Friday, April 11, 2008

The Churchill Series - Apr. 10, 2006

One of a series of weekday posts posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

In June, 1950, the seventy-six year old Winston Churchill was leader of the opposition Conservative Party. He hoped to lead his party back into office at the next general election and become Prime Minister again.

On June 7 a debate began in the Commons that lasted into the early morning of the 8th. It lasted twenty-one hours. Churchill was there for all of them.

Harold Macmillan, Churchill's House colleague, friend and a future Prime Minister, recorded in his diary:

“Conscious that many people feel that he is too old to form a Government and that this will probably be used as a cry against him at the election, he has used these days to give a demonstration of energy and vitality.

He has voted in every division, made a series of brilliant little speeches; shown all his qualities of humour and sarcasm; and crowned all by a remarkable breakfast (at 7.30 a.m.) of eggs, bacon, sausages and coffee, followed by a large whisky and soda and a huge cigar. This latter feat commanded general admiration."
At the next election, Churchill was returned to Downing Street where we can be sure he enjoyed many full English breakfasts, whiskies and cigars.
Martin Gilbert, Churchill: A Life. (pgs. 894-895)


mac said...

Cigars were not put to ignoble use in those days.

A good cigar is a good cigar; a cigarette is a treason, aimed at one's self. A glass of whiskey is a genuine joy, but only the first one; the one that can be tasted.

Too bad we don't have men of Churchill's vigor these days; all we have are cigarette-men and teetotalers who don't know how to smoke a true tobacco nor drink a real drink.