Monday, July 02, 2007

A Long and Winding Road (through the newspaper): further

After I left the manta ray article, I fully intended to start searching for the Cheney article- but I was snagged again by this headline; "Why Winston Wouldn't Stand For W"
Anyone who knows me knows that my fondness for cigars and spotted bow ties stems from a deep fascination with Winston S. Churchill.
Winston finds most of his admires these days among Republicans, notable recent admires have been Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. Hardly a ringing endorsement for the P.M. - I realize.
But this is odd, because, in his lifetime, Winston left the Conservative Party as a young man, crossing the aisle to join the Liberals. He returned to the Tories only after the role of opposition was co-opted by the Labor Party (then highly socialist). Churchill made his deepest common cause with American Democrats, and especially Franklin D. Roosevelt.
It's been hard, therefore, for an old fan of Churchill to watch him become co-opted by the Right-Wing (for which I think he would have had very little use- after all, he was Hitler's mightiest opponent.)
And I was especially gratified to find that the author, Lynne Olson, of the book Troublesome Young Men, had drawn the comparison, not between George W. and Churchill, but between George W. and Chamberlain!
Like Bush, Chamberlain also laid claim to unprecedented executive
authority, evading the checks and balances that are supposed to constrain the
office of prime minister. He scorned dissenting views, both inside and outside
Churchill, on the other hand, revered Parliament and was appalled by
Chamberlain's determination to dominate the Commons in the late 1930s. Churchill
considered himself first and foremost "a child" and "servant" of the House of
Commons and strongly believed in the legislature's constitutional role to
oversee the executive...
Just as Bush has done, Chamberlain authorized the wiretapping of
citizens without court authorization; Churchill was among those whose phones
were tapped by the prime minister's subordinates.

Now, that was a detour worth taking!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And I always thought your fondness for cigars and spotted bow ties was because you were....

Oh wait, that's probably too Freudian for this blog.