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Henry Judd

Winston Churchill:

Knight of St. George or Imperialist Aristocrat
and Friend of Reaction?

(January 1942)

From Labor Action, Vol. 6 No. 1, 5 January 1942, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

“I am a child of the House of Commons. I was brought up to believe in democracy; trust the people ... I have been in full harmony with the tides which have flowed on both sides of the Atlantic against privileges and monopoly and I have steered confidently toward the Gettysburg ideal of government of the people, by the people, for the people.” (Winston Churchill to the American Congress)

Seldom has human history recorded so many misstatements in so few words uttered by one man!

Winston Churchill – head of the British Conservative (Tory) Party; Winston Churchill – Prime Minister of the greatest imperialist power on the face of the earth, the British Empire; Winston Churchill – imperial leader of the English capitalist class which rules over 500 million colonial peoples in Asia and Africa; Winston Churchill – man of the “old school” ties, offspring of Anglo-American aristocracy, descendant of the Duke of Marlborough – this is a more accurate portrait.

Since Churchill’s arrival in Washington two weeks ago the American press, radio and propaganda institutions have outdone themselves in the Churchill build-up. Franklin Delano Roosevelt has temporarily receded into the background before the more dramatic and colorful leader of the British Empire. As a cynic remarked, “Churchill did everything but take out his first papers!”

Knight Of St. George?

Churchill is portrayed to us as the fighting symbol of world democracy, as the resolute representative of the British people, as the embodiment of “good” against “evil,” as the hope for a shining future, as a modern Knight of St. George come to slay, in mouth-filling Victorian oratory, the Nazi dragon.

But Labor Action finds it necessary to remind its readers that Churchill is here for other reasons – more sinister reasons – than campaign and warlike oratory.

Churchill is here to plot with Roosevelt the future course of the imperialist war in which both nations, England and America, are now engaged. Behind the talk of “world-wide strategy,” “unified command,” “plans for taking the offensive,” “divisions of supplies and resources” lie many sacrifices and heart aches planned for the people of America and England alike:

  1. The representatives of “democratic” imperialism are planning where, when and how to set millions of American boys on the transports going to the battle fields of Africa, of Asia and Europe. In a word, they are dealing with and, in their own way, settling the fate of countless numbers of American youth, British soldiery and Allied forces.
  2. They are seeking to iron out various differences that arise from British and American commercial and economic rivalry. All is not brotherly love between the “Allies” when the question of who gets what arises. But Churchill, as is proven by the fact that HE – not FDR – undertakes the hazardous journey, is yielding to America, as he must. He has told Roosevelt straightforwardly that henceforth America must bear the burden of the war in terms of manpower, supplies and resources.

Churchill – The Man

And what about Winston Churchill, the man? Labor Action, after examining his references, his character witnesses, his experience, etc., finds him well qualified to play the role of militarist, imperialist, war-monger, racial jingo, Tory, colonial slave-holder, opponent of labor unions, arch-conservative.

Ex-Friend of Hitler:I have always said that if Great Britain were defeated in war I hoped we would find a Hitler to lead us back to our rightful position among nations.” (Winston Churchill in a speech, November 11, 1938.)

Ex-Friend of Mussolini:If I had been an Italian I should have been wholeheartedly with you (the fascists) from start to finish in your triumphant struggle against the bestial appetites and passions of Leninism.” (Winston Churchill in a speech, January 21, 1927.)

Head of the British Tory Party: This is what he wrote about that party back in 1908 when he was a Liberal:

“A party of great vested interests banded together in a formidable confederation ... the tyranny of a well-oiled party machine, sentiment by the bucketful, patriotism and imperialism by the imperial pint ... dear food for the millions, cheap labor for the millionaires. That is the policy which the Tory Party offers you.”

Militarist, and War-Monger

Militarist and War-Monger: First Lord of the Admiralty during the last World War. Organized and planned the disastrous Gallipoli campaign against the Turks. Organized and planned the British intervention expeditions against the Russian Revolution at Archangel. Participated actively in England’s war of conquest against the Boers in South Africa. Led British troops on the northwest frontier of India against rebellious tribesmen where he specialized in burning villages and pillaging the homes of defenseless natives.

Tory and Colonial Slave Master: Churchill has an unenviable reputation in the colonies and particularly in India. He has consistently opposed every extension of democracy to the colonial peoples forced to live under British rule.

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