(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)
Readers Note: This post was first published in May, 2006. I'm republishing it today as a tribute to the wonderful blog hooligans at Liestoppers Forum who make effective use of the freedoms Churchill did so much to help preserve.
The hooligans have come through some tough nights and days since their site was hacked. But they've prevailed. Their spirit and determination brought this post to mind.
In June, 1950, the seventy-six year old Winston Churchill was leader of the opposition Conservative Party.
On June 7 a debate began in the Commons that lasted into the early morning of the 8th. In all, it was twenty-one hours in length. Churchill was there for all of it.
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.At the next election, Churchill was returned to Downing Street where he enjoyed many full English breakfasts, whiskies and cigars.
"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."
Martin Gilbert, Churchill: A Life. (pgs. 894-895)