June 9, 2013

Finest Hour 141, Winter 2008-09

Page 8

Around and About


Actress Billie Piper gave birth in October to a 6 lb. 11 oz. son whom she and her husband, actor Laurence Fox, named Winston James. “It’s a good name, isn’t it?” said Mr. Fox. According to The Press Association, “Winston” derives from an expression meaning “joyful stone.” Both Sir Winston and Laurence Fox, who belongs to an acting dynasty that includes his father James and uncle Edward, went to Harrow School.

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A columnist for the Daily Telegraph (London) posted another of those columns suggesting that G.W. Bush is not like Winston Churchill (http://xrl.us/osbtf). Fair point, but too easy—it’s like saying that Madonna is not like Mother Theresa. The column drew this comment on the Telegraph chatlist: “Comparisons and contrasts? Drunk most of the time. Wanted to use chemical weapons. Started the bombing of civilian targets. And that’s just off the top of my head. Had the alternative media been around, Churchill’s reputation might not be written in stone.” Given this chance to shoot fish in a barrel (and armed with Prof. David Freeman’s review, FH 139:16), this was just too good to resist:

“Drunk most of the time”: None of his family or colleagues ever saw him the worse for drink.

“Wanted to use chemical weapons”: Wanted to use tear gas. It was Himmler who fancied Zyklon B. There is a difference.

“Started the bombing of civilian targets”: Presumably the writer has not heard of Rotterdam, Warsaw and Guernica; and what were Zeppelins doing over England in the Great War?

“And that’s just off the top of my head:” We take that as his excuse.

“Had the alternative media been around, Churchill’s reputation might not be written in stone”: It’s around now, why isn’t it busy? See “Leading Churchill Myths” (xrl.us/fk6by). Maybe that’s not alternative enough.

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