‘We Shall Hold Our Own,’ Says Churchill

Still Defending the British Empire

(13 September 1943

From Labor Action, Vol. 7 No. 37, 13 September 1943, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for MIA.

Winston Churchill is a bold and confident capitalist leader, and his words are always worth watching. He is also bold and confident from natural temperament. That is why the Baldwins, Chamberlains, Samuel Hoares and all the petty politicians who fattened on the sweets of office in peacetime hated him and did their utmost to keep him out of office.

Conflict of policy there was, but less than appears at first sight. When the war came, everybody knew Churchill had to come in. They admitted him grudgingly and, as was expected, he has eclipsed them all.

But Churchill is bold and confident for another, and far more important, reason: he has the Labor Party leadership in Britain tamed. Far more than Roosevelt, he can speak without having to face a stir of opposition among the people which can be used by political opponents. It is this which allows Churchill to give free rein to his fluent, counter-revolutionary tongue and express the schemes and plots cooked up by himself and Roosevelt. Observe —

Defender of British Imperialism

Churchill startled the liberals and the people everywhere by saying openly of the British Empire: “We shall hold our own.” He said that he was not going to preside at the liquidation of the British Empire. He said this chiefly to Wendell Willkie, but also to Franklin Roosevelt. But he could say this so shamelessly only because the Labor Party leaders in Britain were committed to his policy on India. Had they been opposed to him, he has sense enough to know that it would not have been wise to speak so openly.

People were shocked when Roosevelt showed himself so tender to Badoglio and the House of Savoy. But for months Churchill had felt himself free to say: “One man alone (Mussolini) in Italy is responsible.” Obviously, he was preparing the way for a deal with the real culprits, the Italian capitalist class. But note that he said it, while Roosevelt was silent.

There are other instances. Now, recently, Churchill made two speeches. Both of them came immediately after long conferences with Roosevelt. One significant part of the Quebec broadcast goes as follows:

“Certainly we see all Europe rising under Hitler’s tyranny, and what is now happening in Denmark is only another example. Certainly we see the Germans hated as no race has ever been hated in human history, or with such good reason.”

Fear of the European Masses

So far, so good. But note now what follows: “We see them sprawled over a dozen once free and happy countries with their talons making festering wounds, the scars of which will never be effaced.”

Why does Churchill go out of his way to emphasize that the bitterness between the German people and the people of Europe will “never be healed”? It is because he is afraid (1) of Stalin’s determination to bolster up a de-Hitlerized Germany, and if that is the only means of getting his way in Europe; (2) of a proletarian revolution in the main countries of the Continent, which could open a road for the German proletariat.

What Churchill means is that rather than see that, he will do everything possible to emphasize the bitterness and keep Europe divided. A few days before, however, Roosevelt had said that the masses of the people in the Axis countries had nothing to fear. The real policy of these two, you may be sure, came from the mouth of Churchill.

Now, in his latest speech at Harvard, the English Prime Minister has calmly enunciated a truly monstrous doctrine. He blandly proposes that Britain and America rule the world by force of arms, even aiming at making everybody speak English.

And Contempt For Labor

Roosevelt has not dared to be so open. But it is good to know from their own mouths exactly what is in the minds of these defenders of a rotten and dying system. And it is important for workers to note that Churchill’s contempt for public opinion can be exercised so freely because the official opposition in England, the labor leaders, has sold out completely and has no policy of its own.

Note that Churchill brought to Quebec his wife, his daughter, bis Foreign Secretary, his Minister of Information (called in Germany, Minister of Propaganda), his chief of the Army, his chief of the Navy, his chief of the Air Force. But no single member of the British Labor Party was there!

Let no one think that when Churchill says: “We shall hold our own,” he speaks for the British people. In nine cases out of ten, he speaks for the imperialist counter-revolutionaries. For the moment, it is sufficient to say that the majority of the British people, the great masses of the workers in particular, have ideas fundamentally different from his. They cannot get the opportunity to express them and to clarify them because the labor leaders echo Churchill and confuse and suppress the people in the name of “national defense.”

Let us listen carefully to Churchill. Let us remember that he can say openly what Roosevelt thinks but prefers not to say. Roosevelt acts! And let us have no doubt that the great body of the people in Britain and America will sooner or later express themselves. We help them to do so by exposing the real policies of the wily Roosevelt and the bold and impudent Churchill.

Last updated on 12 June 2015