The BBC and Professor Bogdanor misrepresent Churchill’s views on the UK and Europe


I recently heard a Radio 4 talk by Professor Bogdanor about the UK and the EU over the years. In it he quoted  from Churchill’s Zurich speech in which he recommended a United States of Europe. He did go  on to admit that Churchill “was ambiguous” about whether the UK would be in the United States of Europe or not , but he and the BBC clearly wished to leave the impression that the great man both wanted a United States of Europe and at least did not rule out the UK joining. He never mentioned Churchill’s clearly stated view that there needed to be a  union of the English speaking peoples for the USA, the UK and the rest of the Anglosphere which would be nothing to do with Europe.

How can a Professor who claims to be independent of party politics and an expert on UK constitutional history believe Churchill was ambiguous about this most central of issues?  Indeed, if he read on in the Zurich speech he would see its conclusion said ” Great Britain, the British Commonwealth, mighty America and I trust Soviet Russia…must be friends and sponsors of the new Europe. Nothing there then about the UK being in it!

I see nothing ambiguous about Churchill’s stance, as any reader of his Fulton speech (The Sinews of peace) and his History of the English Speaking Peoples would know.

Churchill unambiguously did not want the UK to be any part of a United States of Europe, which he saw as the answer to continental wars and divisions. Churchill wanted a union of the English speaking peoples to create  the overarching superpower to keep the world’s peace with the UN.

That is why he wrote a History of the English Speaking Peoples, in four volumes, not a History of the European peoples. As he said at the end of his long work “Here is set out the long story of the English speaking peoples. They are now to become allies in terrible but victorious wars (in Europe). And that is not the end. Another phase looms before us……Nor should we now seek to define precisely the exact terms of ultimate union”.

If he had wanted the UK to be in  a European union he would have written a history of Europe explaining and stressing our past links and entanglements with the continent and ending with a forecast of European union, not  our commitment to Commonwealth and empire.

If the history  book is too Delphic for the Professor, then how about Churchill’s  clear statements at Fulton in one of his most famous  speeches?

“This means a special relationship between the British Commonwealth and Empire and the United States “of America..(Not between the United States of Europe and the USA)  He goes on to describe ever closer defence collaboration between the USA and the UK.  “Eventually there may come – I feel eventually there will come – the principle of common citizenship (between the UK and USA)…If the population of the English speaking Commonwealths be added to that of the US…there will be an overwhelming assurance of security”

So will the BBC now apologise and publish a correction to Professor Bogdanor’s misleading statements about  Churchill and the UK possibly joining a United States of Europe?  Churchill saw Britain and her Commonwealth and Empire as an entirely separate force from a  United States of continental Europe. He wanted an ultimate  merger for the UK with the USA  not with Europe. He wanted an immediate defence merger which led to NATO instead.

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  1. Mark B
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    I think when it comes to Europe, Sir Winston Churchill was talking about this place:;jsessionid=7C1D6C4D76D38E6D5BBEA1CB7D3FD04D **

    We do NOT need the EU. We never have, and as such, we should leave. The EU is, and will always be, about Germany and France. It is ‘their’ UNION, not ours that the EU is all about.

    ** Well worth looking at that video on this. Someone gives a short speech about the need to keep Human Rights Legislation. Can you recognize who he is ??


    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Indeed. Rather typical of duff compass Cameron alas. I assume the pre-election, “cast iron” con this time will be a “promise” to protect the UK from the ECHR with a UK act. Perhaps some new promise on IHT too (?) doubtless to be ratted on post election as last time. It will doubless be as toothless & useless as Major’s subsidiarity lie.

      This in the highly unlikely event Cameron actually wins an overall majority – despite Miliband’s best efforts to help him.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Cameron, of course, the weasel; and what he and his kind will never acknowledge is that there would have been no need for such concern about “human rights” in Europe if Germany and its allies hadn’t behaved so abominably, and yet because of THEIR barbaric conduct in the past we must allow OUR national democracy to be vitiated by rulings from a bunch of so-called judges in Strasbourg.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 19, 2014 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        Judges who often think their role is to completely rewrite the laws, while ignoring or hugely augmenting what they actually said.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted August 19, 2014 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        Tut-tut Denis. It’s the Nazis, not Germany who ‘behaved so abominably’. Germany had nothing to do with the Nazis did it? After all Hitler ‘seized’ power in 1933.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 19, 2014 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

          Of course, the Nazis or National Socialist German Workers’ Party were, of course, extreme right wing – to “BBC think” types.

          • Bazman
            Posted August 20, 2014 at 6:49 am | Permalink

            What is then extreme right wing in your view then. It can never be ‘right wing’ enough for you?

          • Matt
            Posted August 20, 2014 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

            The various people that the BBC likes to label as “extreme right-wing” are in fact extreme left wing. They’re radical socialists of one kind or another. The Nazis, Stalin, the BNP…
            How the left got away with re-defining the worst examples of their politics taken to extremes as part of the right is quite baffling.
            Very clever though. A most effective lie.

    • sjb
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      From Churchill’s speech to the European Movement at Kingsway Hall, London, November 1949:

      ‘The British Government have rightly stated that they cannot commit this country to entering any European Union without the agreement of the other members of the British Commonwealth. We all agree with that statement. But no time must be lost in discussing the question with the Dominions and seeking to convince them that their interests as well as ours lie in a United Europe.’

      Reply A speech which again restated Churchill’s view of the priority of the English speaking world in our political development, not the EU:

      “We shall never do anything to weaken the ties of blood, of sentiment and tradition and common interest which unite us with other members of the British family of nations” etc This speech was about the European Convention on Human Rights which was drawn up and which we did sign and which only became a problem for our sovereignty and independence much later when its nature was changed by allowing individual petition to the court.

      • sjb
        Posted August 21, 2014 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

        It was not limited to human rights; three sentences later Churchill refers to proposals about the “creation of an economic system”.

        It is suggested the text I quoted shows he appeared to give the Commonwealth a veto on our future membership; remember it cost £100m (1972 money) just to get New Zealand’s ok. Of course, had we been a founding member then we might have got the same favourable access as France did for exports from her ‘Commonwealth’.

        Reply Given Churchill’s views often and strongly expressed on the Commonwealth and Empire there was no way he would have agreed to join the current EU! Why do you think he wrote the History of the English Speaking peoples, talking of their eventual union, and not the History of the European peoples?

        • sjb
          Posted August 22, 2014 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

          Why then did Churchill write to his constituency chairman supporting Macmillan’s application to join the EEC?[1] And later – in a 1963 letter to Spaak – wrote: “‘The future of Europe if Britain were to be excluded is black indeed.”[2]

          [2] ibid.

