Sir Winston Churchill died fifty years ago this week and in my view he was the greatest Prime Minister that we've had during my lifetime, and in my father's view he was also the greatest one that he'd had during his lifetime. So that takes us back to the 1899!
To me, Churchill was one of those rare Prime Ministers who achieved as much outside politics as he did as a politician. He wrote numerous books, and these days anyone who wrote so many authoritative books would achieve fame solely on the strength of that alone. But no, he was a soldier, a newspaper war reporter, a painter, a politician and much more before becoming Prime Minister. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953.
My father was a great admirer of Churchill because he was one of the few who spoke out against the appeasement policy of the thirties and who
recognised that, sooner or
later, war with Germany under Hitler was inevitable. This was because my father visited Germany numerous times during the thirties and always said that anyone who was prepared to open their eyes would have seen the preparations for war. Churchill was one of the few who did, and saw what was happening. He was prepared to stand by his convictions regardless of the prevailing political viewpoint.
Certainly, we have had no Prime Minister since Churchill who was such a great orator and could speak with such conviction, which I'm sure was one of the many reasons which made him such a good war-time leader. I'm sure that I will never see, or hear the likes of him again.
A question that I ask myself, from time to time, is who would
lead and inspire this country if we had a major crisis as in 1940? I
simply can't think of anyone either inside or outside the current political establishment who has Churchill's qualities.
Andrew Roberts piece in today's Telegraph is well worth reading.
This site during the election
1 hour ago