Winston Churchill: The original “compassionate conservative”

Posted by jonjayray on Wednesday, 18 May 2005 05:07.

Perhaps I have missed it but I have not seen any comparisons between GWB and Winston Churchill. Yet their policies and views are strikingly similar.  Note the following speech by Churchill to the Conservative Party Conference, on 5 October 1946 (From The Sinews of Peace, ed. Randolph S. Churchill, London, 1948, p. 213-215).  I have highlighted a few points in red:-

“It certainly would be an error of the first order for us to plunge out into a programme of promises and bribes in the hopes of winning the public favour. But if you say to me: `What account are we to give of the policy of the Conservative Party? What are we to say of our theme and our cause and of the faith that is in us?’ That is a question to which immediate answer can always be given.

Our main objectives are: To uphold the Christian Religion and resist all attacks upon it. To defend our Monarchical and Parliamentary Constitution. To provide adequate security against external aggression and safety for our seaborne trade. To uphold law and order, and impartial justice administered by courts free from interference or pressure on the part of the executive. To regain a sound finance and strict supervision of national income and expenditure. To defend and develop our empire trade, without which Great Britain would perish. To promote all measures to improve the health and social conditions of the people. To support as a general rule free enterprise and initiative against State trading and nationalisation of industries.

To this I will add some further conceptions. We oppose the establishment of a Socialist State, controlling the means of production, distribution and exchange. We are asked, ‘What is your alternative?’

Our Conservative aim is to build a property-owning democracy, both independent and interdependent. In this I include profit-sharing schemes in suitable industries and intimate consultation between employers and wage-earners. In fact we seek so far as possible to make the status of the wage-earner that of a partner rather than of an irresponsible employee. It is in the interest of the wage-earner to have many other alternatives open to him than service under one all-powerful employer called the State. He will be in a better position to bargain collectively and production will be more abundant; there will be more for all and more freedom for all when the wage-earner is able, in the large majority of cases, to choose and change his work, and to deal with a private employer who, like himself, is dependent upon his personal thrift, ingenuity and good-housekeeping.  In this way alone can the traditional virtues of the British character be preserved. We do not wish the people of this ancient island reduced to a mass of State-directed proletariats, thrown hither and thither, housed here and there, by an aristocracy of privileged officials or privileged party, sectarian or Trade Union bosses. We are opposed to the tyranny and victimisation of the closed shop. Our ideal is the consenting union of million, of free, independent families and homes to gain their livelihood and to serve true British glory

and world peace.

Freedom of enterprise

and freedom of service are not possible without elaborate systems of safeguards against failure, accident or misfortune. We do not seek to pull down improvidently all structures of society, but to erect balustrades upon the stairway of life, which will prevent helpless or foolish people from falling into the abyss. Both the Conservative and Liberal Parties have made notable contributions to secure minimum standards of life and labour. I too have borne my part in this. It is 38 years ago since I introduced the first Unemployment Insurance scheme, and 22 years ago since, as Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer, I shaped and carried the Widows’ Pensions and reduction of the Old Age Pensions from 70 to 65 - We are now moving forward into another vast scheme of national insurance which arose, even in the stress of war, from a Parliament with a great Conservative majority. It is an essential principle of Conservative, Unionist, and Tory policy - call it what you will - to defend the general public against abuses by monopolies and against restraints on trade and enterprise, whether these evils come from private corporations, from the mischievous plans of doctrinaire Governments, or from the incompetence and arbitrariness of departments of State. Finally, we declare ourselves the unsleeping opponents of all class, all official or all party privilege, which denies the genius of our island race, whose sparks fly upwards unceasingly from the whole people, its rightful career reward and pre-eminence alike in peace and war.”

Tags: Conservatism



Comments:


1

Posted by Mark Richardson on Wed, 18 May 2005 05:37 | #

We’ve been through this before, but for me the speech only indicates that Churchill in 1946 was more a free market right-liberal rather than a statist left-liberal.

To be a conservative, rather than an economic liberal, you have to go beyond the idea of believing in free markets and preservation of law and order.

True, Churchill does mention a defence of Christianity. But under his (later) Prime Ministership there was a rapid increase in non-Christian immigration into Britain. So even here some other principle overrode a practical commitment to conserving Britain as a Christian country.


