What would Winston Churchill have made of the hysterical debate yesterday, which tried to boil his legacy down to whether he was a ‘villain’ or a ‘hero’? Mr S wonders if the man who liberated Europe might have been amused at the situation, not least by being called a ‘villain’ by a shadow chancellor who thought it fit to wave Mao’s little red book at the dispatch box.
More clear, is that after all the rubbish talked about Churchill’s life on the airwaves yesterday, including some awful Question Time responses, one man seemed to get the tone just right. Andrew Neil, introducing the political show This Week, gave this monologue on Churchill’s legacy and the difficulty of judging historical figures by today’s standards, last night:
"Churchill had many blemishes and they cannot be washed away. But when this country had dire need of a hero, he was there. There was nobody else. And he was heroic, like no Briton before, or since." @afneil opening #bbctwhttps://t.co/BlbBTgVWRM pic.twitter.com/k4DlhgRplE
— BBC This Week (@bbcthisweek) February 14, 2019
The much-needed speech came as it was announced by the BBC that Neil was stepping down as host of This Week, and the late-night politics show will be cancelled in his absence. It also showed why Neil’s presence on the airwaves will be so missed.