1920-1939 | 2000-2009 | Churchill's crimes | Iraq | Racism



Churchill giving a speech in January 1939 (Levan Ramishvilli via Flickr) 
Churchill giving a speech in January 1939 (Levan Ramishvilli via Flickr

[ 23 October 1938 ]

Today, Winston Churchill is widely acknowledged to be among the most admired Britons in history. Historians, aware of the sensitivity of writing anything too critical of the legend, rarely mention a significant number of his decisions and writings which reveal a deeply flawed character. On 23 October 1938, for instance, he published an article in the News of The World, entitled ‘What Other Secrets Does the Inventor Hold ?’ He lamented the invention of contraception, warning that it threatened the survival of ‘more civlised people in a world in which the barbarian is breeding against them.’ Churchill’s dogmatic insistence on the intellectual superiority of the Anglo-Saxon race was a scarily similar standpoint to the views espoused by the idealogues in the Nazi party and architects of the holocaust. Just two weeks after Churchill penned these words, Hitler’s government encouraged its citizens to take to the streets in an orgy of violence and vandalism, known as Kristallnacht, breaking into Jewish shops and homes, and burning down synagogues.

In the same article Churchill also commendably 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.


George Galloway at a Stop the War protest in February 2007. David Martyn Hunt – CC BY 2.0 – via Flickr.
George Galloway at a Stop the War protest in February 2007.
David Martyn Hunt – CC BY 2.0 – via Flickr.

[ 23 October 2003 ]

On 23 October 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 initiated without any approval from parliament or any United Nations mandate. By 2006, the conflict had led to the death of over 650,000 Iraqis, according to a detailed report by the medical Journal, the Lancet.2 Galloway declared that the decision to expel him was taken by ‘a politically motivated kangaroo court whose verdict had been written in advance in the best tradition of political show trials.’3


  1. Winston Churchill cited in Graham Farmelo, Churchill’s Bomb: A Hidden History of Britian’s First Nuclear Weapons Programme, Faber and Faber, London, 2014, p. 93.
  2. Sarah Boseley, ‘655,000 Iraqis killed since invasion,’ The Guardian, 11 October 2006 accessed online at url https://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/oct/11/iraq.iraq and Ruth Winstone (Editor), Tony Men, More Time for Politics: Diaries, 2001-2007, Arrow Books, London, p. 149.
  3. BBC Profile ‘George Galloway,’ accessed online at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/4539429.stm

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