It really had to happen

Posted by Helen Wednesday, April 05, 2006

On April 5, 1955 Sir Winston Churchill resigned as Prime Minister because of failing health. Alternatively, one might say, he was finally persuaded by his despairing colleagues that the state of his health could no longer be hidden from the relatively inquisitive media (can anyone imagine the media not commenting on such facts now?) and the public.

The BBC’s historical archive has an article and a video of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arriving on the previous evening at Number Ten for a dinner, hosted by the Prime Minister and Lady Churchill.

It is so difficult to summarize or even be fair about Churchill’s career. Perhaps, we should have an issue of the Conservative History Journal dedicated to it. At the very least, a meeting might be a good idea. But, sadly, the great man’s second ministry was a mistake, not just because of his age and health but because of his socialistic, Whig paternalistic views of domestic politics.

Many of the problems the country faced in the subsequent decades may have been created during and immediately after the war but they were intensified under Churchill's peacetime premiership.


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