I’m tired of the way historical fact is continually sacrificed in Britain on the altar of national mythology.
A recent example of such distortion comes from Andrew Roberts and Zewditu Gebreyohanes, who have written a paper that can be found online entitled ‘”The Racial Consequences of Mr Churchill”: A Review’. They attempt to refute various arguments that were made by academics about Churchill and the Second World War during a panel discussion at Churchill College.
Roberts and Gebreyohanes fail to establish their claims on the basis of the historical record. Instead there is omission, misrepresentation and denial intended to protect Britain’s national mythology, as well as a broader narrative about “Western Civilisation”.
A non-exhaustive sample of their arguments in the paper:
- Churchill (and, by extension, Britain and its empire) played a critical role in the defeat of Hitler and the Nazis
- There is no comparison between Nazism and British imperialism
- Churchill’s racial views cannot be paralleled with those of the Nazis
- Churchill’s remarks about race, in his context, were not meant to be hateful
It is my intention to go through this paper and evaluate some of these claims in the light of my research into Churchill, the Empire and the Second World War. In doing so I’ll try to separate fact from mythology until the historical record shines through.