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Susan Green

Churchill, Tory Imperialist

(13 August 1945)

From Labor Action, Vol. IX No. 33, 13 August 1945, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

For the present at least, the political sun has set on the Rt. Hon. Winston Churchill – that outstanding protagonist of British imperialism. He has been in public life for almost half a century, serving the interests of British capitalists and bankers. So well, indeed, has he served them that at the zenith of his career, he became the personification of John Bull’s imperialist pugnacity.

Prior to his advent to parliament as a conservative member in 1900, young Churchill saw military service both in Egypt and in India, where the British army was employing their well-known persuasion upon colonial people. Churchill has, as correspondent and author, written about this saga of British Empire. British troops methodically destroying Indian houses, polluting wells, burning crops, wiping out village after village with all their inhabitants –these acts of official barbarism became for Churchill part of the glory of the British Empire. They also became his model for treating all people in revolt.

In his own words, the Indian national movement “and all it stands for will have to be grappled with and finally crushed. It is no use trying to satisfy a tiger by feeding him with cat’s meat.” By “cat’s meat” Churchill meant the sops the British ruling class sees fit to throw to the Indian people. However, the tiger of Indian revolt to date, is uncrushed –only waiting to spring. Even the starvation tactics practiced by the Churchill government have not killed it. In the recent famine, the Indian people were dying by thousands – literally lying in the streets of Calcutta and other famine-stricken areas – but the Churchill government did nothing. Then it came across with too little and too late. But the freight cars, at the height of the famine, were carrying race horses so that the British officials could lay down the“white man’s burden” at the race tracks.

Churchill served the British ruling class in diversified capacities. He has been Under Secretary and Secretary for Colonies, President of the Board of Trade, Home Secretary, First Lord of Admiralty, Minister of Munitions, Secretary for War and Air, Chancellor of the Exchequer. For some years he was a member of the Liberal Party, but his liberalism was always motivated, by the best interests of the British rulers. As Minister of Munitions in 1917 and as Secretary of War and Air in 1918–21, he used his influence to fight the Russian Revolution. Even the Encyclopedia Britannica, which chooses only the high points of a man’s career, finds necessary to note that under Churchill’s inspiration expensive campaigns were conducted against the Bolsheviks.

Once more a conservative member of parliament in 1924, he was made Chancellor of the Exchequer. He was holding this office when the general strike of 1926, with its revolutionary implications, shook the land. His hatred of people’s movements and revolution went up several notches. He played an important role with the class-collaborating labor leadership, to stab the strikers in the back.

A Pro-Fascist

As between Socialism and Fascism, Churchill does not hesitate in his choice. In a famous speech to a group of Italian fascists, he said: “If I had been an Italian, I am sure that I should have been wholeheartedly with you from the start to finish in your triumphant struggle against the bestial appetites and passions of Leninism.” The struggle of the Italian workers for a better life than post-World War I capitalism was giving them, was to Churchill “bestial appetites and passions.” The force, terror and refined castor oil-torture applied by Mussolini’s black shirts to the people, Churchill called a “triumphant struggle.”

Because he succeeded the appeasing Chamberlain to the premiership– to protect the British Empire from the Nazi world order –the impression was created that Churchill was anti-Hitler and anti-Nazi in ideology. Nothing is farther from the truth, Churchill was one of Hitler’s most ardent admirers, Churchill’s own words prove this:

“I have always said that if Great Britain were defeated in war I hope we would find a Hitler to lead us back to our rightful position among nations. I am sorry, however, that he has not mellowed by the great success that has attended him. The whole world would rejoice to see a Hitler of peace and tolerance; and nothing would adorn his name in world history so much as acts of magnanimity, mercy and pity to the forlorn, friendless, weak and poor.”

Upheld the Empire

Throughout the war the Churchill government raised neither voice nor finger against the “neutral” Franco who was supplying Hitler with precious wolfram and other war material, providing U-boat bases, and maintaining the Blue Legion against the Russians. It may seem strange that in a war to protect the British Empire, Churchill should have done nothing to stop Spanish help to Hitler – but strange only on the surface. The interests of imperialism are ramified, not simple. Franco, the fascist, had in Spain conducted a“triumphant struggle” against the Spanish people. Churchill preferred, at the entrance to the Mediterranean lifeline of the British Empire, to have the bloody Franco regime rather than a people’s government. To weaken that regime from without, would be a signal to the chafing Spanish people to take power. Between the Spanish people and bloody fascism, Churchill quite naturally chose the latter, knowing that even with Franco’s help Hitler would be licked by the greater economic and military power of the Big Three. The United States government did not object.

The bloody attack by the British army on the national liberation movement of Greece, will not soon be forgotten by the working people of the world. How Churchill opened up his oratorical batteries, to synchronize with the roar of the guns in Athens, calling the anti-Nazi fighters “gangs of bandits, ” “bands of gangsters, ” “murder gangs’ and “ruffians.”Why? Because he didn’t want the Greek people to establish their own government so near the Suez canal and the British Levantine sphere of influence. Both Stalin and Roosevelt concurred in this imperialist murder plot.

This was the government that closed the gates of salvation to Jews who might have escaped Nazi extermination, if they could have entered Palestine. They were barred. This was the government that pitted Arab against Jew to prevent the peaceful development of Palestine. All was done for the almighty pound, for oil and trade, for colonial power, for British capitalists and bankers.

The Rt. Hon. Winston Churchill and his right honorable Conservative Party have met their Nemesis in the British people. It was fitting and proper that in the election this man who so well personified the inhumanity and reactionary core of the British Empire, should have made something of a fool of himself. For while he was ranting against a “socialist dictatorship” and using“red scare” tactics, the people were quietly resolving to take a step towards realizing their social aims – even if it is as yet only a groping step in the direction of Socialism.

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Last updated: 16 December 2017