Churchill’s vision

On 02.02.2020 it is appropriate to look forward to our future.

When Churchill did so in 1958 at the end of his History of the English-speaking Peoples he looked forward to their ultimate union. He saw the military and defence alliance developing, as it has through NATO, and saw the English speaking peoples as the defenders of Peace and Freedom.

He did not write a history of the European peoples or ever recommend  the UK should pool or give up its sovereignty to European institutions.  He did point the way to a more united continental western Europe through a rapprochement between France and Germany.

Today we look forward to global UK, with many alliances, friends and allies. Our defence will continue to rest with NATO, our intelligence with 5 Eyes and our global trade through WTO with various other Agreements on top.

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35 Comments

  1. Rhoddas
    Posted February 2, 2020 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, the discussion about alliances, allies and defence is overshadowed tonight by another terrorist released from jail just days ago, who went on the rampage in Streatham, prior to being shot dead. Apparently he’d only served half his sentence but was released from jail, despite the earlier 2019 Fishmongers Hall atrocity, with the same Modus Operandi.

    We appear to have learned sweet nothing, despite several convicted terrorists being recalled back to jail after the former incident. Why hasn’t the promised emergency legislation been enacted to ensure retrospective/prior sentences are served full term?

    Convicted terrorists MUST serve their FULL TARIFF AND BE subject to a Formal Risk Assessment process and sign-off by the Home Secretary, prior to any release with very strict conditions, which could be secure facilities in remote areas away from populations. This will also ensure proper accountability.

    • DavidJ
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Convicted terrorists, particularly those driven by a certain religious zeal, can never be released without posing a serious threat.

  2. margaret howard
    Posted February 2, 2020 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    “he (Churchill) saw the English speaking peoples as the defenders of Peace and Freedom.”

    In reality it is the English speaking people in the shape of the US and UK that foment troubles today. We have set the Middle East on fire with our illegal wars on Iraq and all the tragedies that followed. You must remember that commons vote. What happened to all the MPs who voted for this war? We then left the European continent to deal with the refugee disaster that followed.

    As for a rapprochement between Germany and France if you study some REAL history books and not one of myth making and national hubris you will find that there have been far more wars between Britain and France than between Germany and France. Especially all those wars fought over empire acquisitions across the globe.

    You would also find that until the 20th century Germany was the ONLY major European country that Britain had NEVER been at war with. On the contrary since 1714 German kings and queens have sat on the British throne.

    Reply You do not seem to know the history of the Holy Roman Empire.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      Another slap in the face for Britain and your own country Margaret. Haven’t you taken your burgundy passport and gone yet?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      Margaret, I would add, that although the eurocynics can quote Churchill saying – only once I think – that the UK is “with Europe but not of Europe, he said far more on the formation of “a kind of United States of Europe” and on this country playing a full part in that.

      John’s piece is yet more selective reference to the co-author also of The Council Of Europe, and against which the same people often rage too.

    • Fred H
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      over a couple of years I’ve noticed our margaret dosn’t know any history.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      MH, If you want to quote Middle East issues then you need to look back further than Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

      I would suggest at least start with around 1940 and the Jewish home land…CIA involvement in Persia…etc. You could go back further but lets at least stay with 20th Century history…

      Also maybe look at what Charles de Gaulle said – About the England and the EEC:

      “England in effect is insular, she is maritime, she is linked through her exchanges, her markets, her supply lines to the most diverse and often the most distant countries; she pursues essentially industrial and commercial activities, and only slight agricultural ones. She has in all her doings very marked and very original habits and traditions.

      In short, the nature, the structure, the very situation (conjuncture) that are England’s differ profoundly from those of the continentals.”

    • Mitchel
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      Margaret,as our host suggests in his reply,”Germany” was effectively Habsburg Austria from the late middle ages until 1866 when she was crushed by Prussia which assumed leadership of German states,unifying them in subsequent years to the exclusion of Austria,which fatally then began to look to the Slavic world for compensatory expansion.

      There was a rapprochement between Austria and France as a result of the War of Austrian Succession-the Diplomatic Revolution of 1756 which saw Austria and France allied with Russia against Prussia and England(and Hanover) but that did not survive the French Revolution and with Russian troops entering Berlin the lesson (that had to be relearned) that no Germanic power should ever have Russia as an enemy.

