You are here:   Features > We Need Churchill's Vison of Liberty More Than Ever
 
From all of the above, it should be clear that in this 21st century of ours there has been, along with an unprecedented growth in global prosperity and alleviation of poverty, both thanks to the spread of Western values, a weakening of the West’s resolve to defend itself and those values. That weakening of resolve is not, it should be emphasised, occurring for the first time. It is true that we face adversaries using methods of a new and alarming kind. But that too has happened before. Why, then, are we seemingly incapable of learning from our own recent history? Let us return to Churchill. In May 1939, the House of Commons was debating Palestine. Churchill — already vindicated in his denunciations of the policy of appeasement, which he saw as a betrayal of the Czechs, by the German occupation of Prague — now turned his attention to the betrayal of the Jews, many of them fleeing the Nazi menace, who had settled in Palestine on the basis of the promise made by the British in the Balfour Declaration. In Churchill’s eyes, that promise would be broken if the British caved in to Arab terrorism. “Never was the need for fidelity and firmness more urgent than now. You are not going to found and forge the fabric of a grand alliance to resist aggression, except by showing continued examples of your firmness in carrying out, even under difficulties, and in the teeth of difficulties, the obligations into which you have entered.”

This typically uncompromising speech is especially quotable now, as we approach the centenary of the Balfour Declaration — that great act of statesmanship which stood for the best of the West. Today, as in the 1930s, we need to stand by our obligations, not only to the Jewish people, but to others threatened by aggression and intolerance. Our fidelity to our principles will determine how soon the West will recover from its present weakened state. The survival of Western civilisation will depend on the strength of its intellectual fortifications: for example, on making the economic case for the free market and the strategic one for rebuilding the military forces of the Atlantic alliance. But it is not good enough to rely on the great thinkers of the past: we must build on their foundations, but with a bold new architecture that can inspire the young to emulate the aspirations of our ancestors. This is a gargantuan and thankless task — as I know to my cost, having devoted the last decade of my life to it. Even Churchill succumbed to depression, his “black dog”, on occasion, as when he wrote to Beaverbrook in 1928: “Unteachable from infancy to tomb — there is the first and main characteristic of mankind.” The new generation now in their teens and twenties, however, restores my faith in the future of humanity. Never could one have found a more appreciative audience: eager to learn, and open to this message. It is a message, despite all our adversities, above all of hope. Into their hands I commend the defence of Western civilisation.
View Full Article
Tags:
 
Share/Save
 
 
 
 
amcdonald
September 15th, 2017
12:09 PM
Freedom Day June 24 2016 The glorious chaotic dawn of our Brexit victory Julie Burchill Kate Hoey Gilbert & George John Lydon Ringo Starr ("Don`t tell Bob Geldof") Morrissey Brexitannia not Remainia We scored 17.4 million goals Remainia scored 16.1 million goals A clear win by Brexitannia The Toeies are still the Nasty Party,the gruel- propaganda party reduced to delusions of adequacy. It`s Julie Burchill not Winston Churchill . It`s Camille Paglia not Hilary Clinton in the USA. I'm popular culture it`s Ringo Starr not Bob Geldof. The Lady of Burma is being compared to Hitler by the Left for not barking for Islam .

Lawrence James
September 4th, 2017
12:09 PM
'Democracies do not fight one another ?'The Confederate States of America v the United States of America . . . Britain against the Boer republics . . . the North German Confederation against France in 1870 ?

Stephen Blendell
August 30th, 2017
7:08 PM
For those who might be interested, there is now one authoritative treatise on liberty, its history and the various types of liberty."Liberty's Progress?" by Prof Gerard Casey has just been published - coincidentally to coincide with this edition of Standpoint!

Post your comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.