23 OCTOBER

CHURCHILL ON THE EXISTENTIAL THREAT OF BARBARIAN BREEDING AND ATOM BOMBS.

On 23 October 1938 the News of the World published an article by Winston Churchill, now widely acknowledged to be among the most admired Britons in history,  entitled “What Other Secrets Does the Inventor Hold ?”  In it he laments the invention of contraception, arguing that it threatens the survival of “more civilised peoples in a world in which the barbarian is breeding against them.”

In the same article Churchill also raises a different sort of threat, which would soon overshadow the whole of humankind. The threat of terminal nuclear war.  Commenting on the extreme danger which might result from the invention of an atomic bomb, he observes that such a device “may spell not only the ruin of the civilization we know, but the end of human dominance of this planet.”(1)  Unfortunately his justifiable concern for continued human existence, did not prevent him later, as British prime minister in 1952, authorizing the testing of Britain’s first nuclear weapon.

FOREIGN SECRETARY ON NEED TO GET A BRITISH FLAG ON AN ATOM BOMB

Over two months after the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagazaki, killing over one hundred thousand people, Ernest Bevin, the Foreign Secretary of Britain’s first post-war Labour government, was attending a meeting of the Atomic Energy Committee. During the secret discussions on 23 October 1945, he was forthright in asserting Britain’s need to demonstrate its military muscle in order to retain its international prestige, explaining that

“We’ve got to have this thing over here, whatever it costs… We’ve got to have the bloody Union Jack on top of it.”(2)

GALLOWAY EXPELLED FROM THE LABOUR PARTY FOR OPPOSING BRITAIN’S ILLEGAL INVASION OF IRAQ.

On this day in 2003, George Galloway MP, was expelled from the Labour Party for his vocal opposition to the government’s military assault on Iraq, a war which was commenced without any approval from parliament or any United Nations mandate, and had led to the death of over 650,000 Iraqis by 2006 according to a detailed report by the medical Journal, the Lancet.[3] Galloway responded to the decision by declaring that it “was a politically motivated kangaroo court whose verdict had been written in advance in the best tradition of political show trials.”[4]

 

FOOTNOTES

  1. Winston Churchill quoted in Graham Farmelo (2014), “Churchill’s Bomb: A Hidden History of Britian’s First Nuclear Weapons Programme,” Faber and Faber, London, p93
  2. Ernest Bevin quoted in Graham Farmelo (2014), “Churchill’s Bomb: A Hidden History of Britain’s First Nuclear Weapons Programme,” Faber and Faber, London, p324-325.
  3. Ruth Winstone (Editor), Tony Men, “More Time for Politics: Diaries, 2001-2007,” Arrow Books, London p149.
  4. BBC Profile “George Galloway,” accessed online on 4 September 2018 at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/4539429.stm

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