    • DavidJ
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      Seems very much like the words of a sore loser. You might be happier among the “Democrats” in the US.

  3. Tabulazero
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Here you are still banging on about Europe.

    You left your seat at the table. You have chosen to be more independent but also more isolated and with a diminished influence on continental affairs.

    It’s a trade off.

    Europe is not keeping you. It is simply telling you that you cannot have it both way.

    • Shirley
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      It’s rather difficult to avoid discussion about the EU when the MSM and Remainers keep banging on about how ‘precious’ the EU is (just like Gollum) when in reality it is failing most of it’s member countries.

    • Fred H
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      thats fine with me. I agree to no wine, cheese and flowers coming in to UK. But I also agree no German, French, Italian cars. Japan, Korea, China and USA will soon ramp us designs and quaility for a new UK market.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

        Fred, absolutely right. Lets’ just go. By the EU’s own admission they don’t want us to have a free trade deal similar to Canada because we are so close and will be competition. Bring it on!!

  4. Deachar
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    Three weeks in power
    Brexit✔️
    Virus containment❌
    Anti-terrorism with terrorist under lock and key ❌

    A good start but then you let it drop off

  5. Christine Marland
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 4:29 am | Permalink

    Agreed. Let’s keep with Churchill’s vision. These are exciting days.

  6. GilesB
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    ‘English-speaking’ is a fantastic marker for countries with whom we have close cultural affinity, and share similar views on legal systems which underpin trade and security co-operation.

    And it is a much broader group the the 5 eyes.

    Which Countries Have the Most English Speakers?
    #1 United States of America (280 million)
    #2 India (125 million)
    #3 Nigeria (114 million: spoken by 54% of the population). Official language.
    #4 Pakistan. (94 million: spoken by 49% of the population). Official language .
    #5 China (82 million can conduct daily conversations: 390 million have learnt English))
    #6 Philippines (70 million: 64% of the population)
    #7 United Kingdom (60 million)
    #8 Germany (45 million)
    # 9 Bangladesh (30 million)
    #10 Canada (30 million)
    #11 Egypt (28 million)
    #12 France (23 million)
    #13 Australia (21 million)

    New Zealand is thirty places lower down wikipedia’s list

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted February 4, 2020 at 2:52 am | Permalink

      GilesB

      Quite so…from a business perspective?

      The world’s International Corporation Boardrooms ($Multi-Billion+) speak predominantly in English and it is becoming ever more so each year. Conduct international business on any continent and it will be English first and foremost.

      If one were to sit on these International Boards, it would become patently clear which dominant language is used for meaningful business dealings.

      It is not arrogance to suggest English is the international language of choice but is merely based on simple practicalities. International Businesses use English simply as the tool of preference, in the same way, a universal calculator is used.

      Overseas captains of industry and their Boards have no issues speaking in English and furthermore, it is actively promoted lower down the ranks and considered advantageous to do so.

      Some in the United Kingdom may have some strangely misguided issues regarding oversea usage of English (and whatever connotations they wish to draw upon?), however, our international friends, colleagues, and customers do not.

  7. GilesB
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    Uganda is the best English-speaking country in Africa. Uganda is an Anglophone country, with English being its official language and the language of instruction in all learning institutions.

    When compared to other “foreign languages,” such as French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, English is the most commonly spoken language in Africa. In fact, some francophone countries are now replacing French with English as their official language.

    A good example is Rwanda, which in 2008 decided to drop French and immediately issued a decree to all public schools throughout the country to instruct students in English.

    Other African countries, such as Burundi and Gabon, are switching from French to English, while South Sudan is slowly adopting English.

    This is largely because English has become a sign of progress in many parts of Africa.

    Many Africans, especially the young generation, believe that to be educated means to speak English.

  8. DOMINIC
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    It is a considerable grievance to both the Germans and the French that English is the international language of communication and commerce

    • eeyore
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      When Bismarck was asked what he thought the most important development of the 19th century he replied ruefully, “That North America speaks English”.

      The Netherlands now gives parity to English and Dutch in schools. That most civilised and pragmatic of countries has read the writing on the wall – in English. And although we have left the EU its own discussions will continue in the only language all its members are comfortable in. And it’s not French or German.

      • margaret howard
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        And it used to be Latin for over a thousand years.

        Your point is?

