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DEMOCRACY: Democracy and Churchill



Kurt Gaubatz recalls Churchill's famous dictum: "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." (from a House of Commons speech on Nov. 11, 1947)

RH:
The timing of this famous remark is significant. Churchill won the war, but in the election of July 1945, he was defeated. At the time I thought the public showed gross ingratitude, but I am willing to accept the interpretation that Churchill was not the man to organize the peace.

When the news came out, Churchill was taking a bath (was there ever a statesman who spent more time in the bath?) He remarked "They have a perfect right to kick me out. That is democracy". When he was offered the Order of the Garter, he asked "Why should I accept the Order of the Garter, when the British people have just given me the Order of the Boot?".

He returned to power in 1951. The remark about democracy was made when he had lost power and had every reason to be bitter. Fortunately he kept his sense of humor even in the most trying circumstances.

Ronald Hilton - 09.05.03


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