          Reply The letter says Churchill doubts the UK would join, and makes clear it would depend on the terms. This is also more than a decade after he was in power and making important statements about the UK. The best the pro Europeans can conclude is that 1, Churchill wanted a union of continental Europe led by France and Germany 2. He wanted Great Britain and its Commonwealth to be friendly partners to this venture but not a founder member or part of a United States of Europe. Again I ask why would someone who wanted the UK to be a province of a European empire write a History of the English Speaking peoples rather than a History of the European peoples?

          • sjb
            Posted August 24, 2014 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

            Because post-WWII events suggested his union would not be realised.

            When he started writing his book in 1937 Britain governed 700 million people overseas but by the time of publication this had fallen to just five million. The US had become a superpower with Suez clearly leaving no doubt who would be the cock in any Anglophone henhouse. That left the EEC as the only remaining sphere – or ‘circle’ to use his term – where Britain could significantly influence policy.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Well this is the BBC. That is just what they do, after all do dogs barks? This on the EU, the green crap religion, over regulation of everything, high taxes, the NHS, ever bigger government, uncontrolled immigration and the “equality” agenda. Academics (and charities, actors and pop stars, BBC historians …. tend to follow these daft lines too in general).

    BBC radio 4 (again this AM) going on about the gender pay gap. This is clearly to do with the career breaks, sensible choices in work life balance and the areas woman tend to study and work in. There is nothing stopping women becoming world chess stars, but sensibly very few choose to – it is not because the chess pieces are heavy or there is a glass ceiling in chess.

    Any serious look at the numbers shows this. It is clearly shown by the fact that woman without children already earn more than men. Of Course if lefty dopes like Cameron appoints dopes like Lord Patten and then he appoints the DGs then you are rather likely to get this daft line from them. Especially as they only ever seem to recruit second rate art graduates from adverts in the Guardian or similar.

    It is as daft as the statement from Cameron (I heard yesterday on radio 4) about how many married couples stay together after 10 (?) years compared to unmarried couples. The ones that get married are clearly likely to be the one who felt more confident about their relationships. It does not mean that if you forced the others to marry they would be more likely to stay together. Only an innumerate, fool or charlaton could use such daft statistics in such a way.

    It is like asking bus passenger how many people were on their bus then using that to compute the average occupancy (the low occupancy buses are clearly hugely under counted). It just shows some people’s innumerate stupidity – something rather prevalent at the BBC alas.

    After all they do not, at the BBC, even understand the term positive feedback in the engineering sense and consistently confuse power with energy when discussing the AGW exaggeration religion. They even think one can predict the unpredictable for 100 years.

    How is Cameron getting on with looking for a green crap, pro EU, one legged woman of colour for the BBC?

    • Bazman
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      You are just repeating the same nonsense. I asked you about social pressures on woman. Woman managers on average earn 9k less than men for the same job and woman have been hit hardest by the recession. This is their choice?
      I pointed out to you that woman do better at a level maths, but fewer go on to study physics. Any idea why? They just choose?You chose to ignore its existence. As for any science when challenged you are remedial in the extreme thick in fact. Would you say a bike costs more to run than a car or less!?
      Are you on some sort of deluded mission to spread misinformation and propaganda. Sensible? You what?

      • Edward2
        Posted August 21, 2014 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        Its odd this male v female wages statistic Baz.
        As wages cannot now be legally different for males and females how can it happen?
        Does the data include time taken off for child rearing that mainly women take the responsibility for, thus reducing their career earnings average?
        In some towns women are the new bread winners in new office and retail jobs where old heavy industrial jobs for men have disappeared.

        • Bazman
          Posted August 22, 2014 at 6:50 am | Permalink

          You think they do not find their way around this legislation? The woman are the new bread winners as there is no work for the men in these areas especially in the 50-65 age group in certain areas such as Barrow-in-Furness.

  3. Alan Wheatley
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Well said.

  4. alan jutson,
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Always a shame when you get selective takes on history, or anything else come to that matter.

    Visited the National Trust Churchill home of Chartwell only a few weeks ago, what an excellent day out.

    For most people writing 50 books and completing 500 paintings would have been enough in a lifetime, let alone doing anything else.

    Yes of course Churchill made some mistakes, who doesn’t, but his vision of past, present and future at the time, was immense.

    A true Statesman in every sense of the word.

    Shame we do not seem to have such a person around today, who could see and cut through the fog of what is the politics of today.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      We do have a few around like JR but alas the Tory party is so full of lefty, Cameron think, pro EU wets that they never get to set the direction of the party. Or they get just fired like M Gove and Owen Patterson and replaced with token woman, pro EU, tax increasing, green crap types.

      Is it too late to clone Norman Tebbit?

  5. oldtimer
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    I am no longer surprised to hear propaganda on the BBC; I am only surprised when I hear a neutral position expressed on a subject. It is on the record that the BBC has accepted cash from the EU Commission to promote EU causes. Anything it says about the EU and its policies and the changes the EU wants to accomplish is thus tainted by money. I do not consider the BBC to be a trustworthy source of information on anything political, in which I include its unrelenting “climate change” propaganda. By way of a footnote to this, Mr Shukman, of the BBC is speaking at Oxford about the role of photography in recording “climate change” at a series of events on the art and role of photography later this year. The theme of using the media to promote the cause also features again this year at the forthcoming Alumni Weekend. Could the University be keen to promote
    the issue because it helps keep the grant funding coming?

    That Vernon Bognador appears less well informed about Churchill`s views than one should expect is indeed a surprise. I read somewhere that he was Mr Cameron`s tutor at Oxford and regarded Mr Cameron as one of his star pupils. Is he part of the propaganda machine too?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      Indeed a start pupil at PR, spin, the presentation of nonsense, breaking promises and pretending black is white one assumes.

      There is a cosy & incestuous relationship between academia, the left, the state sector, charities, actors, celebs, the EU, Guardian thinkers, the legal professions and most pop musicians to push this lefty, green crap, pro EU, big state, high tax, endless regulation, fake equality, BBC think agenda.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 19, 2014 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        A “star” pupil!

        • Mark B
          Posted August 19, 2014 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

          Yes Lifelogic, a ‘Star’. ie Full of hot gas !

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted August 19, 2014 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        I had the chance to get to grips with a line-up of these people that you list above.
        The discussion was Immigration and it was held at the Scottish Parliament during the Festival of Politics last Sunday. It was chaired by a member of the Refugee Council. There were four members of the panel, one of whom was Somalian, and the chairman. Each member was required to give an introductory talk on the subject. The discussion was centred entirely around the needs of immigrants and no mention was made of the concerns of the host population whatsoever. This was entirely predictable of course and it was satisfying to be able to put forward a view in a robust manner that was clearly at odds with the line being taken by all these bien-pensant academics. The replies to my questions were woolly and some of the panellist attempted to hide behind statistics.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted August 19, 2014 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

          Oh well, once Scotland is independent it can set its own open doors immigration policy and the English can then mount the intensive border patrols by land sea and air which would be necessary to stop the large numbers of immigrants welcomed by Scotland continuing their journeys to their preferred destination to the south. Of course it will cost the English something to do that, quite a lot in fact, but no doubt the additional expense of controlling the new border will be more than defrayed by the cessation of those largely fictional massive subsidies that the English are paying to the Scots.

