Tag Archives: the fabian society

In Defense of Churchill

It appears to be the latest fashion to attack those who can no longer defend themselves, including the great Winston Churchill. I was recently involved in an event during which one of the participants labelled Churchill as a “war criminal”.

Whilst Churchill did, as with all of us possess faults, he was no “war criminal”, nor can one equate him with Hitler as some remarkably stupid people have done.

Below are a couple of interesting article which counteract some of the accusations leveled against Churchill:

https://winstonchurchill.hillsdale.edu/white-supremacy/. (An article about Churchill’s alleged white supremacist views).
https://openthemagazine.com/essay/churchill-a-war-criminal-get-your-history-right/. (An article by an Indian historian in which he argues that Churchill was no “war criminal”).
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/feb/17/eugenics-skeleton-rattles-loudest-closet-left. (An interesting article which mentions Churchill’s support for eugenics. However the main point of the article is to highlight the left’s (including the Fabian Society’s) support for eugenic measures. I find it interesting that those who criticise Churchill are (for the most part) silent on the advocacy by many Socialists of eugenics policies in the early part of the 20th century. Double standards?).

Lets Talk About Eugenics

In 1913 the British Parliament enacted The Mental Incapacity Act. The legislation had it’s origins in the Eugenic idea that the poor, the mentally incapacitated and other marginal groups where placing an intolerable burden on the state and should be sterilised and/or confined to secure facilities (hospitals for “the mentally defective” as they where then frequently termed). Eugenics was predicated on the belief that defective genes where responsible for poverty, unmarried motherhood and other things which the eugenicists wished to eradicate. As a consequence of the Act 40,000 individuals where confined to institutions, those imprisoned ranging from those with learning disabilities through to petty criminals and unmarried mothers.

Eugenic measures where widespread with America being particularly zealous in their promotion via the Eugenics Society (a similar organisation existed in the UK). As a consequence of the murder of people with disabilities under the Nazi’s Action T-4 Programme eugenics, not surprisingly became a dirty word but as late as the 1970’s eugenic measures where being employed in Sweden against people with certain disabilities.

Support for eugenics has come from people with divergent political views. The Socialist Fabians (Sidney and Beartrice Webb) where strong proponents of Eugenics and the Labour MP Will Crooks described the poor as “almost like human vermin”. The Liberal Beveridge (the man responsible for drawing up the modern welfare state) advocated for Eugenics while Winston Churchill (a Liberal and, later a Conservative politician) advocated for Eugenics.

In “An Act of Mercy” I imagine a UK in which eugenics has been adopted as official government policy. Individuals are tasked by the government to visit families and identify those with disabilities. Anyone so identified is removed from their family and subjected to special measures. Such an idea was, in fact proposed by Leonard Darwin in the early 20th century although he did not support the killing of so-called “defectives” but their separation from the rest of society.

 

For an interesting article on the support for Eugenics by people on the Left please see the following piece in The Spectator, http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/5571423/how-eugenics-poisoned-the-welfare-state/. (The article is skewed as it fails to mention that many non-socialists also advocated strongly for eugenics, a fact mentioned in the comments following on from the piece. It is, none the less worth reading).

The New Statesman has a good article on Eugenics which can be found here, http://www.newstatesman.com/society/2010/12/british-eugenics-disabled.

For information on Will Crooks please see, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_Crooks.

For my collection of short stories, An Act Of Mercy And Other Stories please see, http://www.amazon.com/An-act-mercy-other-stories-ebook/dp/B00EHS74CS. An Act Of Mercy is free in the Kindle Store until Monday 1 December.