Friday, February 20, 2009

The Churchill Series - Feb. 20, 2009

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

In June, 1950, Winston Churchill, age 76, was leader of the opposition Conservative Party.

On the 7th of that month a debate began in the Commons that lasted into the early morning hours of the 8th. In all, it lasted twenty-one hours. Churchill was there for all of it.

Harold Macmillan, a future Prime Minister and Churchill's Commons colleague and friend later 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, the Conservatives won and Churchill was returned to Downing Street where we can be sure he enjoyed many full English breakfasts, whiskies and cigars.

I hope you all have a good weekend.

Martin Gilbert, Churchill: A Life. (pgs. 894-895)