’s just another way to vent.

Focusing on the opposite side of the spectrum, how can one even fathom the thought of not voting for Labour, the SNP, or Liberal Democrats? Admittedly they all have their faults; Petty nationalism, inner-party conflicts and past discrepancies. Yes we know Labour allowed banks to run riot and near bankrupt an economy, the Lib Dems jumped into bed with David Cameron at the first sniff of power, and the SNP have been blurting out calls for a referendum ever since…well, since the last one.

One thing that can be said however, is that the alternatives they offer to the Conservatives are clear.

Increased wages, adequately fed children, protection of civil and human rights, a secure – and crucially – well funded National Health Service and ensuring that large corporations actually pay their share of tax in the U.K.

Furthermore, all of the above have stated their intention to take a moderate stance with the European Union. The Tories are firmly grounded in their belief that Britain has a god given right to a good deal. After all, we saved Europe, didn’t we? Bloody Germans telling us what to do.

Make no mistake, the Tories are not the people’s party that they paint themselves to be, and every vote cast in their favour is an endorsement of a leader and a party that holds life in all forms in complete contempt, as well as your full support of an obviously failing system.

But y’know, those foxes won’t hunt themselves.