'Here’s more fake outrage from Conservatives – this time at John McDonnell’s, entirely accurate, assertion that Sir Winston Churchill was a wrong ‘un.
I’m glad my brother, Doctor of History David Sivier (also known as Beastrabban), is around to give a learned historical perspective on this matter.
Mr McDonnell was answering quick-fire questions on the Politico website, including: “Winston Churchill. Hero or villain?” McDonnell replied: “Tonypandy – villain.”
Here’s the Beast:
This referred to the Tonypandy riots of 1910, when striking miners were shot down by the army after clashing with the police. According to the I’s article on the controversy on page 23 of Wednesday’s edition, Churchill initially refused requests to send in the troops, instead sending a squad of metropolitan police. Troops were also sent in to stand in reserve in Cardiff and Swindon. Following further rioting, Churchill sent in the 18th Hussars. He later denied it, but it was widely believed that he had given orders to use live rounds. There’s still very strong bitterness amongst Welsh working people about the massacre. The I quoted Louise Miskell, a historian at Swansea University, who said that ‘He is seen as an enemy of the miners’.
So there’s precedent for Margaret Thatcher’s behaviour in the 1980s, then.
Apparently Boris Johnson was outraged about this. He has written a biography of Churchill, and claimed the former prime minister “saved this country and the whole of Europe from a barbaric fascist and racist tyranny, and our debt to him is incalculable”.
It’s certainly the popular interpretation of Churchill’s contribution to history.
But if we look into his career, we find that perhaps “Winnie” was only saving Europe from a barbaric fascist and racist German tyranny, as he was regularly willing to impose his own brand of barbarism and racism wherever he could.'
Read more: Winston Churchill was not a paragon of humanity. Why are Tories pretending to be shocked?