History lesson

editorial image
Have your say

While APB (The Star, July 23) might have been wrong about the identity of the Prime Minister at the time of the Jarrow March (it was Stanley Baldwin and his Chancellor of the Exchequer was Neville Chamberlain) the “let them eat grass” remark he attributes to Winston Churchill fits in well with that politician’s earlier attitude to marchers and strikers.

It is well-known that Churchill was a “hawk” at the time of the General Strike - which is ironic given that it was his disastrous decision as Chancellor in 1924 to return to the Gold Standard that created the depression in the coal industry that triggered the Strike.

During the Strike Churchill argued in Cabinet that food convoys into London should have an armed guard, including soldiers with hidden machine guns. He was overruled by his colleagues, just as he was in 1927 when he tried to persuade them to intercept a march by 220 hungry and footsore miners to prevent them reaching the capital because he thought they represented “a threat to the nation”.

Some people are, clearly, blinded to Churchilll’s faults by his reputation as a War Leader. I can only refer them to a book by the distinguished Conservative MP and historian, Robert Rhodes James, entitled “Churchill - A Study in Failure”.

Paul Kenny