Winston Churchill was one of the most eminent and one of the most debated men of the 20th Century. Churchill was greatly admired at this time of his career (having just won the war) and recaptured his seat in Parliament to represent the Woodford constituency. The British people nevertheless were exhausted of war and didn’t regard Churchill and the Tory Party as the party to “lead the peace”. Therefore, even though Churchill was in Parliament, his party moved to the backbenches as the Labor Party took power and Clement Attlee became Prime Minister.
Churchill won the Second World War, but in the election of July 1945, he was defeated. Many thought that the British public showed flagrant thanklessness. Churchill was still a Member of Parliament, his party lost control of Parliament and thus by tradition the right to the position of Prime Minister.
When the news came out, Churchill was taking a bath (was there ever a statesman who spent more time in the bath?) He commented, “They have a perfect right to kick me out. That is democracy”. When he was offered the Order of the Garter, he asked, “Why should I accept the Order of the Garter, when the British people have just given me the Order of the Boot?”
Recollect Winston Churchill’s prominent dictum from a oration he made at the House of Commons on 11-Nov-1947: “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”
Churchill returned to power in 1951. The remark about democracy was made when he had lost power and had every reason to be bitter. Fortunately, he kept his sense of humor even in the most trying circumstances.
Best Books about Winston Churchill
- ‘Churchill and Secret Service’ by David Stafford
- ‘Churchill: A Study in Greatness’ by Geoffrey Best
- ‘The Iron Curtain: Churchill, America, and the Origins of the Cold War’ by Fraser J Harbutt
- ‘Churchill: A Biography’ by Roy Jenkins
- ‘In Search of Churchill: A Historian’s Journey’ by Martin Gilbert