(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill,)
Before he battled Nazis and other Fascists, Churchill had to battle appeasers in his own country. It was, for much of the 30s, a lonely fight against some of the most prominent and powerful people in England.
One of those people was Geoffrey Dawson, editor of The Times of London and arguably England’s most influential journalist in the years leading up to the war.
About Dawson, William Manchester offers this revealing anecdote:
A young [Oxford] Fellow asked him why the [Foreign Office], with The Times’ approval, devoted so much space to Mussolini and other Fascists when “It isn’t they who are the danger. It is the Germans who are so powerful as to threaten all the rest of us together.”Churchill sometimes spoke of people who “fell beneath the level of events.” Dawson holds a front rank place among such people.
Dawson revealed the depth of the void left when honor had been abandoned: “To take your argument at its own valuation – mind you, I’m not saying I agree with it – but if the Germans are so powerful as you say, oughtn’t we to go in with them?”
William Manchester, The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill; Alone:1932-1940. (p.252)