You carry a big burden there Admin. You should take some note of the quote I mentioned before."The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there" (L.P Hartley, novelist 1895 – 1972) and shed some of that guilt.
You ask 'British history don't you just love it?' Well, yes in fact I do and I see it in the context of the time it took place. If I had to pick one single thing that makes British history shine through is that its unquestionable that the British sacrifice against Nazi Germany single-handedly (in 1940 at least) prevented the whole of Western European civilisation falling under its spell. If no other action could be said to justify Britain's place in the world, this alone would be enough.
As for the quote from Churchill regarding the Bengal Famine can you provide a source for that, because I think in might be clobbers. To counter what you stated here is give you 'War Cabinet Meeting, 7 October 1943, Confidential Record (Cabinet papers, 65/36). Arthur Herman wrote: “We might even say that Churchill indirectly broke the Bengal famine by appointing as Viceroy Field Marshal Wavell, who mobilized the military to transport food and aid to the stricken regions (something that hadn’t occurred to anyone, apparently).” See “Leading Churchill Myths,” Churchill Centre, The Bengali Famine (accessed 10 November 2014).
Oh dear... Racist, white supremacist?? Better tear down all statues of him in that case for fear of offending anyone.
Regardless of what he was or was not, those of us fortunate to be living in the UK or western Europe for that matter, owe that man a huge debt of gratitude, and i speak as someone of mixed European ancestry.
Oh forgot to add the cause you state for the 42 famine is totally incorrect and a revisionist view of events. Weather, crop failure, transport and distribution difficulties/failings all played their part, not wanting to feed the Japanese army was not a prime issue.
Very knowledgeable.I also have no intention of apologising to anybody regarding our history nor will l bend my knee, if there are people in this country that don't like our past they have in my opinion two choices either deal with it or do one.
I may not share your enthusiasm for solar panels,but glad you have employment.
Oh yes Churchill voted the greatest ever Briton.
Opportunist happened in WW2 to be in the right place at the right time.
War criminal oh yes big time.
Famous quote when one of his flunkeys presented him with a weeks WW2 rations.
How do people survive on this for a day?
I need to do some more research to uncover more about the "greatest Briton" but none of its good.
Opportunist? Maybe. Floored human being (who isn't)? Cometh the hour cometh the man, certainly. Whatever you think of him good job he was around for this country in 1940 eh. Europe would be a very different place if he hadn't lead this country with the resolve he did through those dark years.
Bloody hell Addy you are carrying too much guilt. Yes things were not all sweetness and light back in Britain's past but as someone said once (not sure who but google it if you will) 'The past is a different country they do things differently there'.
I presume as you believe “The past is a different country they do things differently there” you also dismiss the holocaust and forgive Hitler.
Professor Chandak Sengoopta, department of History at Birkbeck University of London writes:
I have not become the King's First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire," Winston Churchill famously declared in 1942. That passion for empire did not, however, entail the duty of protecting the lives of the King's distant subjects, especially Indians, "a beastly people with a beastly religion." In 1943, as millions were dying of starvation in 1943 in Bengal, the birthplace of the Raj, Churchill not only refused to help but prevented others from doing so, commenting that Indians "bred like rabbits." The Churchill industry, more interested in the great man's dentures than in his war crimes, has managed to keep this appalling story fairly quiet.
Much has been written on the Bengal famine in India and America, but mostly concentrating on local factors. Madhusree Mukerjee's Churchill's Secret War, however, sets the disaster in its imperial context, showing how the story of the famine was interwoven with the history of Gandhi's "Quit India" movement and the attitudes and priorities of Churchill and his war cabinet. It establishes how Churchill and his associates could easily have stopped the famine with a few shipments of food grains but refused, in spite of repeated appeals from two successive Viceroys, Churchill's own Secretary of State for India and even the President of the United States.
Famines, never unknown in India, became increasingly lethal during the Raj because of the export of food grains and the replacement of food crops with indigo or jute. The Second World War made things worse, especially after Japanese forces occupied Burma in 1942, cutting off Indian rice imports. Then a destructive cyclone hit the Bengal coast just when the crucial winter crop was maturing and the surviving rice was damaged by disease. Officials of the Raj, fearing a Japanese invasion, confiscated everything that might help the invading force – boats, carts, motor vehicles, elephants and, crucially, all the rice available. The Japanese never came but a panicking public – and many crafty businessmen – immediately began to hoard rice and the staple food of the people quickly disappeared from the marketplace.
Government stocks were released but only to feed the people of Calcutta, especially British businesspeople and their employees, railway and port workers and government staff. Controlled shops were opened for less important Calcuttans and the urban population never suffered too greatly. The rural masses, however, were left to the wolves. This was when Churchill could have made a difference by sending wheat or rice to Bengal, and not enormous quantities. The point was to make hoarding unprofitable and as the Viceroy Lord Linlithgow pointed out, "the mere knowledge of impending imports" would have done so by lowering the price of rice.
Churchill and his war cabinet, however, decided to reserve available shipping to take food to Italy in case it fell to the Allies. Indian nationalist Subhas Chandra Bose, then fighting with Axis forces, offered to send rice from Burma but British censors did not even allow his offer to be reported. Australia and Canada were eager to send wheat but virtually all merchant ships plying in the Indian Ocean area had been moved to the Atlantic in order to bring food to Britain, which already had a comfortable stockpile.
