1945 GE: Why was Churchill turned out?

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Slipdigit, Jul 28, 2007.

  1. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target All life is precious

    Once again this is Bill Beadle, at this time working as a Public Relations Officer for a Pharmaceutical Company in London. He later joined the Territorial Army rising to Bombardier in a Coastal Defence Battery. Recommended for a Commission, he went to OCTU then the 67th Field Regt RA TA. He was killed by a landmine North of Florence 2nd Sept 1944.
    He writes of Churchill and various pre war personalities, visits by the King and Churchill, the Coal Strikes of the 1940's
    These are his words from his letters written at the time. They reveal a world that would never be the same again.
    If anyone should be truly interested in Great Britain prior to and during World War 2
    You are welcome to PM me.

    This personal letter is part of a heated exchange of views with his younger brother.
    Letter undated circa 1939/40.
    I have never posted this in such detail as it is somewhat political and I doubt the ability of modern Brits let alone Americans, to understand or appreciate it. The words Capitalism, Socialism and Communism have, post McCarthy been raised to a status unimagined at this time. Compared to the 1940's we have all become American. It needs to be read in context with his other letters.

    “My inside information” as you term it, gives me no cast-iron explanation for the “growth of gloomy and depressing statements” – but my common sense does. In that respect, allow me to offer a few remarks apropos perspicacious analysis of the leadership question. “We might as well stick up old Ironside and acknowledge a military dictatorship” you conclude. Whether or not you realised or intended, the paragraph from which that sentence came was in its spirit an exact definition of the state of mind – which broadly speaking – exists before fascism is accepted as the only alternative to weak and bungling “democracy”. You’ll probably smile at that, in view of my “pink past” but I am convinced that it is the correct interpretation. The one concrete lesson that recent history teaches though, is just that. Democracy is busting because it is weighted down by the Chamberlains and Churchills and you can’t deny they are the representatives of Capitalism. The whole tragedy of it – to me at any rate- is the apparently inexorable law that under such circumstances – the one body which could come to the rescue – The Labour Party – is drawn un-protesting along with the Chamberlains until fascism comes along and wipes it up. It happened in Italy and Germany; its happened these last months in France; it didn’t happen in Spain but our Labour Party and that of France more than compensated for that omission
    The whole argument of the Labour leaders – that evolution not revolution should be the means of gaining Socialism falls down just when Socialism is threatened. What in God’s name is the use of teetering along behind the National Government at a time like this, when the whole atmosphere is ready made for fascism? If you want an explanation of the “gloomy statements” therefore, I suggest you review the facts of the situation at the present time and draw the obvious conclusions. The fact that the cost of living has gone up more than 25% - that any working class movement that has the guts is pressing for wage increases; that the country is spending 6-9 million’s a day; that to preserve the present system of wages and profits is impossible; that Simon and the Times are saying “the rich can pay no more. The poor must pay”. This is the “classic” class war of Marx and Lenin – whom I fear you haven’t read. The result of this war will be either capitulation by Simon et al and readjustment of the economic system on a more socialistic basis; or your military dictatorship; suppression of trade unions, vicious spirals, electoral rights and demands for wages. “Getting down to rationing in earnest” as you suggest is the reason for our gloomy leaders. Whether they are Machiavellian enough to intend at the same time to prepare us for the road that France has taken, is open to question. Personally I think that Chamberlain is honest enough in his way and therefore all the more dangerous. He might well resign in order to give way to a more “forcible” administration but the fact would remain that he and his pals had prepared the ground for the totalitarians. All this may read like “The Daily Worker” but as I say I think its mainly true. I often wonder as I listen to the news or read “The Telegraph” whether my left wing views are not far-fetched and my “rebellious instinct” misleading. But in view of the of the actual happenings in the world since 1936 – when I went all left book club – there doesn’t seem any room for doubt that the theories of Marx, Engels and Lenin are amazingly in accordance with “things as they are”. It’s just like watching a play – and that illusion is all the more apparent when I turn the pages of my press cutting book. And there for the moment I will turn off the tap of eloquence and hope that you manage to appreciate my point of view.