          • Max Dunbar
            Posted August 19, 2014 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

            The initial influx of refugees that England will need to cope with on a YES vote will be those Scots who can afford to get out and many English people. Every cloud has a silver lining though and the housing market in the north of England could receive a boost. Personally, I would probably join Lifelogic and move out of Britain completely. Arrangements have been made.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted August 20, 2014 at 7:15 am | Permalink

            As far as the present population of Scotland was concerned I wouldn’t assume that there’s be any great increase in the numbers moving to England and the rest of the UK, because I don’t assume that an independent Scotland would be an economic disaster. It could be, but not necessarily.

            Some statistics were published last week:


            About 40,000 moved from Scotland to the rest of the UK last year, with about 48,000 actually moving the other way, that could reverse to a net outflow but it would still be relatively small numbers one way or the other. A much large number moved to Scotland from abroad, 76,000, largely offset by emigration of 66,000.

            However at present with Scotland still part of the UK its immigration policy is controlled by the UK Parliament and government; Salmond wants to increase immigration from abroad, but he has to keep within UK policy; once freed from that constraint there is no saying how many people would be allowed and encouraged to migrate to Scotland from around the world, but there is also no saying how many of them would want to stay there and how many would just want to treat it as a route into England.

    • Timaction
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      The BBC receives millions of Euro’s in grants from the EU every year. The irony is that the British have to pay the EU £12 billion net before we have to subsidise millions of Eastern Europeans for all there working and non working benefits and free health, education and housing as well. So we are taxed to support the propaganda machine at the BBC and things EU as well. Totally indefensible but seemingly unchecked by the legacy parties. When is the licence tax going so that we can choose how we spend our own money?

    • John E
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      I’ve always been puzzled as to how Cameron got a first. One thing I heard Miliband say that struck me as right is that of the two of them he, Miliband, feels the more intellectually capable and confident.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 19, 2014 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

        Miliband certainly seems to have fair a levels (& from an ordinary school) in decent subjects, A’s in maths & English, and Bs in further maths & physics according to wiki. It seems he has however swallowed half the drivel his father pushed. Rent & energy price controls and the likes.

        Cameron it seems took only three A’s in History of Art, History and Economics with Politics (rather dubious subjects) according to wiki & at Eton where it is fairly hard not to get A’s anyway.

        Reply Mr Cameron is an intelligent man with a quick grasp of a brief or argument. He has also accepted the need for the UK to have a new relationship with the EU and to have a referendum on it, something Mr M other senior figures have not done.

        • lifelogic
          Posted August 19, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

          Cameron is, I grant you, a little better than Miliband. But is that just because of his sensible wing pushing him and the rather more sensible Tory voters than due to him? Miliband’s supporters are driven by the politics of envy, those on benefits, living of others and the bloated state sector unions.

          Cameron is quick on his feet, good at presenting and good at PM questions. He could be even better were he defending a more sensible policy line and had a working compass. He says some of the right things but alas rarely does them.

          He threw the last sitting duck election through total incompetence. With Clegg on TV, EU ratting, all his green crap expensive energy drivel and his silly high tax agenda. The people clearly wanted lower taxes and far less government, as the surge following the IHT promise (now ratted on of course) showed.

          I see little sign he will win the next election outright, even against hapless Miliband. I cannot see any new coalition either, the Libdums will go with Labour. He has not even managed to get a fair voting system.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 19, 2014 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

          But the powers he says he wants back are pathetic and he clearly cannot be trusted one thou (or micrometre as he might have it). He even wants an open door to totally unselective, EU immigration.

    • The PrangWizard
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      I am under the impression that Vernon Bogdanor is very much of the political Left. Cameron’s tutor, and Cameron his star pupil? If all this is so, we now know why we have a Socialist Conservative party.

  6. agricola
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Bogdanor is just another one who out of ignorance or choice selectively quotes someone out of context to suit their case.

    As I pointed out to you two days ago, but not published, most of your party and all the opposition have been misinterpreting Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of Blood ” speech since the day he made it. I think perhaps you should all get a lesson in allegory and then some cohones.

    Once you allow such black propaganda to become the norm and unchallenged, you have little ground to stand on in defence of Winston Churchill. All credit to you for offering the defence he deserves. I support his vision of the “Anglosphere”, though not to the point of becoming the next state in the USA.

  7. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Well, I’m rather wary of Churchillian visions because he was a member of the British ruling class and shared many of its inbuilt arrogant assumptions, for example that a decision on “common citizenship” could be made without bothering to ask the citizens whether that was something they actually wanted.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      The more I learn about Winston, the politician, the less I want to know. He was part of the Liberal Cabinet that took us to war in 1914, when we did not have to. It was he, who wanted to persecute the war with Germany, long after France had fallen and Hitler turned his attention East. It was he, that signed the Yalta agreement with the US and the Soviet Union, and sold the Poles and most of Eastern Europe out. The self same Poles, who fought on our side and declared war for to save from tyranny.

      I could also mention his time in Ireland and his stint as Chancellor. But I will leave it to others to do their own research.

      There is more myth than legend, and I know our kind host does not like ill spoken of, including those who are in a position not to defend themselves. But all the above is true and worth mentioning.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 19, 2014 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        I tend to agree in part, much is indeed myth, his paintings are not much to my taste either.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted August 19, 2014 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

        Churchill loved war and so did the Poles. They had a substantial army and had a very high opinion of their own abilities which was, of course, misplaced. The Poles were not averse to helping themselves to other peoples’ territory and many of them fought for the Germans during the war although mention of that inconvenient fact has always been avoided.

      • DBC Reed
        Posted August 20, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

        Following the Peter Hitchens reading of the early war years:Churchill got done over in the stitch-up over the Atlantic Charter which saw him give away the Imperial Preference system on which a future Commonwealth Common market could have been based ,without the US actually joining the War.He ended up paying for military supplies from the US in gold ,transported in American ships ,and also “things of worth” (not sterling) such as the Whittle jet engine. One US war aim was to push the Uk out of Imperial markets and take over themselves .Churchill (and Powell) understood this.
        There remains the funny business over the Hess flight. Subsequent to this
        he waited years to attack Hitler over the Channel when even the Americans were urging action years earlier.In the meantime the Russians were bleeding to death.
        Churchill’s attempt to suck up to the Americans after the War when they had firmly put us in our place was pathetic.We might have been better lining up with the Russians as Enoch Powell said at the time.
        You are right: this formative period needs honest revaluation. (Cue Mr Redwood’s delete button)

        • Max Dunbar
          Posted August 20, 2014 at 11:19 am | Permalink

          It is simply not the case that Churchill waited years to attack the Germans.
          After the Luftwaffe was checked during their attempt to gain local air superiority over the south of England Churchill went over to the offensive as soon as possible. The RAF mounted costly raids into France the following year using medium and light bombers escorted by large numbers of fighters. The Dieppe raid took place in 1942 and in the Mediterranean theatre of operations we were extremely active. Russia was supplied at great cost in sailors’ lives on the Murmansk run.
          As to ‘sucking up to the Americans’ it was the Labour Party who did most of the sucking but they made the mistake of sending Keynes over to ask for money for our bankrupt country in 1945 and he was sent home with a flea in his ear. Churchill was then asked to help which he did successfully although by that time the international situation had changed.

