Salisbury Diplomatic Society Mr Peter Hitchens on the ‘Churchill myth’

The Salisbury Diplomatic Society’s final meeting of the half saw the Mail on Sunday’s Peter Hitchens speak on the subject of how the ‘Churchill myth’ of British victory in the Second World War has harmed British domestic and foreign policy in the years following 1945. Mr Hitchens cogently argued that the Second World War was a political and economic defeat for Britain, ensuring the dominance of the United States, which he considered to have been Britain’s principal rival over the last century, and effectively ending Britain’s claims to being a first-rank power. Mr Hitchens further suggested that the guarantee of support issued to Poland by Britain and France in the spring of 1939 was a grievous error which dragged Britain into war at a time not of its own choosing, and that Britain would have done better not to have gone to war until forced to do so by circumstance.

Mr Hitchens’ talk resulted in some excellent discussion on a variety of matters, including the merits of British imperialism, the potential fate of the Soviet Union had Britain and France not declared war in 1939 and Germany’s involvement in the EU. The Society would like to thank him for an engaging and thought-provoking evening.

Ralph Morley KS