It is arguable whether the human race have been gainers by the march of science beyond the steam engine. Electricity opens a field of infinite conveniences to ever greater numbers, but they may well have to pay dearly for them. But anyhow in my thought I stop short of the internal combustion engine which has made the world so much smaller. Still more must we fear the consequences of entrusting to a human race so little different from their predecessors of the so-called barbarous ages such awful agencies as the atomic bomb. Give me the horse.
– Winston Churchill, 10 July 1951, Royal College of Physicians, London
‘United wishes and good will cannot overcome brute facts,’ Churchill wrote in his War Memoirs. ‘Truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it. Ignorance may deride it. Malice may distort it. But there it is.’
‘The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.’
-Winston Churchill, House of Commons, 22 October 1945
Fighting is vigorously proceeding, and we shall see who can stand the bucketing best — Briton or Boer.
Churchill, London to Ladysmith via Pretoria
Read More >
One would have thought that if there was one cause in the world which the Conservative party would have hastened to defend, it would be the cause of the British Empire in India … Our fight is hard. It will also be long … But win or lose, we must do our duty. If the British people are to lose their Indian Empire, they shall do so with their eyes open.
Churchill, 18 March 1931
Danger gathers upon our path. We cannot afford – we have no right – to look back. We must look forward
Churchill, 10 December 1936
In politics when you are in doubt what to do, do nothing … when you are in doubt what to say, say what you really think.
Churchill, 26 July 1905, North-West Manchester (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)
In the twinkling of an eye, I found myself without an office, without a seat, without a party, and without an appendix.
Churchill, 1931, ‘Election Memories’, Strand Magazine
Anyone can rat, but it takes a certain amount of ingenuity to re-rat.
Sir John Colville’s diary, The Fringes of Power, paraphrases this well-known phrase of Churchill’s, which may, in fact, be manufactured since no direct attribution can be found, but Richard M. cited in Langworth, editor of Churchill: In His Own Words, feels that ‘re-rat’ has been mentioned by too many sources to doubt that Churchill coined it.
It may seem strange that a great advance in the world in industry, in controls of all kinds, should be made in time of war … War has taught us to make these vast strides forward towards a far more complete equalisation of the parts to be played by men and women in society.
Churchill, 29 September 1943, Royal Albert Hall, London
Read More >
Unteachable from infancy to tomb — There is the first and main characteristic of mankind.
Churchill, 21 May 1928 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)
Read More >
I have consistently urged my friends to abstain from reading it.
Churchill, My Early Life, writing about his only novel Savrola
Read More >
Do not turn the superior eye of critical passivity upon these efforts …. We must not be ambitious. We cannot aspire to masterpieces. We may content ourselves with a joy ride in a paint-box.
Churchill, Painting as a Pastime
‘A gentleman does not have a ham sandwich without mustard.’
Dinner with Churchill: Policymaking at the Dinner Table, Cita Stelzer, p 94.
“The mood of Britain is wisely and rightly averse from every form of shallow or premature exultation. This is no time for boasts or glowing prophecies, but there is this—a year ago our position looked forlorn, and well nigh desperate, to all eyes but our own. Today we may say aloud before an awe-struck world, ‘We are still masters of our fate. We still are captain of our souls.'”
—House of Commons, 9 September 1941