          • DBC Reed
            Posted August 21, 2014 at 11:01 am | Permalink

            After the Hess flight (during the last blitz of London) Churchill delayed attacking across the Channel which he logically should have done as soon as the Americans joined in and before Hitler built massive coastal defences. Marshall called for a joint invasion years before D-Day. Churchill despatched a huge army to North Africa when the South Coast could have been invaded.
            Why did they mount an attack on the heavily defended Dieppe when, as an exercise in feasibility ,it would have made more sense to land on more lightly defended, gently shelving beaches in Normandy as they eventually did, successfully? There are people who think Dieppe was meant to delay a proper invasion by incurring off-putting casualties.
            Britain was bankrupted after the war by the expenses of the conflict , a lot of it incurred during the “cash and carry” phase when the Americans were demanding upfront payment for military materiel they were supplying on a commercial basis. Keynes was shocked that the Anglo-American loan ,which we have only recently paid off, was supplied by the Americans at the commercial rate of interest. Do not forget that the Americans did not enter WW2 voluntarily .
            Having been forced into the war by the Japanese, the Americans seemed to have decided that they would get their money’s worth ,by kyboshing British Imperial trading arrangements( Imperial tariff preference).
            As a bit of a lefty , I have to admit the person who was on to what the USA was doing at the time, was Enoch Powell.
            There were not two sides in WW2: Churchill,the Americans,the Russians and of course the Germans all had different war aims.

  8. Richard1
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Churchill did of also say ‘let no man underestimate the abiding power of the British Empire..’ Now we are down to the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar and even Scotland is threatening to go that comment has become a bit dated. The main point surely is Churchill, being around at the time he was, saw the world in terms of great power blocs, whereas its not like that now. Now we have many more independent, peaceful and prosperous countries (along with a few continuing basket cases). We need military allies of course against a crisis. but what we really need is peace and free trade with shared values of political and economic freedom. We don’t have to choose between a Churchillian English speaking peoples’ alliance and the EU, we can have friendly relations, but only need a loose political alliance, with both.

    Reply I am not arguing Churchill was right or that his view makes sense today. I am merely arguing that he never wanted the UK to be part of a United States of Europe, and in that I think he was right.

    • Timaction
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately Mr Redwood all three legacy parties support a United States of Europe and have lied for over 40 years about their true intentions. They never canvass on the truth but claim its about free trade, knowing full well its about the creation of a super state by incremental stealth. 40 competencies are handed over to the EU foreign power on the 1st November 2014 under the Lisbon Treachery.

      Reply These competencies were surrendered by Labour at the time of the Treaty. They have already gone.

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted August 19, 2014 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply,
        However, from 1st November 2014 a new system of QMV known as ‘double majority voting’ will be introduced for decisions in the Council of the EU. The EU website states:
        “For a proposal to go through, it will need the support of 2 types of majority: a majority of countries (at least 15) and a majority of the total EU population (the countries in favour must represent at least 65% of the EU population).”

        It seems clear that the new system has been specifically designed to ensure that the Eurozone has a built in majority, whereas previously it was just short of a qualified majority :
        No.of countries in Eurozone = 18
        % population of Eurozone in EU =66%

        How soon before your colleagues are saying we need to be in the Eurozone to have real influence in the EU?

        Reply These matters already go through under QMV. What changes is the way of calculating the QMV. Either way the UK is easily outvoted.

      • ian wragg
        Posted August 19, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        ………and we will not let matters rest there….. Where did I hear those words together with an unequivocal promise of a referendum on Lisbon until it became clear he might actually have to have one so he nuanced his words. CMD will blow the coming GE to deny us a referendum as witnessed by all his stupid policies of the last few years.

        • bigneil
          Posted August 19, 2014 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

          Glad to see you survived your operation and that you did the decent thing and went private, leaving a gap for other less fortunate people to see a NHS surgeon. Obviously the anaesthetic has worn off and you are back to full form -at least mentally.

      • Timaction
        Posted August 19, 2014 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        Mr Cameron could have stood by his “cast iron” promise of a referendum on Lisbon but like every other action on the EU he fails to deliver. He follows in the same light as Heath and Major. At every opportunity he appoints or has Europhiles around him. If you opt us back into the EU Arrest Warrant will that trigger the Referendum? No. A complete waste of legislation to fool the people.
        The Tories have signed us up to as much EU as Labour and are equally culpable. They just pretend to be anti EU at election time as the legacy parties are totally out of touch with the electorate and their wishes.

        • Richard1
          Posted August 19, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

          Mr Cameron would have given a referendum on the Lisbon treaty had he been prime minister before it was signed. By May 2010 he was no more in a position to offer a referendum on the Lisbon treaty than he was on the treaty of Versailles. Brown had already signed it. The Labour Party – and the LibDems as they supported it also – are to blame for the Lisbon Treaty.

        • lifelogic
          Posted August 19, 2014 at 7:51 pm | Permalink


          He follows in the same light as Heath and Major. Alas it is an oncoming train.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      If you read his speech in Zurich on 19th September 1946, he clearly mentions that we have our Commonwealth. He also mentions Germany and France, but not Germany, France and the UK. His context is clearly that these two nations should unite as one. Similar in someways like England and Scotland. To nations, always at war, now united in peace. It lasted some +200 years for us, why not them ?

  9. Iain Gill
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    They misrepresent the views of the majority of the population all the time. Why should this be any different.

    If you listened to the BBC you would think we lived in a country where the dominant view of the people was extreme pro EC, pro mass immigration, and so on. The fact that UKIP won most votes at the last national election seems to have passed them by. And these are just simple examples.

  10. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Churchill’s final sentence from his Zurich speech, 19th September 1946: “Great Britain, the British Commonwealth of Nations, mighty America, and I trust Soviet Russia – for then indeed all would be well – must be the friends and sponsors of the new Europe and must champion its right to live and shine.”
    Perhaps the BBC and Professor Bogdanor would care to take note.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 2:33 pm | Permalink


      I too spotted this ! 🙂 It is very significant !

  11. Leslie Singleton
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    I’m no expert on the detail but I thought it was a simple matter of fact that the US President of the time acknowledged Churchill’s stated desire for an Anglospheric Union but was himself against, disparagingly saying something like “Churchill’s getting old”.

