Why Winston Chuchill lost the 1945 General Election

A bit of a break from our/Labour’s investigation into why we lost the General Election.
A BBC 2 tv documentary on why Winston Churchill lost in 1945, just after Victory in Europe, but before Victory over Japan.
“Winston: when Britain said No”.
IMG_5024b0442h BBCtv Winston Churchill being heckled at Walthamstow
He’s never been on bus; he’s only been on the Underground once – and that was during the General Strike.”
The programme lists a whole series of jibes and criticisms against Winston Churchill. Anti-working class. Institutionally racist. Capable of big military misjudgements – esp. Gallipoli. Difficult to work with. Useless on domestic policy. Broke the Official Secrets Act in writing his history. Drunk when broadcasting. (Didn’t mention dependence on drugs.) Poor vision. “A buffoon.”
Even – holding views one step away from Fascism.
And as for 1945 – accusing Socialists of needing to introduce a Gestapo.
Now a lot of these criticisms I knew from my upbringing. The trade unionist criticism was often rehearsed way back then.
So I enjoyed the programme immensely. Great to see the film of the rally in Walthamstow that went so badly for him. Do watch the programme.
1. The programme needed to be more careful with the allegations; especially about Fascism. The programme points out how Churchill was especially driven in his resistance to Hitler because he had witnessed a Nuremburg rally. He was not a Fascist, nor was he close to being one. And Churchill did go on to win a General Election – albeit at a third attempt.
s216_Clement-Attlee hm gov2. As wonderful as Clem Attlee was for the country and for Labour, the programme does not do enough to point out how the country had changed. Social differences between the classes had been reduced by the need for the people to work together, often in very intense situations. The country had been run in a planned way, so the idea of a big plan for the country, and nationalisation, was very natural.
Meanwhile, we, the British public, are due a proper appreciation of Clement Attlee; in the meantime, check out this government web-page.


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