Updated: Aug 16, 2020
By Derek W Gardiner
"I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.........Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however hard and long the Road may be; for without victory there is no survival"
Winston Churchill-13 May 1940
Cast your mind back 80 years. France has fallen, Soviet Russia has entered a pact with Nazi Germany and Italy and Spain have been taken over by fascists. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain attempted to appease Hitler, letting him take part of Czechoslovakia to halt his territorial ambitions but to no avail. Now he stands on Britain's doorstep and half of Churchill's cabinet want to strike terms of peace. One man is determined to fight for victory at all costs, a man who swore to choke in his own blood before allowing Adolf Hitler dominion over these islands and that man was Winston Churchill.
I have just finished reading a book about Winston Churchill and the Empire, a book I fear might soon be banned but it tells a tale of how the British Empire united in a monumental effort and sacrifice to save the world from some of the Greatest tyrannies mankind had ever known, the axis powers of Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan and fascist Italy. Throughout most of my lifetime this sacrifice was honoured and the man who led the charge lived forever in our national story as our greatest hero but over the last few years that has changed.
Last year, Green MSP Ross Greer, branded Churchill a "White Supremacist" and a "mass murderer". Last weekend, protesters belonging to various left wing organisations chanted "Churchill was a racist" in front of his statue and defaced the monument, thankfully, the statue itself was not pulled down. This move was clearly not popular with ordinary members of the public, a group of shining examples of citizens came out and cleaned the graffiti off the statue.
While it is true that Mr Churchill held many views that would not be acceptable today, he was a product of his time like all our national heroes. For a nation to survive it needs tales of heroism and a glorious past; Britain has saved Europe from many tyrannies whether it be Admiral Horatio Nelson's defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 or Sir Francis Drake's defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. It is stories of these great people that form that fabric of our national story, yes they all had their faults but they are symbols of the British community.
Those complaining about the statue of Winston Churchill should probably reflect on what would have happened had his mission been unsuccessful. There would be no protests in central London or anywhere else in Britain because there would be no right to peaceful protest. There would be no statue of Sir Winston Churchill because there would be a statue of Adolf Hitler instead and we would all be living under a cruel tyrannical and racist government.
Churchill won our freedom and if his statue is toppled, it will be the beginning of the end of that freedom. Freedom is kept alive by knowledge of the past and the struggles that our ancestors went through to achieve it. If you lose that then there is nothing left to fight for.