  12. Mondeo Man
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Alan Jutson said “Shame we do not seem to have such a person around today, who could see and cut through the fog of what is the politics of today.”

    Most of the (erstwhile) Conservative voting public see through it.

  13. alan jutson,
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Off topic

    Border Agency Computer system.

    I see we have yet another example of hundreds of £millions wasted by a UK Government with their lack of ability to write out a simple performance contract, with the correct clause in it should the contractor/supplier fail to perform.

    Needless to say, yet again the taxpayer picks up yet another Bill for incompetence.

    Anyone been sacked or banned from holding a senior position ever again, no thought not.

  14. Bill
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    The BBC should give evidence that it attempts to provide the full range of views in its broadcast output. If you ever listen to the Feedback programme when occasional producers are called to account, they almost always fail to back down when accused of bias. Either they invoke the process for vetting programmes or they say that ‘overall, taking account of the whole of the BBC’s multi-channel output, there is balance’. In fact as far as I can see the only internal critique within the BBC comes from comedians and satirists but, given that most of these are recruited from the left, this is a useless and remarkably unfunny line of output. If you ever saw Hugh Bonneville in W1A, a programme in which the BBC tried make fun of itself, you will have seen an incredibly self-indulgent, politically correct, fashion-driven bunch of empty-headed apparatchiks. Bonneville himself is the innocent at large in this ghastly organisation.

    • oldtimer
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      You should be aware that when the BBC does propaganda it does it very thoroughly indeed. The BBC spent a very large sum of money trying to suppress evidence that it briefs everyone, including heads of drama and of comedy, on the line to take in relation to its propagation of the CAGW/global warming/climate change agenda. Thus the message gets repeated, ad nauseum, on programme after programme. Listen clearly and you will hear it on programmes such as Woman`s Hour, in the afternoon plays and on the Archers as well as the more likely outlets such as news, science and nature programmes. The BBC version of political correctness rules the airwaves. The attempted brainwash is all-encompassing.

      • ian wragg
        Posted August 19, 2014 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        Country File is best, never a topic which fails to mention AGW. I see they have replaced the title clip which used to show a windmill stopped which I thought very funny. When I wrote to them asking how much CO2 it was saving, it mysteriously vanished. No reply though.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      ‘Comedy Unit’ says it all really in apparatchik-speak.

  15. Bert Young
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Whether Churchill believed at some time that a United Europe was a good thing or not does not change the fact that time has marched on since then and the EU has proved to be a mess and a mistake . The Commonwealth linked formally to the USA would be a force to be reckoned with – economically and strategically , something without equal in the world , however , it does not exist and we must make our own presence felt . Foreign policy from the USA during the past 50 years has had many weaknesses , so , thank goodness we have not been formally linked with them ; the fact that one leader after another has gone along with their stance is regrettable . In the 70s I knew a chap called Maxwell Stamp who was a strong advocate of a North Atlantic Alliance ; his views at the time were very influential and he attracted a strong following . Had it not been for our own economic troubles at the time and a Labour Government , I believe a North Atlantic Alliance would have been created . A “United Europe” is an ideology that cannot be implemented due to the vast cultural differences in the regions ; it cannot be effectively implemented without a common fiscal base – a feature well beyond the cultural divide . We must give up the notion that we will be stronger and better off within a EU ; we must re-invigorate the Commonwealth and make our desire for “presence” through it .

  16. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    I wonder which text Professor Bognador was referring to.The ‘Sinews of peace’ definitely refers to the British speaking peoples leading the way in peace and as expected in 1946 after the wars, our close alliance with the USA. His central concern is that communism does not filter its way throughout Europe and give threat to a state of totalitarianism, although his sympathies lie with Russia.

    His mention of a ‘temple’ of peace is somewhat reminiscent of the Jehovas Witness religion , although I expect these are just words ( yet words have a way of creeping into texts and often demonstrate the various influences).

    We need to be open minded about the types of influences which are happening today and whether they are for a better democratic world with enough food for all or simply just power seeking groups of tyrannical people.

    “Do not let the course of allowing events to drift along until it is too late”

  17. Max Dunbar
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    It may be worth examining in more detail the proposals for union between France and Great Britain that were discussed by Churchill’s war cabinet in June 1940.

    • ian wragg
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      Read “Sinking of the Lancastria” very interesting. I will send it you if yo contact me, I’m in the phone book.

  18. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Of course he could not of foreseen the likes of Blair, Brown, Salmond appearing and on a low turnout of voters to vote them in. Or perhaps he did not want to talk about more bad times?

    Immigration IT system..UK Taxpayers down again – IT Contractors (Raytheon) plenty up. eBorders added to the very long string of Gov IT failures, never will end, but my contribution needs to!!

    No longer seems that pay peanuts get monkey’s is true…just monkey’s all the time?

  19. petermartin2001
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    He wanted an ultimate merger for the UK with the USA not with Europe.

    Much Europhile sentiment is based on the supposition that an EU-free UK will become more closely aligned with the USA. Loss of sovereignty to Washington would be just as bad as loss of sovereignty to Brussels or Berlin!

    Is there any need for a merger with anyone?

    • petermartin2001
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      I should really have said “EU-ophile” sentiment ! Being anti -EU is being pro-European in its truest sense.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      No, there is no need for a merger with anyone.

  20. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    oh pardon me! Zurich speech. let me see for myself where he advocates the inclusion of the uk in a United States of Europe.

  21. Max Dunbar
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    As an aside, Great Contemporaries by Churchill is an excellent read and the Trotsky chapter has not dated; Delphic it is not.

  22. Roy Grainger
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    No the BBC will not apologise and will not admit they’ve got anything wrong at all. This is not about political bias on this occasion, it’s just the way they are. There is a programme on Radio 4 (“Feedback” I think) where listeners can air complaints and the BBC puts someone up to respond, I have never heard single criticism on it which was accepted by the BBC.

  23. Mark
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    You could say it was in Churchill’s blood, what with his mother being an American and all.

    I my recent experiences of the BBC are anything to go by, you will be waiting forever for a response from the BBC. I am still waiting for any kind of response to a complaint made in May, and only have unsatisfactory answers otherwise. I guess at the moment they’re busy hiding after their recent questionable use of a helicopter over Wentworth.

  24. margaret
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Yes you are right John.The Zurich speech talks of a closer union between France and Germany in particular and other European Countries keeping their own identity in a federation :’The United States of Europe’ with the intention of creating harmony. “It is to recreate the European fabric, or as much of it as we can ” This is compared to the Commonwealth and our close links with the British speaking peoples as the quote below elucidates.
    ” There is already a natural grouping in the western hemisphere. We British have our own Commonwealth of Nations.”
    His intention was to make a clos

  25. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    At least he is some obscure professor nobody has ever heard of.

    Mr Bercow has overlooked Mr Natzler when appointing his parliamentary clerk to appoint an Australian women with no experience of parliamentary procedure.Presumably Mr Natzler is taller than Mr Bercow or he offended Mr Bercow in some other way.
    Mr Bercow is a servant of parliament the system does not belong to him – why is he being allowed to engage in acts of empire building.

