Churchill is traditionally remembered by scholars and the British public alike who defeated the evil of fascism, in what is commonly regarded as ‘Britain’s finest hour’. But this glowing account of Churchill’s legacy negates to mention Churchill’s sympathy with the fascist cause as a means of mitigating the spread of Bolshevik communism, and only staunchly opposed the threat of fascism when German fascist expansionary ambitions directly threatened Britain & Churchill’s imperialist interests. Churchill was a raving supporter of Mussolini, declaring that to quote ‘fascism has rendered a service to the entire world’ and that, and these were also his words: ‘If I were Italian, I am sure I should have been wholeheartedly with you from the start to finish in your triumphant struggle against the bestial appetites and passions of Leninism”. His sympathy for fascist ideology doesn’t just extend to Mussolini: to Hitler in 1935, he wrote: ‘“If our country were defeated, I hope we should find a champion as indomitable to restore our courage and lead us back to our place among the nations.” Let’s not forget that Churchill’s conviction of the ‘superiority of the Aryan race’ is starkly reminiscent of Hitler’s white supremacist rhetoric.


This whitewashing of Churchill’s bigotry and the right-wing media’s insistence that this warmongering genocidal imperialist is some hero worthy of unwavering adulation is intensely problematic is intensely problematic, as many of the ideals he espoused are rightly regarded as racist bigotry in today’s political climate. Just recently, The Times newspaper published an article by Lord Finkelstein, a Conservative Lord calling Churchill ‘a racist’ and a ‘life-long white supremacist’, due to his belief that the Tories should campaign on a platform of preventing ‘degenerate’ ‘coloured’ immigration from the West Indies, along with his suggested campaign slogan for the Tories’ 1955 General election was ‘Keep England White’, him quoted as saying said that ‘whites were a stronger race, a higher grade race than black people or Indians’, ‘and it was therefore right for white people to take those people’s place’ and also due to the fact that almost Nazi belief that "the Aryan stock is bound to triumph due to its superiority" compelled him to engage in a number of imperial conquests. 


Whilst critics have argued that this revisionist reception of Churchill as a white supremacist is reductive, using the line of argument that his xenophobic rhetoric was acceptable within the context of Victorian society and that Churchill was merely a product of his era, Churchill’s rampant racial prejudice was considered backwards, even by Victorian standards. Indeed, even at the time, Churchill was seen as extremist in his ideology and at the most brutal and racist end of the British imperialist spectrum, so much so that many of his Cabinet colleagues thought Churchill was driven by a deep loathing of democracy for anyone other than the British and a tiny clique of supposedly superior races and warned the Prime Minister at the time, Stanley Baldwin, not to appoint him to Cabinet as his views on race and eugenics were so thoroughly antiquated and morally reprehensible.


Worst of all, Churchill’s racial contempt and ignorance also bled through into his foreign policy. Churchill orchestrated the Bengal famine, exporting grain and being responsible for the unnecessary deaths of 4 million Indians. Churchill openly admitted his visceral hatred of Indians, referring to them as ‘a beastly people with a beastly religion’, and that it was their fault for dying in the famine because they ‘bred like rabbits’ and because they were “the beastliest people in the world, next to the Germans’. Churchill also likened the Palestinians to ‘barbaric hoards who ate little but camel dung’, he claimed that China was a ‘barbaric nation that required British partition’ to bring it into civilisation, he referred to also Egyptians as ‘degraded savages’, the man you glorify and hype up so much believes that Pakistanis were ‘deranged jihadists’ whose violence was explained by a "strong aboriginal propensity to kill". This was a man who advocated gassing the Kurds and who declared himself "strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes" and thus this ahistorical nostalgia of Churchill, who is nothing more than a barbaric white supremacist with an entrenched hatred of other races. Indeed, his racial intolerance was so horrible that Leo Amery, British Secretary of State in India , said that he “didn’t see much difference between his outlook and Hitler’s” regarding race and eugenics. But, whilst there is mostly a general consensus that Hitler is a white supremacist, authoritarian mass murderering prick, this tag is similarly applicable to Churchill, but yet Churchill is widely eulogised and any criticism of the colonialist atrocities he was involved in or his own racist words is somehow regarded as heinous. Why is that? Is it because we're biased towards exculpating our own history, to the point where we’re blinkered to the fact that Churchill is just another example of how our supposedly great empire was built on the genocidal eradication, famine and subjugation of other races and cultures.


Furthermore, whilst Churchill is commonly romanticised as ‘one of the greatest Britons who ever lived’ due to World War II and defeat of Nazi fascism, the truth is that it would be reductive to merely credit that to Churchill, and not the role of ordinary British citizens, our allies, the 27 million Soviet soldiers and civilians who died during that war, the Americans, the French Resistance and how their blood, strength, tears and sacrifice was spivotal in rescuing democracy and our freedoms against the evil clutches of fascism. Churchill was also at the helm of the diabolical Gallipoli campaign during World War II, in which tens of thousands of British civilians died unnecessarily as a result of Churchill’s needless competence. It t is telling that as soon as those incredibly brave soldiers returned home, they helped to vote Winston Churchill out of office in large numbers, in what was a landslide victory for the most radically left-wing Labour government in history, as his actions in the Colonies and his attitudes to race and eugenics were too divisive and many at the time just didn’t believe that Churchill was the suitable leader to rebuild Britain in peacetime. As his track record shows, Churchill just didn’t have the interests of ordinary working classes, or indeed anyone, other than a narrow circle of middle-class straight white men at heart and this was widely recognised and reflected by his failure to win the popular vote of ordinary British elections, so much so that even when he won his one general election, he still got less votes than Labour and only won due to our flawed, similarly out-of-date voting system. This was a man, who let’s not forget not only force-fed the suffragettes but sent soldiers to brutally crush the strikes of hundreds of innocent, oppressed Welsh miners in Tonypandy protesting for better rights, saying, and these were his own words: ‘If the Welsh are striking over hunger, then we must fill their bellies with lead’.


Thus, I firmly believe that this continued blind worship and romanticisation of Winston Churchill in British history as some sort of hero is dangerous to our understandings of race and understanding, especially  when the harrowing reality is that Winston Churchill’s legacy consists predominantly of virulent racism, sympathy for fascist and extremist ideology and of being one of the worst domestic politicians in history. Whilst the common school of thought regarding Churchill implies that his (overstated) role in World War II absolves him of guilt and blame for him wanting to inflict Nuclear holocaust on Soviet Union in peacetime, his thuggish and intensely racist attitudes that were regressive even for Victorian times, his complicity in the unnecessary deaths of millions of citizens, both British during the infamous Gallipoli campaign, and elsewhere through famines and violence driven by colonialism and racism, but I firmly reject it. How can we have a nuanced and informed discussion about the British Empire, racism or British foreign policy, when we continue to airbrush his horrible actions and distasteful racist, xenophobic venom out of British historical discourse and glorify this self-identified white supremacist as a figure worthy of acclaim? We have to end the uncritical reverence with which Churchill is treated and it is only right that we have a proper discussion over the actions of Churchill and other imperialist leaders within British history.