        • Mitchel
          Posted February 4, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

          It was the mandatory language of the Hungarian Diet until the mid 19th century.

          Latin is a good example of an apparently global imperial language which can fall from usage quickly where sophisticated vernacular exists alongside it- the Roman empire in the East dropped Latin as it’s official language(in favour of Greek)in the seventh century and it vanished almost overnight, powerfully accentuating the sense of division between the continuing empire and the new Germanic states.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      No, it isn’t, though you evidently wish that it were.

    • margaret howard
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Dominic

      Really? That’s news to me. Makes you wonder why half the German population and a third of the French make an effort to learn to speak it.

    • hefner
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Dominic, It is a fact that more and more people speak (some kind of) English outside Britain. Why? Because even if English is at times pretty illogical (e.g., same groups of letters pronounced quite differently), it is relatively easy to get to a level where basic communication is more or less guaranteed. And this without having to care much about grammar.
      I would think the EU27 representatives will keep to their Brussels English the same way various other ‘English-speaking’ communities over the world will continue speaking their English.
      So English as a lingua franca can only be a good thing specially when people are also fluent in other languages (unfortunately this last skill ´appears to be fast disappearing’ in the UK).

      • rose
        Posted February 4, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        English being a lingua franca isn’t a good thing for English as it gets corrupted and simplified to its detriment. It is a hugely rich language and cannot but become impoverished if it is everyone’s second language, especially in an Americanised commercial world.

    • rose
      Posted February 4, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      The EU could have chosen French or German as its common language but neither the French nor the Germans would give way, so they settled on English instead. The Germans were content with that, as they knew it couldn’t very well be German, but the French are still annoyed.

  9. villaking
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    5 eyes, NATO, WTO – I thought you Brexiters considered all supranational bodies that attempt to enhance cooperation between countries to be restrictions on freedom? Surely as we are now a proud and independent nation again we must throw off these shackles?!

    • Mitchel
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Our host seems to hark back to the late 19th century and the ambitions of Lord Milner and his Round Table,Cecil Rhodes (and his trustee Lord Rothschild),etc to create an Anglo-American oligarchy on the Venetian model.This manifested itself in the establishment of the Council on Foreign Relations in the US,Chatham House in the UK and the Rhodes Scholarships.I believe fellows of All Souls were intimately involved.

      “The future of the world depends on the gradual recognition by the rest of the world of the fundamental principles which lie at the heart of the Anglo-Saxon civilisation.”

  10. Mark B
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Churchill was quite right and, the misinterpretation of his vision of a future Europe by Europhiles is a disgrace. But the EU was never what Churchill had in mind, no. The EU is the child of principally one man, Jean Monet. Of course he was not alone but, he was one of the main visionaries of a Federal Europe.

    As we slowly, and hopefully, disentangle ourselves from this artificial political construct, we will be able to put distance between ourselves and this abomination.

  11. Newmania
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    One of the things that lead to the UK joining the EU was the realisation, after Suez , that when UK and US interests did not coincide the UK was isolated. That we have since convinced ourselves we can act on the basis of meaningless platitudes about “Global ” Britain” would be comical if it wasn’t so sad.
    Winston Churchill said many contradictory things in a long career but it is my belief that in the end he was to much of realist to indulge these childish fantasies. Certainly he must have alive to the dangers of being friendless in Europe and encouraging its Fascist and Nationalist tendencies.
    Outside Europe our influence is in every way reduced . Nothing about Churchill tells me he would have been content to lead a little England into decline and irrelevance

    • Edward2
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Your slurs of racism against the UK population is totally unwarranted and totally unfair.
      There are no “Fascist and Nationalist tendencies” as you claim.
      When has any of these extreme parties ever succeeded in becoming MPs ?
      Dreadful nonsense from you.

  12. Graham Wheatley
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Sir,

    I wonder perhaps, whether we might look kindly upon applications from other (soon to be ex-) members of the European Union who may wish to join the British Commonwealth?

  13. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Having been born in a Dominion, and carry exclusively north of England, Scottish and Irish blood (personally I believe my red and white blood corpuscles progress in George Cross formation) I rejoice at the return of the Motherland to her family. Long live the English Speaking World. The Commonwealth is a different thing altogether.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted February 4, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      Ireland was not English speaking until the language was forced upon its people, and nor was Wales, the Highlands, nor Cornwall for that matter.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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