    Reply Mr Bercow for the first time for this post insisted on an open recruitment process with a general advertisement. A Committee of 6 including Mr Bercow chose the best candidate in their view.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      JR: “A Committee of 6 including Mr Bercow chose the best candidate in their view. ”
      I think they have made a grave and costly (£200,000 p.a. )mistake. They have chosen an Australian who seems totally lacking in the necessary experience and, according to Baroness Boothroyd on yesterday’s World at One, would be “totally out of her depth”.
      The Independent reports that ” an email by Rosemary Laing, the clerk of the Australian senate, who has expressed “disbelief and dismay” at the proposed appointment of Mills. ….In her email to officials at Westminster, Laing said that Mills was an administrator and unqualified for the complex work of drafting legislation. Laing wrote: “We were utterly taken aback here when we saw a brief press report in early July that Carol Mills had emerged as ‘frontrunner’ … It seemed to us impossible that someone without parliamentary knowledge and experience could be under consideration for such a role.
      The secretary role has no procedural or constitutional dimension that you or I would recognise as a core function of a clerk. It has no connection with the day-to-day business of a parliament, other than in the maintenance of infrastructure and the provision of some ancillary services. While these are clearly very important things, they do not make a parliament. It is essentially the role of an administrator and bears no resemblance to the role of a professional parliamentary officer.”

      What is your opinion?

      Reply I wish to consider the matter and hear more of the argument from both sides. 6 MPs charged with finding the right person have chosen someone. They had no agenda or interest in choosing the wrong person. Let’s hear their reply to these attacks. The Clerk does not draft legislation, but is needed to advise the Speaker and ensure through the Speaker that the House follows proper procedure in all that it does. The Clerk also has an important role in the running of the Commons/Palace which this candidate may be well qualified to do.

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted August 19, 2014 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply,
        It seems very strange that the “best candidate” has no relevant experience and doesn’t even live in this country.

      • ian wragg
        Posted August 19, 2014 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        Why do we need an Aussie.

      • Kenneth R Moore
        Posted August 19, 2014 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        Dr Redwood,

        I’m curious who charged these 6 Mp’s with finding the ‘right person’ .
        I don’t think they would have wanted to choose the ‘wrong person.’ anymore than they would have wanted to upset Mr Bercow and rock the promotion ladder.
        Something smells rotten here it’s akin to the Blair era when the disciples of St Tony believed that they owned the system.
        Were these 6 Mp’s selected as they were guaranteed to agree with Mr Bercow. ie Bercow cronies.

        Reply Mr Bercow has no patronage to offer them as Speaker. Do not assume all people operate from base or personal interest motives.

      • lifelogic
        Posted August 19, 2014 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

        My view is that Mr Bercow is totally unsuitable for his position and nearly always makes totally duff decisions on everything.

        Why on earth was he ever in the Tory Party?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted August 20, 2014 at 7:56 am | Permalink

          Presumably because it seemed to offer him the best opportunity to develop a career in politics. Allegedly at one time Blair also looked at the Tory party as a possible vehicle for his ambitions but decided that he’d probably do better with the Labour gang.

    • Kenneth R Moore
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Thanks John,

      I should cocoa!.
      The role involves overseeing over 2000 commons staff and a deep understanding of parliamentary procedure and the law. . Mrs mills has been described as ‘totally out of her depth’.
      How can she be described as the ‘best candidate ?. I suspect that Mr Bercow simply wanted a figure in the role who would be his puppet.
      I suspect the committee of 6 depended on the patronage of Mr Bercow in some way so it was a less than an independent vote.

      Reply I suggest you listen to the other side before leaping to false conclusions. You are in no position to make the allegations you are making.

      • Kenneth R Moore
        Posted August 19, 2014 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

        Reply I suggest you listen to the other side before leaping to false conclusions. You are in no position to make the allegations you are making.

        Just to clarify I’m not making any specific allegations just musing upon some of the possible conclusions that might be drawn by observers in the light of the information available. I hope we still live in a country that permits a degree of free speach.
        Tony Blair was very keen on making changes to procedures and that didn’t work out too well. We are right to be sceptical ?.

        I’m not for a moment suggesting anything improper has occured…but I will defend to the hilt mine and others right to question the motives behind the unusual and surprising appointment of Mrs Mills.

        “Critics have accused Mr Bercow – who has attempted to drive a significant modernisation of the Commons – of overlooking highly-qualified deputy clerk David Natzler for reasons of political correctness”.

        Betty Boothroyd told BBC Radio 4’s World At One that she had passed details of her concerns to Commons Leader Mr Hague, whose predecessor, Andrew Lansley, was on the cross-party appointment panel chaired by Mr Bercow.

        She said: “My real concern, my deep concern, is – I’m very sorry for this lady, Ms Mills – because she is totally out of her depth, she has no experience, she has no knowledge of the constitutional role of a parliamentary clerk.

        So if it turns out that the panel selected the ‘wrong’ candidate are we not entitled to ask is there something wrong with the selection process ?..and speculate upon what that might be ?. . Or is your view that it is not a member of the public’s ‘position’ to do this.. which was the tone of your earlier reply sadly.

        Reply In a democracy members of the public can rightly question or complain about anything they like and often do. I was pointing out that it was not an appointment made by Mr Bercow alone and before I decide on the wisdom or lack of it I want to hear from the 5 cross party MPs who chose this particular candidate. You and others draw your impressions of her from a couple of her critics. I would like to hear from her supporters as well.

  26. Robert Taggart
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Oneself would wish for no such union – with neither continetals or ‘cowboy country’ !
    Did ‘Chuchy’ not once utter – “If we have to choose a union between Europe or the Deep Blue Sea – we should choose the Deep Blue Sea” !

  27. M Browne
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    I would much prefer to be allied with Germany and France rather than the USA, which is a detestable society in my opinion.

  28. Eddie Hill
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    It’s high time someone had a look at the charter, then has a look at the way the BBC operates, and sorts it out! It is a public service broadcaster, not an organ for liberalism and the relevant social changes. It is required to produce balanced output, not leftist and/ or liberal propoganda.

    Either that or the BBC declares it’s bias so that people can decide whether or not they want to watch it, which would also involve the people not having to pay for it via the licence fee.

    Then we would see how much public sympathy and support it would generate.

  29. Tad Davison
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Too right John! This is what I mean when I say the BBC is pushing its own centre-left pro-EU agenda. But what the hell can we do about it?

    The BBC seems impervious to any form of criticism from the ordinary viewer. In my experience, they don’t even respond. They certainly don’t appear to keep a tally for public scrutiny. It must then fall to parliament to ensure BBC neutrality, and it has to be soon. We’ll get no change if the ones it benefits the most ever get back into office.

