Winston Churchill was voted ‘Greatest Briton’ of all time and now a “Churchill” five-pound note has entered circulation, honouring a man who swilled on champagne while 4 million men, women and children in Bengal starved due to his racist colonial policies.
“I’d rather see them have a good civil war”. – Churchill wishing partition on India
Very few in Britain know about the genocide in Bengal let alone how Churchill engineered it. Churchill’s hatred for Indians led to four million starving to death during the Bengal ‘famine’ of 1943. “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion” he would say. Bengal had a better than normal harvest during the British enforced famine. The British Army took millions of tons of rice from starving people to ship to the Middle East – where it wasn’t even needed. When the starving people of Bengal asked for food, Churchill said the ‘famine’ was their own fault “for breeding like rabbits”. The Viceroy of India said “Churchill’s attitude towards India and the famine is negligent, hostile and contemptuous”. Even right wing imperialist Leo Amery who was the British Secretary of State in India said he “didn’t see much difference between his [Churchill] outlook and Hitler’s”. Churchill refused all of the offers to send aid to Bengal, Canada offered 10,000 tons of rice, the U.S 100,000, he just point blank refused to allow it.
Throughout WW2 India was forced to ‘lend’ Britain money. Churchill moaned about “Indian money lenders” the whole time. The truth is Churchill never waged war against Nazism or fascism. He went to war with Germany to defend the British Empire, he said this about India during WW2 “are we to incur hundreds of millions of debt for defending India only to be kicked out by the Indians afterwards”.
Churchill spent some time in Afghanistan. While there he said “all who resist will be killed without quarter” because the Pashtuns need “recognise the superiority of race”. He believed the Pashtuns needed to be dealt with, he would reminisce in his writings about how he partook in the burning villages and people’s homes:
“We proceeded systematically, village by village, and we destroyed the houses, filled up the wells, blew down the towers, cut down the great shady trees, burned the crops and broke the reservoirs in punitive devastation.”
When Britain seized Iran’s oil industry Churchill proclaimed it was “a prize from fairyland beyond our wildest dreams”. Churchill meddled in Iranian affairs for decades, he helped exclude Iranians from their natural resources and encouraged the looting when most lived in severe poverty. In June 1914 Churchill proposed a bill in the House of Commons that would see the British government become become the major shareholder of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. The company would go on to refrain from paying Iran its share of the dividends before paying tax to the British exchequer. Essentially the British were illegally taxing the Iranian government.
When the nationalist government of Mohammad Mosaddegh threatened British ‘interests’ in Iran, Churchill was there, ready to protect them at any cost. Even if that meant desecrating democracy. He helped organise a coup against Mosaddegh in August 1953. He told the CIA operations officer that helped carry out the plan “if i had been but a few years younger, I would have loved nothing better than to have served under your command in this great venture”.
Churchill arranged for the BBC to send coded messages to let the Shah of Iran know that they were overthrowing the democratically elected government. Instead of the BBC ending their Persian language news broadcast with “it is now midnight in London” they under Churchill’s orders said “it is now exactly midnight”. Churchill went on to privately describe the coup as “the finest operation since the end of the war [WW2]”. Being a proud product of imperialism he had no issue ousting Mosaddegh so Britain could get back to sapping the riches of Iran.
Churchill was appointed ‘Secretary of State for the Colonies’ in 1921 and he formed the ‘Middle East Department’ which was responsible for Iraq. Determined to have his beloved empire on the cheap he decided air power could replace ground troops. A strategy of bombing any resistance to British rule was now employed. Several times in the 1920s various groups in the region now known as Iraq rose up against the British. The air force was then put into action, indiscriminately bombing civilian areas so to subdue the population. Churchill was also an advocate for the use of mustard and poison gases. Whilst ‘Secretary for War and Air’ he advised that “the provision of some kind of asphyxiating bombs” should be used “for use in preliminary operations against turbulent tribes” in order to take control of Iraq. When Iraqi tribes stood up for themselves under the direction of Churchill the British unleashed terror on mud, stone and reed villages. Churchill’s bombing of civilians in ‘Mesopotamia’ (Kurdistan and Iraq) was summed up by war criminal ‘Bomber Harris’:
“The Arab and Kurd now know what real bombing means within 45 minutes a full-sized village can be practically wiped out, and a third of its inhabitants killed or injured, by four or five machines which offer them no real target, no opportunity for glory as warriors, no effective means of escape”.
In 1904 Churchill said “I remain of the opinion that a separate parliament for Ireland would be dangerous and impractical”. Churchill’s ancestry is linked to loyalism to Britain, he is a direct descendent of the ‘Marquis of Londonderry’ who helped put down the 1798 United Irishmen rising. He would live up to his families reputation when it came to suppressing revolutionary forces in Ireland.
