Today is the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill's funeral and the politicians of today are queueing up to heap praise upon him but is the British former Prime Minister really worthy of the high praise he is currently receiving?
Previously voted 'Greatest Britain', Churchill has a great reputation, mainly because as he said 'History will be kind to me as i intend to write it' but he obviously did not foresee a time when his own words would come back to show that far from being a 'Great Brit', he was actually an abhorrent human being.
His drunkenness is legendary, his quip to a female critic who questioned his insobriety with the reply that 'Madam, in the morning i will be sober but you will still be ugly' shows his prickly side while comments such as describing the many wars fought in the name of empire as: 'a lot of jolly little wars against barbarous peoples' that he was little better than the people he urged to never surrender to.
When concentration camps were built in South Africa, for white Boers, he said they produced "the minimum of suffering". The death toll was almost 28,000, and when at least 115,000 black Africans were likewise swept into British camps, where 14,000 died, he wrote only of his 'irritation that Kaffirs should be allowed to fire on white men' and demanded a programme of further invasions based on his belief that 'the Aryan stock is bound to triumph'.
Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin was warned by Cabinet colleagues not to appoint him because his views were so outdated and 'Winston thinks only of the colour of their skin' which was clear in his attitude to India.
When Mahatma Gandhi launched his campaign of peaceful resistance, Churchill raged that: 'he ought to be lain bound hand and foot at the gates of Delhi, and then trampled on by an enormous elephant. Gandhi-ism and everything it stands for will have to be grappled with and crushed'.
To make sure no doubt remained, he added: 'I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion'.
This hatred was confirmed during the 1943 famine in Bengal where 3 million people starved to death while British officials begged Churchill to direct food supplies to the region. He bluntly refused, raging that it was 'their own fault for breeding like rabbits' and by their actions they were: 'merrily culling the population'.
'On the subject of India' said the British Secretary of State to India at the time: 'Winston is not quite sane. I didn’t see much difference between his outlook and Hitler’s'.
Churchill believed that Kenya's most fertile lands should be the preserve of the white settlers, and approved the clearing out of the local "blackamoors". He saw the local Kikuyu as "brutish children". When they rebelled under Churchill's post-war premiership, some 150,000 of them were forced at gunpoint into detention camps where torture was administered through electric shocks, whippings, shootings and mutilations.
In reply to the torture regime where 14,000 died, he wrote only of his 'irritation that Kaffirs should be allowed to fire on white men'.
The view that the white man was superior was bought to the fore again when he denied any wrongdoing in handing over the Palestinian land to Israel, 'I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place'.
He was also a very keen advocate of using chemical weapons, urging a chemical strike on German cities using poison gas and anthrax in a memo to bomber command that: 'I may certainly have to ask you to support me in using poison gas. We could drench the cities of the Ruhr and many other cities in Germany, and if we do it, let us do it one hundred per cent' he wrote and when it was rejected as it would 'seriously impair our relations with the civilian population when it became generally known that chemical warfare was first employed by us', he responded: 'I am not at all convinced by this negative report. The matter should be kept under review'.
This wasn't the first time he argued for using poisonous gas, during the 1919 Iraqi uprising he argued that: 'I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes'.
Previously to ordering the saturation bombing of Dresden in 1945, where more than 500,000 German civilians and refugees, mostly women and children, were slaughtered in one day by the dropping of over 700,000 phosphorus bombs on the city, Churchill said of his military advisers: 'I do not want suggestions as to how we can disable the economy and the machinery of war, what I want are suggestions as to how we can roast the German refugees on their escape from Breslau'.
The evidence suggests that far from being a great, Churchill was a murderous racist who saw killing those who opposed the marauding British Empire as worthy of death or incarceration and held civilians with as little regard as the Nazis. A death camp run by the Nazi's in Poland killing Jews or one in Kenya run by the Brits is still a death camp.
It appears that far from fighting the Nazi's out of any ideal against fascism, he was a fan of Mussolini after all, he was merely trying to defend the British Empire from a rival who was copying his methods but you won't hear any of this mentioned over the next few days while the plaudits reign down.
All in all, it makes a charade of the MP's repeating the line parrot fashion that he was a great leader, he wasn't, he was a brutal man who has airbrushed his own history and whose whitewashed story has been swallowed by gullible Brits ever since.