    Tad Davison


    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      Well Cameron clearly likes it just as it is. Why else would he appoint Lord Patten to head up the trustees with such dreadful result in choice of DGs. Patten is perhaps the most pro EU, Tory wet, “BBC think” person around. Soon we will get another Lord Patten type, perhaps without a Y chromosome if Cameron can find one.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted August 19, 2014 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        You’re probably right LL, but I for one am sick of paying for it via the compulsory licence fee. It’s almost as bad as paying a compulsory levy to the Europhile Labour Party. And the trash the BBC keeps coming out with that is later found to have no substance at all, makes a nonsense of their claim to be the most trusted broadcaster. I trust the BBC weather reports, and that’s about all. Even then, just the ones for the next day!

        I watched a short but interesting speech by Ed Murrow earlier, about the dangers of television journalism that seeks to misinform and condition people to accept one slanted version of events. It’s not just the procession of lefty DGs that needs to be looked at, it’s almost a prerequisite that BBC journalists themselves fit into the categories you so accurately describe.



  30. ian
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    As we all know this country is doom and is going to crash and so is the world as we know it, now is the time to start planing for the aftermath. The old world institution have got to go they have no credibility. It would be a mistake to try to reform them. We will have to close are self off from the world as we restructure i mean intellectually. We need some intelligent thinking and export are new idea like in the 19 century to save the planet. The 20th century has been a destructive time with wars and isms like socialism and capitalism and all the rest and religion has been know better. What you need is full democracy a no party system new tax system which people pay no tax”s on their physical work so that the unemployed are not used as a political football and dividing the people of the country. No signing up to world institutional crap without a full vote of all the people. Migrant sorted out and kept down to what the country can handle. The financial system with it derivatives and share buyback and to big to fail bank so on sorted out, the bank fail anyway. The country should not be reliant on exports, exports should be a bonus . Churchill was a man of vision something that has been lost you need it back are you a person of vision john.

  31. ian
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Look like deflation is getting the upper hand

    • acorn
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      Steady Ian, don’t panic yet. The Pound is high and has reduced import prices. Osborne has eased off the “austerity” last year and this year in preparation for the election. Hence, the above average GDP growth numbers at this stage (Osborne’s Plan A is working fine). The voters will never understand just how much “cash in the pocket” they have been screwed out of in the last four years. “Like taking candy from a baby”; older bloggers may remember that phrase.

      The economy is temporarily responding to the higher than expected government (spending) fiscal stimulus. Add to that the refunds from the fraudsters in the Spiv City of London, in the form of PPI refunds and similar; that are making a measurable contribution to household spending power.

      If the Conservatives get back in 2015, which I expect, position yourself for more front loaded, heavy, austerity during 2015 – 2017. By the end of that period, you will be able to by a new washing machine for half of today’s price in numerous closing down sales.

      Take note of what is happening in Eurozone. Inflation is far too low, indicating a gross lack of spending power, due to the lack of fiscal stimulus by the EU Treasury, because they haven’t got an EU Treasury. What they have got is a failed “currency union” with a central bank which is trying to do both fiscal and monetary operations. Every State in the Eurozone is using a foreign currency, (even the Germans who benefit enormously from it), over which they has no control.

      People of Scotland should understand exactly what constraints a “currency union”, like the Eurozone, puts on an economy. Independence is nothing like independence if you do not have the major advantage of having your own sovereign fiat currency, that floats in world currency markets. Scotland should take advice from Norway on how to control a petro-currency.

  32. Remington Norman
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Have you pointed this out to Professor Bogdanor and the BBC?

    Reply Yes

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      Professor Bogdanor is an Oxford PPE graduate it seems.

      Cameron types never let historical facts get in the way of their agenda. History to them is (rather like bogus statistics, irrational investments in green crap, tax fund and HS2) just to be used to forward their misguided agenda and at any price.

  33. ian
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Wet&mad on about tax evasion again with a good tax system you would not have to talk about tax evasion, tax evasion is everywhere,he should look near to home and big companies

  34. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Who the Hell is Professor Bogdanor? Is he on the EU payroll?

    In terms of the load of pro-EU propaganda and lies that are going to come our way over the next year or two, this item is trivial. All sorts of organisations funded by the EU are going to parade their ‘independent’ experts (about as independent as Scottish Civil Servants under Alex Salmond).

    I urge all Conservative Party Eurosceptic members of parliament to form an organisation call ‘Conservatives for Out’ RIGHT NOW. At the moment that will refer to the unacceptability of the current relationship with the EU. It will put David Cameron on notice that he must not just renegotiate but must renegotiate successfully. Note that Philip Hammond would logically be a member; even if he couldn’t sign up because of his cabinet status, everybody would know that he is a fellow traveller.

    Once ‘Conservatives for Out’ is established as a credible and well organised force, it can start to add ‘red lines’ defining what a successful renegotiation would be.

    All this is absolutely necessary to ensure that David Cameron cannot behave like Harold Wilson did in 1975, with a sham negotiation followed by a recommendation to vote ‘Yes’ in the 1975 referendum.

    [I can’t resist commenting on the picture of Alex Salmond outside Arbroath Abbey extolling the famous declaration. It reads as a pure exposition of Scottish nationalism but was actually a grovelling letter of supplication to the Pope. So it’s independence from the English but not from (Rome ed)?)

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      Professor Bogdanor is one of our foremost constitutional experts, supposedly.

      • lifelogic
        Posted August 19, 2014 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        Had we had a decent constitution MPs would not have been able to throw away voters rights to the EU, without asking their consent.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted August 20, 2014 at 7:46 am | Permalink

          Correct, our national constitution was put to the test and found woefully inadequate. The House of Lords, then dominated by hereditary peers, proved totally useless, and of course the lady we call our sovereign did nothing to defend our sovereignty. Yet even to this day there are Tories who yearn to reinstate all the hereditary legislators-for-life as supposedly being better than the present crew of predominantly appointed legislators-for-life, but at the same time are perfectly content for our Head of State to be no more than a cipher, a constitutional idling wheel driven by those who have been wangled into the House of Commons as the parliamentary candidates for three corrupt and unpatriotic political gangs.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted August 20, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        A constitutional expert who is ignorant of Churchill’s beliefs?

        “If I have to choose between Europe and the Open Sea, I will always choose the Open Sea.” Ring a bell?

  35. Mike Smith
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    “We are with Europe but not of it; we are linked but not compromised. We are associated but not absorbed. If Britain must choose between Europe and the open sea, she must always choose the open sea.” — Winston Churchill, House of Commons on May 11, 1953.

  36. Rhodri
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 3:43 pm | Permalink


    “It is clearly shown by the fact that women without children already earn more than men.” That’s untrue apart from in 4 countries worldwide. In the UK it’s about an 8% median pay gap between women without children and men. It’s 18-20% for all women.

