W. Churchill was the man who destroyed the BE.

Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
14,030
Navan, Ireland
Referendums aren't some special treats for being a good little doggie dog, it's skirting democracy. As Margaret Thatcher and Clement Atlee said it's the tool of despots and demagogues. There's nothing less democratic.

Have you got a source for that quote?

And I'd disagree actually taking a vote on an issue could really be more democratic.

It's illegal in all of Europe.
Its not in Britain as you claim, are you thinking about David Irving trial? because that was a civil case he took against a publisher and another author who had written a book very critical of his work. He lost by the way.
 
Jun 2016
34
Europe
It's illegal in all of Europe.
No it's not. 11 countries (if that, it's legal in parts of Italy, though in the majority of the country it is illegal) is not 'all of Europe'!

Referendums aren't some special treats for being a good little doggie dog, it's skirting democracy. As Margaret Thatcher and Clement Atlee said it's the tool of despots and demagogues. There's nothing less democratic.
I don't think you understand how a democracy works. The people get to vote on referendums when changes in policy seem to be popular among the masses, this referendum was a change of foreign economic policy. Ancient Athens once voted it's most brilliant son (Socrates) to be killed. Referendums are inherent in the democratic system!
 
Last edited:
Oct 2015
367
Belfast
The man who destroyed the British Empire was Gavrilo Princip, who set out to end Serbian subservience to the Austro-Hungarian crown and managed with his assassination of the archduke to light the keg that destroyed European hegemony for the first time in centuries. It was the Great War that started the quick decline of European power, including that of Britain, not the second world war, by then the situation was untenable, politically and financially (although the second world war did a lot to hasten the end of the Empire due to among other things showing the ultimate end of extreme nationalism and colonialism with Nazi Germany).
Yes. This was the man who survived the war and before he died he expressed his regret in shooting Archduke Franz Ferdinand. I'd call it the Law of unintended consequences. But that said, there was another man who destroyed the British Empire - President Woodrow Wilson. Didn't he regard British and German imperialism as the cause of wars?
 

Edric Streona

Ad Honorem
Feb 2016
4,471
Japan
Nah. The empire had started to fragment earlier than that.
Ireland was independent 1922?
Canada essentially by 1867.
Australia by 1901
NZ 1907
South Africa 1909.
...
the rest would follow eventually. WW1-2 combo sped up the process.
 

Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
14,030
Navan, Ireland
It seems that many people don't actually understand who or what Churchill was-- he was never dictator of Britain but just a Prime Minister (twice in different circumstances) and his main influence came 1940-45 when unsurprisingly his main focus was fighting WWII!

Empires don't rise and fall in 5 short years
 

caldrail

Ad Honorem
Feb 2012
5,308
The man who destroyed the British Empire was Gavrilo Princip, who set out to end Serbian subservience to the Austro-Hungarian crown and managed with his assassination of the archduke to light the keg that destroyed European hegemony for the first time in centuries.
The thing is Princip wasn't alone. He was the only one of a number of conspirators who should have acted that day, the others bottled out. However, he did not actually start the war. The Austro-Hungarian Empire had the same day as the assassination agreed to use military force against Serbia - all Princip did was give them an excuse for declaring war. Russia didn't like their Serbian allies being bullied and declared war on Austro-Hungary. Germany declared war on Russia. Britain and France declared war on Germany. The whole stupid conflict was set off by a series of gripes and rivalries in Europe - but please note, underlying the conflict were two themes. A new united Germany seeking to grab status and territory on the world stage as a colonial power, and increasingly, a struggle between political ideologies that became the inheritance of the Great War later on and lasting toward the end of that century when Germany was re-united peacefully.