    A few weeks later written to their mother:

    Last week passed with many a qualm of conscience but every time I thought of writing a letter all I could think of was politics – and man doth not live by Reds alone (ha- ha).
    Not that there is that much to talk on tonight but at least I feel more full of the milk and water of human kindness. Last week was a blackspot. Not enough sleep probably – and a bad send off

    One comment while I think of it did you notice that in the Altmark business, Chamberlain in his statement referred to the “newspaper reports” in Norway as though they were official Norwegian statements. Some difference from those times when after a week he said in an answer to questions that he could not accept newspaper reports as evidence that the Italians were landing troops in Spain. In fact it seems that Graham was right about International Law “Non Intervention” was our idea and the Norwegians mustn’t infringe our copyright. Not that I object to the rescue of 300 sailors, I’m all for it but why not admit that there’s no such thing as “International Law” and to resume our argument of last Sunday Week why not see that Chamberlain’s still a dirty old twister and the Liberals who eat with him need elastic consciences as well as long spoons. “I see it in the Papers” – for what they’re worth that we are likely to be defending our country against that bestial brute (Hitler/Stalin cross out which does not apply) before June is out. Alas woe is me. I’d work in a summer holiday before I became a number. Maybe if I’m lucky I’ll be able to cadge a week before the end of May. Such enthusiasm. And with that patriotic thought I’ll leave you.

    However with the latest news of Finland, let us be wish fulfilling and hope that his training (and mine !) may be somewhat longer than it might have been. Politics here raises an early head – because I can’t help reminding you of the way you proclaimed at my last visit “OK we should never send troops to Finland”. Or do you get out of it by saying that we never intended to anyway….. and that those 50,000 men with their naval escort, were only brought out of the bag when the stable door was locked in Moscow?

    Maybe I did write to G in my usual carelessly cynical way, hinting that my love of argument was being paternally misunderstood as a sign of warped intellect. My “unquiet spirit” to use your own pleasant phrase remains no more or less “unquiet” than it has ever been. As you know it is unlikely ever to subscribe to any majority verdict which includes the Rt. Honourable Chamberlain, Not so simple Simon and others of that ilk. This, you may agree with me, is a sweeping arbitrary of faith – or lack of faith. But I’m afraid it’s there and I am honest enough to admit it. “You are either for me or against me” is a maxim which at least I trust and however much you may persuade me with arguments that war with Chamberlain is a good thing at heart I shall not agree. I am against Chamberlain a negative way of putting it – which does not necessarily imply that I am for Joe Stalin, or the martyrdom of Finns.

    By the end of the summer of he was in the Territorial Army and as the author of his his later Obituary would write, his eventual rendezvous with death.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2022
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  2. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    The Missing Hancocks - Series 4 - Prime Minister Hancock - BBC Sounds

    Hancock stands for Parliament, with no success whatsoever. But in his dreams he's swept to power on a landslide, and the country salutes......Prime Minister Hancock. Written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, and with the classic score re-recorded by the BBC Concert Orchestra, the show stars Kevin McNally, Kevin Eldon, Simon Greenall, Robin Sebastian and Susy Kane. Prime Minister Hancock was first broadcast on the 31st May, 1955. Produced by Neil Pearson & Hayley Sterling. Written by Ray Galton & Simpson
     
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  3. Son of LAC

    Son of LAC Active Member

    David Niven (actor) was an officer in A Squadron of Phantom. In "The Moon's a Balloon" he said that at one time he organised debates to keep the men from getting bored.

    "One thing stuck out a mile during these debates: The vast majority of men who had been called up to fight for their country held the Conservative Party entirely responsible for the disruption of their lives and under no circumstances would they vote for it next time there was an election — Churchill or no Churchill."
     
  4. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    I agree with what Alan Allport said on WWIITV recently: the British Army vote for Labour was a vote against the Sergeant Major. Except for a few realists like Roland Adam, the army's top leadership doesn't seem to have grasped the nature and extent of the social changes which had occurred in Britain between the wars.
     
  5. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    I agree with what Alan Allport said on WWIITV recently: the British Army vote for Labour was a vote against the Sergeant Major. Except for a few realists like Roland Adam, the army's top leadership doesn't seem to have grasped the nature and extent of the social changes which had occurred in Britain between the wars.
     

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