So hundreds of thousands perished in the villages of Bengal and, by the middle of 1943, hordes of starving people were flooding into Calcutta, most dying on the streets, often in front of well-stocked shops or restaurants serving lavish meals. The very air of the metropolis, a journalist noted, was pervaded by that "distinctive sourish odour which the victims give off a few hours before the end."
In London, Churchill's beloved advisor, the physicist Frederick Alexander Lindemann (Lord Cherwell), was unmoved. A firm believer in Malthusian population theory, he blamed Indian philoprogenitiveness for the famine – sending more food would worsen the situation by encouraging Indians to breed more. The prime minister was of the same opinion and expressed himself so colourfully that Leo Amery, Secretary of State for India, exploded at him, comparing his attitudes to Hitler's.
The Churchill industry has always denied that their idol could have done anything to relieve the Bengal famine. Shipping, they claim, was scarce and it just wasn't possible to send food to Bengal. Mukerjee nails those "terminological inexactitudes" with precision. There was a shipping glut in summer and autumn 1943, thanks to the US transferring cargo ships to British control. Churchill, Lindemann and their close associates simply did not consider Indian lives worth saving.
Mukerjee has researched this forgotten holocaust with great care and forensic rigour. Mining an extensive range of sources, she not only sheds light on the imperial shenanigans around the famine, but on a host of related issues, such as the flowering of nationalism in famine-hit districts, Churchill's fury about the sterling credit that India was piling up in London, or the dreadful situation in the villages even after the famine was technically over. Her calmly phrased but searing account of imperial brutality will shame admirers of the Greatest Briton and horrify just about everybody else.
Churchill, white supremacist, racist mass murderer.
I hope others are not finding this thread too boring, but I would like to take you to task on some points.
Churchill racist? Well yes very likely, White Supremacist? I'm not sure what that even means but ok I'll go with it and say possibly, Mass Murderer? Complete bollocks.
Here I will quote from Max Hastings book: Finest Years: Churchill as Warlord 1940-45, "The Dunkirk spirit was not spontaneous. It was created by the rhetoric and bearing of one man, displaying powers that will define political leadership for the rest of time." "It was his inspiration that prevented Britain from joining the rest of Europe in surrendering to the might of Nazi Germany."
Not only was Churchill absolutely instrumental in literally saving Britain and European civilisation from
Hitler and Germany, but he went on to take on the evils of the Soviet Union. He was, despite all the uglier aspects of his private personality, despite his outdated Victorian prejudices and values, as true a hero as ever lived.
Getting back to the Bengal famine, even the professor you quote lists the causes of the famine: weather, crop failure, Japanese blocking of food supplies from Burma and crafty businessmen hoarding food stuffs for profit. Interestingly he fails to mention that these crafty businessmen were in fact Indian merchants not British and that it was not until the British Governor General sent in the army to forcibly extract these hoards of food that the stockpiling stopped. I am not saying that decisions made by the War Cabinet back in London didn't add to the suffering and that these decisions weren't made because their priorities lay elsewhere but intentional mass murder ? Come off it mate, that accusation should be laid at the door of the Imperial Japanese army and Nazi Germany who not only started the war but intentionally murdered millions of whites and non-whites.
I would do so far as to say that if the British Indian army hadn't so decisively beaten the Japanese at Kohima and Imphal, Indians would have suffered far more then then they ever did under the Raj.
So I will say yes Churchill was a British hero a truly great Briton and worthy of the high esteem most British people hold him in even with all his personal faults and failings. For what its worth I would have voted Labour in 1945 to kick him out of government, if I had been around at that time, and have never voted Tory in my life.
Did you even read my post Admin? If so you chose not to address any of the points but just repeat your mantra about Churchill. Still that's your prerogative I suppose but it doesn't make for good discussion. If you do want a good book to read about WC then may i suggest the one I referenced above by Max Hastings it really is 'worts and all' (2 points to whoever can tell me who said that🙂)
The Tonypandy riots of 1910 and 1911 (sometimes collectively known as the Rhondda riots) were a series of violent confrontations between coal miners and police that took place at various locations in and around the Rhondda mines of the Cambrian Combine, a cartel of mining companies formed to regulate prices and wages in South Wales. The riots were the culmination of an industrial dispute between workers and the mine owners. The term "Tonypandy riot" initially applied to specific events on the evening of Tuesday 8 November 1910, when strikers, impassioned by extended hand-to-hand fighting with the Glamorgan Constabulary, reinforced by the Bristol City Constabulary, smashed windows of businesses in Tonypandy.
Home Secretary Winston Churchill's decision to allow the British Army to be sent to the area to reinforce the police shortly after 8 November riot caused much ill feeling towards him in South Wales. His responsibility remains a strongly disputed topic
Churchill has been criticised for advocating the use of chemical weapons - primarily against Kurds and Afghans.
"I cannot understand this squeamishness about the use of gas," he wrote in a memo during his role as minister for war and air in 1919.
"I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes," he continued.