2

Posted by Guessedworker on Wed, 18 May 2005 06:05 | #

He was not a Conservative, Mark, but a life-long Whig.


3

Posted by jonjayray on Wed, 18 May 2005 06:37 | #

You guys amuse me by saying that history’s most prominent conservatives are not conservative.  You have Alice in Wonderland ideas of definition


4

Posted by Guessedworker on Wed, 18 May 2005 06:58 | #

Well, given the point at which Conservatism has arrived, the role it has played in the decline of the West, the ground it has conceded to liberalism etc, one is entitled to ask whether the standard definition is uncritical hogwash.

Perhaps I should ask you, John, to consider the effects upon Conservatism of egalitarian universal suffrage, and whether Conservatism can survive at all as a political expression of the Common Man.


5

Posted by Phil Peterson on Wed, 18 May 2005 07:02 | #

Perhaps I have missed it but I have not seen any comparisons between GWB and Winston Churchill. Yet their policies and views are strikingly similar.

LOL


6

Posted by Phil Peterson on Wed, 18 May 2005 07:07 | #

Here’s the Dubya version of “Conservatism”.

UPDATE: That article was written in February 2004. Since then, the Debt has risen by another $782 Billion (in 14 months). In addition, watch as Bush in conjunction with Congress will raise the debt ceiling to $9 Trillion. “Compassion” run amok.


7

Posted by Phil Peterson on Wed, 18 May 2005 07:16 | #

Islam is a religion of peace.

-George W Bush

That religion, which above all others was founded and propagated by the sword—the tenets and principles of which are…..incentives to slaughter and which in three continents had produced fighting breeds of men—stimulates a wild and merciless fanaticism.

-Winston Churchill in ‘Thoughts About Islam’


8

Posted by Mark Richardson on Wed, 18 May 2005 07:19 | #

John, it’s true that the media often refers to such men as “conservatives”. But they themselves are usually under no such illusion and think of themselves primarily as liberals.

In Australia, for instance, the greatest “conservative” leader, Sir Robert Menzies, called the party he formed the “Liberal Party” and the 18 different parties and organisations he invited to create the party were invited because they stood for “liberal, progressive policy”.

The most “conservative” state leader we’ve had here in Victoria was Sir Henry Bolte. But he was contemptuous of conservatism. He reminded his party that “We are the progressive Liberal Party of which we are so proud” rather than “an old-fashioned Conservative mob.”

Or take Malcolm Fraser. When he was Prime Minister he was labelled by the media as an arch conservative. But at the time he himself wrote that “ours is a liberal government holding liberal principles.”

Fraser did not reject conservatism outright but thought its main purpose was merely “to conserve and protect those [liberal] principles and values”.

So we have this mess in which the media calls the right-wing liberal parties “conservative” whereas the great “conservative” leaders think of themselves primarily as (classical) free-market, individual choice liberals.

Personally, as the beliefs of these men really do place them within the sphere of liberalism, I think it makes more sense to take them at their word rather than to keep to media conventions.


9

Posted by Phil Peterson on Wed, 18 May 2005 07:22 | #

Dubya in his own words. LOL

Winston Churchill spins in his grave.


10

Posted by Phil Peterson on Wed, 18 May 2005 07:33 | #

Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.

George W Bush, Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004

LOL


11

Posted by Geoff M. Beck on Wed, 18 May 2005 08:54 | #

Well, he sure didn’t conserve the Empire, it died on his watch.

Maurice Cowling has a chapter on Churchill in <u>Religion and Public Doctrine in Modern England: Volume 1</u>, but I suspect John Ray is content living in a neocon fantasy world.


12

Posted by Arcane on Wed, 18 May 2005 17:03 | #

You guys amuse me by saying that history’s most prominent conservatives are not conservative.  You have Alice in Wonderland ideas of definition

That’s because most of the guys here at Majority Rights don’t adhere to the Anglo-American version of conservatism and instead opt for something akin to the French concept of “conservatism.” In America, the UK, Australia, and even Italy, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, or Germany they most likely would be called either out-and-out reactionary or white nationalist.


