As we look back on the anniversary of Winston Churchill's life and his state funeral on January 30, 1965, I think it is easy to forget the stature and importance of the man who led our country through the second world war; and, as we need reminding about the enormity of the crimes commited by Nazi Germany, we need a reminder of the greatness that was: Winston Spencer Churchill.
Sure the man had flaws, some of his policies in Ireland and towards the working class; his policy towards Jews remain an enigma; he certainly did not want Indians and Pakistanis living here and probably not blacks and Muslims either. He was a man that wanted to keep the British Empire, some of his views may have been facistic to some scholars, but Churchill is what he is, he was a man of his time, but, when the moment arose, when Britain stood alone, cometh the moment, cometh the man and that man was Winston Churchill.
The film, 'Young Winston', shows the younger Churchill in his hey day, from being a journalist in South Africa to being a soldier in Sudan fighting the 'Mahdi'. Later he becomes a politician and under Prime Minister Lloyd George, head of the Royal Navy during the first world war; and was responsible for the disaster at Galipoli, since it was Churchill's idea to invade Turkey and knock Turkey out of the war, thus in theory, shortening the war. However. Galipoli was a disaster for the western allies and cost the lives of thousands of allied soldiers, notably the Australians. Churchill then resigned as head of the navy and fought in the trenches as a soldier, which caused his supportive wife, Clemmie, no end of sorrow. After the first world war, Churchill spent time in the political wilderness as it was called. From the beginning Winston saw the dangers of Hitler when he became Chancellor of Germany in 193. Once, while Winston was in Germany, the pair could have met; but Hitler at the last moment, did not bother.
After Chamberlain's debacle as Prime Minister, in 1940, when Britain really did stand alone against the might of Hitler, Churchill steered the country to victory in 1945 but lost the general election in 1945 to Labour and Clement Atlee. He returned to the role of Prime Minister in the early fifties and when he passed away in 1965, everyone turned out to see off this giant of a man, probably the greatest living Englishman of all time.
Boris Johnson, current mayor of London, has written a book about a Churchill and many people today draw comparisons between him and Churchill, that said, where is the Churchill of today to see us through the tough ecconomic times we face as supposedly our ecconomy is getting better, where is the Churchill of today to make us steadfast in the fight against Islamic extremism, probably the greatest threat to the western world since Nazism and Communism?
When you look at the current shower of politicians from whatever party and the choices we face in May's general election and compare them to Winston Churchill, it makes you realize what we lost in 1965 and there are no men of Winston's calibre around today.