The war was difficult to stop. AJP Taylor maintained that the straightjacket of railway timetables made it impossible to halt mobilisation. Indeed, there is a story that the Kaiser ordered champagne when he relaxed, telling his senior staff that the war had been averted by diplomacy. "But Herr Kaiser," One general spoke up, "We have thousands of men embarking on trains and we cannot stop the process". The Kaiser sighed and cancelled his champagne. The very same Kaiser that Hitler would later receive a letter from congratulating him. "He's an idiot" Hitler said.

But Churchill? The problem with the British of the time was that there were many in senior positions who did not have the stomach for a long conflict. When the result of the Battle of France was becoming obvious there was considerable pressure on Churchill to speak to the Italians and negotiate an armistice with the Germans. Churchill sat in the War Council alone and resisted that idea, knowing full well it would lead eventually to German annexation. Churchill was not well liked. Many remembered his adventurism and failed military initiatives in the past, as well as his fairly disastrous spell as Chancellor of the Exchequer. He would face a vote of no confidence during the war and his escape from that situation was enabled because no-one could think of anyone better qualified to lead Britain in war against the Third Reich.

Churchill's main success was bringing the Americans on board. They were not keen to get involved in another European war, with a lot of German sympathy in their society and the Neutrality Act to make involvement in foreign wars illegal. By making commercial supply and the Lend-Lease deal active, America was able to become the 'Arsenal of Democracy' - and please note the Americans did nothing by halves. Industry was brought under centralised organisation and supported the war to an astonishing degree - for instance the three million cars a year made for American civilians before the war became less than two hundred during the forties. Stalin made no argument over it - American industry had won the war. Not without criticism. Both the candidates for the presidential election had promised none of their boys would go to war in Europe, and the joke of the time was that "Churchill wanted to fight to the last American".

But was Britain a satellite of America? Nonsense. America had done well out of World War Two. It was twice as wealthy as it had begun the war, with huge surpluses in grain, rubber, steel, textiles, and so forth. No wonder the fifties are so fondly remembered there. In Britain it was different. For us the war had been an exhausting process with rationing still in place during the mid-fifties. Our railways worn out. Yet Britain was still a leader in aviation, especially jet power, with both Russia and America benefitting from British sales. Britain and America were allies in the democratic faction, facing a post war situation with communist Russia who was clearly not going to keep to the agreements made at Yalta. The truth was that the 'Special Relationship' had been forged in World War Two but America was always a lot more pragmatic about it than the grateful Britons.
 
Jan 2017
783
UK
It seems that many people don't actually understand who or what Churchill was-- he was never dictator of Britain but just a Prime Minister (twice in different circumstances) and his main influence came 1940-45 when unsurprisingly his main focus was fighting WWII!

Empires don't rise and fall in 5 short years
The USA & to a lesser extent Germany were looking like new rivals near the end of the 19th century. Ruling over large populations and land masses halfway across the world was expensive & impractical logistically, not to mention it was becoming politically harder to justify Imperial rule when Ireland, South Africa & India were calling for independence.

Britain was still a strong power, it just had new rivals in a changing global landscape & couldn't adapt quickly enough.
 
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rvsakhadeo

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
9,213
India
Ruling an Empire had become an idea past its due date, so to speak, by the time the WW II was over. Churchill, it is true, was a dyed-in-the-wool imperialist but he had very little do with the actual dissolution of the Empire. Britain was no longer able to hold down India, after WW II, these are the very words from the preamble to the Independence of India Act passed by the British Parliament, soon after WW II. Britain had been bled white during WW II and Churchill was not responsible for the terrible after-effects of the WW II. If you have to thank some person for the dismantlement of the British Empire, it might be Hitler rather than Churchill.
 

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,551
Republika Srpska
Nah. The empire had started to fragment earlier than that.
Ireland was independent 1922?
Canada essentially by 1867.
Australia by 1901
NZ 1907
South Africa 1909.
...
the rest would follow eventually. WW1-2 combo sped up the process.
Keep in mind that all of those countries, while independent, was still somewhat tied to the British Empire. For example, before the 1920s they were bound by Britain's foreign policy.