13

Posted by Arcane on Wed, 18 May 2005 17:07 | #

This is even more true when the views of Michael Walker or Tomislav Sunic are taken into account. Both of them are members of the French “New Right” (and as Sunic will attest to, the “New Right” has absolutely nothing to do with the Anglo-American “New Right.” BTW, everybody should read his book. It’s quite good!).


14

Posted by Phil Peterson on Wed, 18 May 2005 17:47 | #

That’s because most of the guys here at Majority Rights don’t adhere to the Anglo-American version of conservatism

Really?


15

Posted by Phil Peterson on Wed, 18 May 2005 17:49 | #

Was Enoch Powell a “White Nationalist”?


16

Posted by Phil Peterson on Wed, 18 May 2005 17:58 | #

Italy, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, or Germany

Denmark has already implemented policies on immigration that would satisfy most of us here and it is a “Centre-Right” coalition government. If that makes them “White Nationalist” by your definition, so be it.

BTW, what happened to your army plans? The army is badly short of recruits. They would be happy to take you in.


17

Posted by Arcane on Wed, 18 May 2005 19:36 | #

Phil,
You’re acting as if “right-liberals,” as you call them, are somehow opposed to immigration reform and that “conservatives” such as yourself are not opposed. I never said any such thing. But those very same “right-liberals” who passed that immigration reform support free trade and many of them support the war in Iraq, so I guess they’re not “conservative” according to your definition.

And I’ve already told you, I’m not commissioning until August. And it’s the Air Force, not Army.


18

Posted by Phil Peterson on Wed, 18 May 2005 20:09 | #

And I’ve already told you, I’m not commissioning until August. And it’s the Air Force, not Army.

Hey, come on. You didn’t tell me.

Air Force is good. Its a lot safer too than being on the ground surrounded by RPG toting insurgents on the streets of Ramadi. 

But those very same “right-liberals” who passed that immigration reform support free trade and many of them support the war in Iraq, so I guess they’re not “conservative” according to your definition.

Are you referring to the Danes? Ok. Where have I argued against Free Trade? Your problem is that you come here and lump every blogger on this blog under one flag and assume everyone has the exact same opinions. I believe all of us on this blog are here primarily because we fear the long term death of Europe through race replacement. I think all of us agree that this needs to be reversed. But beyond that we don’t necessarily have the same views on most things.

Ill say one thing: Im not a pro or anti Free Trade idealogue. I will definitely prefer cheap stuff made by Chinese labour in China to cheap stuff made by low wage Chinese immigration in Britain. 

That leaves Iraq. How many soldiers have the Danes sent to Iraq? It’s one thing to sit in the living rooms watching TV and applaud an invasion. Its another to put 10,000 troops on the ground. The coalition in Iraq is basically the US, Britain and Australia. After that, its insignificant number of non-combatants hiding in heavily fortified camps scared of popping their heads out and getting them blown off by RPG toting insurgents and Al Qaeda trainees driving cars full of fertilizer bombs.

You’re acting as if “right-liberals,” as you call them, are somehow opposed to immigration reform.

I voted for the Tories here. So I don’t know where you get the idea.

My fundamental understanding of politics is based on my nationalism. My nationalism is informed by a sense of origin. England is not England without the English. Afro Caribbeans, Africans, Pakistanis or whoever will never be English. There will always be a tension.

This is not a nation of immigrants. I am against it totally. That puts me at one with about 90 percent of almost all politicians and intellectuals in this country from just a few generations ago.  And even today, some 80 percent in this country want immigration drastically cut. That makes me a member of an unrepresented and politically ignored majority.


19

Posted by Arcane on Thu, 19 May 2005 02:06 | #

I stand corrected on your stance.


20

Posted by Guessedworker on Thu, 19 May 2005 11:28 | #

That makes me a member of an unrepresented and politically ignored majority.

Hence our name.

We are the majority for whom democracy has ceased to function ... for whom no hope is extended or respite offered ... in whose name no man may safely speak but against whom all men may inveigh.  We are the first of men who must consider ourselves the last, unworthy of continuance except as an atom sucked dry of its cultural content, insensible to its dispossession, uncaring of its fate.  We are the men of the West and so are you.  Criticise us and you critique yourself.  Turn your back on us and towards others not like us, and we all loose something of ourselves ... yet gain nothing in return.  “They” will not thank us or care for us when we have given up the last piece of our being and of our home.  Invaders never do.



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