Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill
Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was born on 30 November 1874 at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. His father was the prominent Tory politician, Lord Randolph Churchill. Churchill attended the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, before embarking on an army career. He saw action on the North West Frontier of India and in the Sudan. While working as a journalist during the Boer War he was captured and made a prisoner-of-war before escaping. In 1900, Churchill became Conservative member of parliament for Oldham. But he became disaffected with his party and in 1904 joined the Liberal Party. When the Liberals won the 1905 election, Churchill was appointed undersecretary at the Colonial Office. In 1908 he entered the Cabinet as president of the Board of Trade, becoming home secretary in 1910. The following year he became first lord of the Admiralty. He held this post in the first months of World War One but after the disastrous Dardanelles expedition, for which he was blamed, he resigned. He joined the army, serving for a time on the Western Front. In 1917, he was back in government as minister of munitions. From 1919 to 1921 he was secretary of state for war and air, and from 1924-1929 was chancellor of the exchequer. The next decade were his 'wilderness years', in which his opposition to Indian self-rule and his support for Edward VIII during the 'Abdication Crisis' made him unpopular, while his warnings about the rise of Nazi Germany and the need for British rearmament were ignored. When war broke out in 1939, Churchill became first lord of the Admiralty. In May 1940, Neville Chamberlain resigned as prime minister and Churchill took his place. His refusal to surrender to Nazi Germany inspired the country. He worked tirelessly throughout the war, building strong relations with US President Roosevelt while maintaining a sometimes difficult alliance with the Soviet Union. Churchill lost power in the 1945 post-war election but remained leader of the opposition, voicing apprehensions about the Cold War (he popularised the term 'Iron Curtain') and encouraging European and trans-Atlantic unity. In 1951, he became prime minister again. He resigned in 1955, but remained an MP until shortly before his death. As well as his many political achievements, he left a legacy of an impressive number of publications and in 1953 won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Churchill died on 24 January 1965 and was given a state funeral. My tastes are simple: I am easily satisfied with the best. Abhi Sharma Page 181 Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. If you are going through hell, keep going. History will be kind to me for I intend to write it. Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals. The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. Don't interrupt me while I'm interrupting. Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it. There is no such thing as a good tax. An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile—hoping it will eat him last. The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes. We are all worms, But I do believe that I am a glow worm. A joke is a very serious thing. Abhi Sharma Page 182 To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often. The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see. Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried. Personally I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught. War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can’t smile, grin. If you can’t grin, keep out of the way till you can. You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks. We contend that for a nation to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. Politics is the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen. Never, never, never give up. A prisoner of war is a man who tries to kill you and fails, and then asks you not to kill him. A small lie needs a bodyguard of bigger lies to protect it. Battles are won by slaughter and maneuver. The greater the general, the more he contributes in maneuver, the less he demands in slaughter. If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons. Danger: if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never! Abhi Sharma Page 183 If we open a quarrel between past and present, we shall find that we have lost the future. A good speech should be like a woman's skirt: long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest. When you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite. Always remember, that I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me. When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you. Churchill: "Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?" Socialite: "My goodness, Mr. Churchill... Well, I suppose... we would have to discuss terms, of course... " Churchill: "Would you sleep with me for five pounds?" Socialite: "Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!" Churchill:"Madam, we've already established that. Now we are haggling about the price.” If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at forty, you have no brain. You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give. He who dares, wins. Continuous effort! not strength or intelligence, is the key to unlocking your potential. Sometimes our best is simply not enough. We have to do what is required. I do not see any other way of realizing our hopes about World Organization in five or six days. Even the Almighty took seven. Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy, and the lash. There is no time for ease and comfort. It is the time to dare and endure.