The Black and Tans were the brainchild of Churchill, he sent the thugs to Ireland to terrorise at will. Attacking civilians and civilian property they done Churchill proud, rampaging across the country carrying out reprisals. He went on to describe them as “gallant and honourable officers”. It was also Churchill who conceived the idea of forming the Auxiliaries who carried out the Croke Park massacre, firing into the crowd at a Gaelic football match, killing 14. Of course this didn’t fulfill Churchill’s bloodlust to repress as people who he described as “odd” for their refusal “to be English”, he went on to advocate the use of air power in Ireland against Sinn Fein members in 1920. He suggested to his war advisers that aeroplanes should be dispatched with orders to use “machine-gun fire or bombs” to “scatter and stampede them”.
The British Army under the guidance of Churchill perpetrated a massacre on the streets of Athens in the month of December 1944. 28 protesters were shot dead, a further 128 injured. The British demanded the that all guerrilla groups should disarm on the 2nd December 1944. The following day 200,000 people took to the streets, and this is when the British Army under Churchill’s orders turned their guns on the people. Churchill regarded ELAS (Greek People’s Liberation Army) and EAM (National Liberation Front) as “miserable banditti”, these were the very people who ran the Nazis out. His actions in the month of December were purely out of his hatred and paranoia for communism.
The British backed the right-wing government in Greece returned from exile after the very same partisans of the resistance that Churchill ordered the murder of had driven out the Nazi occupiers. Soviet forces were well received in Greece, this deeply worried Churchill. He planned to restore the monarchy in Greece to combat any possible communist influence. The events in December were part of that strategy.
In 1945, Churchill sent Charles Wickham to Athens where he was in charge of training the Greek security police. Wickham learned his tricks of the trade in British occupied Ireland between 1922-1945 where he was a commander of the colonial RUC, responsible for countless terror.
In April 1945 Churchill said “the [Nazi] collaborators in Greece in many cases did the best they could to shelter the Greek population from German oppression” and went on to say “the Communists are the main foe”.
Britain declared a state of emergency in Kenya in 1952 to protect its system of institutionalised racism that they established throughout their colonies so to exploit the indigenous population. Churchill being your archetypical British supremacist believed that Kenya’s fertile highlands should be only for white colonial settlers. He approved the forcible removal of the local population, which he termed “blackamoors”.
150,000 men, women and children were forced into concentration camps. Children’s schools were shut by the British who branded them “training grounds for rebellion”. Rape, castration, cigarettes, electric shocks and fire all used by the British to torture the Kenyan people under Churchill’s watch.
In 1954 in a British cabinet meeting Churchill and his men discussed the forced labour of Kenyan POWs and how to circumvent the constraints of two treaties they were breaching:
“This course [detention without trial and forced labour] had been recommended despite the fact that it was thought to involve a technical breach of the Forced Labour Convention of 1930 and the Convention on Human Rights adopted by the Council of Europe”
The Cowan Plan advocated the use of force and sometimes death against Kenyan POWs who refused to work. Churchill schemed to allow this to continue.
Caroline Elkins book gives a glimpse into the extent that the crimes in Kenya were known in both official and unofficial circles in Britain and how Churchill brushed off the terror the colonial British forces inflicted on the native population. He even ‘punished’ Edwina Mountbatten for mentioning it, “Edwina Mountbatten was conversing about the emergency with India’s prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and the then colonial secretary, Oliver Lyttleton. When Lyttleton commented on the “terrible savagery” of Mau Mau… Churchill retaliated, refusing to allow Lord Mountbatten to take his wife with him on an official visit to Turkey”.
The above was Churchill’s treatment of non-Brits but it was Churchill who called out the troops during the Dock Strike in 1911. The same year at Tonypandy he sent over 1,000 metropolitan police—many of them being mounted and armed with swords—besides which about 1,500 soldiers, including many cavalry, were despatched to crush the miners. Churchill, also prepared, previous to the railway workers going on strike, and turned out at the request of the railway magnates, no less than 58,000 troops, crushing by militarism the attempt of those workers to slightly improve their admittedly rotten conditions of existence. He was Chancellor of the Exchequer in the government which put on the statute book the 1927 Trades Disputes Act, prohibiting strikes by one group of workers in sympathy with another, curtailing the right of picketing, and preventing the Civil Service unions affiliating to the T.U.C.
Winston Churchill expressed admiration for Mussolini. Indeed Winston Churchill wrote in the Times in 1938: 'Were England to suffer a national disaster I should pray to god to send a man of the strength of mind and will of an Adolf Hitler'.