    • lifelogic
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      I certainly have seen figures that support my claim, it certainly seems to be true for the younger generation under say 35 so is working through.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 19, 2014 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps it was single childless women? Anyway employers just want the best person or robot to do the job, why on earth would they discriminate, it is not in their interest to do so. And they would be out competed by businesses that snapped up all these under valued women, were they actually out there.

  37. forthurst
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Vernon Bogdanor is now an academic in Contemporary British History at King’s College, London, without doubt, occupied territory, but that someone with his background has
    misrepresented Churchill’s well-known, albeit Quixotic views on most issues, not including the fact that, without doubt, he regarded Europeans as ‘them’ not ‘us’, is altogether surprising and a trifle worrying bearing in mind his former role in grooming our future leaders; that he might have taken the ‘great’ Churchill’s name in aid to promote his own personal vision for our future does not even bear thinking about. It is also a matter of concern that although never having joined a political party, he is now a member of the Henry Jackson Society, a ‘think tank’ named after an American politician who inspired several of the neocon ‘crazies’ whose ME wars the US has been fighting for over a decade; let us hope David Cameron’s ME interventionism is his own barking mad idea.

    One of the saddest aspects of Churchill’s legacy was his own and his faction’s ascendency to leadership of the Conservative Party post-war which through lack of realism and intellectual power failed to deal with the Labour Party’s assault on our capacity to thrive once again as a powerful industrial monocultural nation, and having capitulated, decided to go begging to France for permission to fund their farmers in perpetuity.

    Reply Mr Bogdanor used to belong to a political party, but has subsequently become party neutral.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      Which political party did Mr Bogdanor belong to, not that there is much difference anyway?

  38. cosmic
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Churchill being selectively quoted to appear to endorse EU membership for the UK, is a hardy perennial. It’s been popping up and being slapped down for at least the last 15 years. Like bindweed, it just pops up again.

    The BBC clearly have an agenda to push, part of which is EU membership for the UK. It’s idle to suppose they are going to apologise for spreading a myth with furthers that agenda.

  39. Kenneth
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    There is an almost endless list of myths that have been promoted by the BBC.

    Just a few:

    How the National Socialists have morphed into right wingers (a clue is in the name)

    How the Thatcher years were marked by selfishness (as if we all changed our personalities)

    How right wing politicians from Ronald Reagan to Sarah Palin have been prone to gaffes (as if left wing politicians are somehow immune).

    The purpose of Mr Major’s ‘Back to Basics’ campaign (the BBC turned it into a statement about class).

    Worst of all is the constant theme, not just in the news, but right across the network, that business is bad, that right wingers are uncaring and that big government is good.

    This is not innocuous. This affects all of us. All too often politicians and organisations confuse public opinion with the BBC’s opinion and public policy is undemocratically changed as a result.

    For example, to what extent has pro taxation, pro green and pro immigration propaganda lead to policies that we would not have chosen had we been given the choice?

  40. sjb
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Churchill, 27 June 1950

    “If independent, individual sovereignty is sacrosanct and inviolable, how is it that we are all wedded to a world organisation [United Nations]?


    No one can contend that sovereignty will be affected by our participation in the discussions [the Shuman Plan for the creation of a supranational community (forerunner of the EU)] in Paris […] We are asked in a challenging way: “Are you prepared to part with any degree of national sovereignty in any circumstances for the sake of a larger synthesis?” […] The Conservative and Liberal Parties say, without hesitation, that we are prepared to consider, and if convinced to accept, the abrogation of national sovereignty, provided that we are satisfied with the conditions and the safeguards.

    Nay, I will go further and say that for the sake of world organisation we would even run risks and make sacrifices. […] The Conservative and Liberal Parties declare that national sovereignty is not inviolable, and that it may be resolutely diminished for the sake of all the men in all the lands finding their way home together.”

    Reply He was talking here of the UN, a world organisation, which we did join.

    • sjb
      Posted August 21, 2014 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

      Churchill thought the Labour Govt were wrong in refusing their invitation to attend discussions about the Schuman Plan. The Plan involved pooling sovereignty so he used our membership of the UN – which we had joined five years previously – as an example of where our sovereignty had been affected but to no apparent harm.

  41. William Grant
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    I think you are due an apology from the BBC about Prof. Bogdanor’s talk on the ”Westminster Hour” on Radio 4 (second part this Sunday). But when are the Conservatives going to apologise for Churchill being behind the setting up of ITV? If the BBC had been,instead, forced to take adverts on radio and tv, on half of its output, it would be a different organisation today. As it is, when he died, my parents were still wating for ITV and fifty years on we now have the nonsense where some Freeview customers have only a third of the channels of other licence payers.

    • stred
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      The Parliamentary Channel recently showed a talk by Prof Bogdanor too. This was about the build up to WW1. In it he slags off John Redwood and Nial Ferguson with regard to their opinions and joked about the current relationship with the EU. It would be interesting to ask the channel to commission a lecture given by Redwood and Ferguson in response. Presumably they claim to be politically neutral.

  42. Edward.
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Mr. Redwood, that is pretty much how I see it.

    Prof’ Bogdanor understands very well that, tell a small lie, and it soon becomes received wisdom.

    WS Churchill is so often ‘misread’ or, is it purposefully misconstrued – keeping it polite. WS Churchill was a figure of some portentous gravity, and when he declaimed his words, they still resonate not only in Britain but eventually across Europe.

    Bogdanor, doubtless is a clever man but he is also is an ideologue( etc ed) and much given to preachifying his world view – etc ed

    EU stricken it is, federalist to the core is Vernon, and a Monet and Schuman ‘le grand projet’ pedlar to boot. That internationalist tone, and all of it’s incumbent societal engineering – the spavined idea of a European demos and an end to nationalities ideology as if it were set in stone, Bogdanor signs up to all of that.
    Bogdanor, true enough has a way with words and twisting them to suit, using WS Churchill’s purpose and designs for Britain and slanting via cut and paste editing to favour EU federalism – is Bogdanor’s stock trade, after all he is a lecturer and evidently, he is no friend of Britain.

    Is it not unsurprising therefore that, Bogdanor’s quack potions are swallowed almost whole by his former students – many of whom crowd the front benches of both sides of the lower house.

  43. bluedog
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    So, Dr Bogdanor has misrepresented the views of Churchill on the BBC, having presumably done the same to David Cameron and countless other students over years of tutoring. How much damage has been caused by Dr B and his fellow travellers to the UK? The answer is an incalculable sum.

    As a reward for his life’s work, it is time for Dr Bogdanor to be transported to Re-Education Camp One, located on the island of South Georgia, there to reflect on his misrepresentations and misdemeanours in a spirit of honest self-assessment.

  44. Magnolia
    Posted August 21, 2014 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    I heard this interview when it was broadcast and I was incredulous.
    Churchill’s own mother was an American and I could not see him ever throwing his lot in with a country called Europe.
    Thank you for putting it right.
    I will make sure that my History student child knows the real story.

  • 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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