Cambridge University strikes again.

Curryman

Well-known member
The home of the 1960's spies seems to have struck again. I wonder, sometimes, what young fertile minds learn at these great academies of learning.

'From the Daily Telegraph.'

Churchill College panel claims wartime PM was a white supremacist leading an empire 'worse than the Nazis'

Cambridge's Churchill College, established with the help of the leader in 1958, organised a discussion on the wartime Prime Minister

By Craig Simpson 11 February 2021 • 7:41pm



Churchill has been accused of complicity in the Bengal Famine

Winston Churchill was a white supremacist leading an empire “worse than the Nazis”, according to an academic panel at a Cambridge college named in his honour.

The former Prime Minister was immersed in a “white supremacist philosophy” of which he was the “perfect embodiment”, according to panellists discussing his legacy at a Churchill College event.

The group chaired by college fellow Prof Priyamvada Gopala, criticised in 2020 for claiming on social media that “white lives don’t matter… as white lives”, was branded biased before the event began for omitting defenders of the wartime leader.

Panellists for the “Racial Consequences of Mr Churchill” talk challenged this assumption before accusing the former Prime Minister of racism and complicity in the Bengal Famine which killed three million Indians.

The Empire he led against Nazi Germany in the Second World War was branded morally poorer than the Third Reich, and the view that a virtuous Britain defeated the genocidal state was deemed a “problematic narrative”.

Professor Kehinde Andrews, author of The Psychosis of Whiteness, said Churchill was: “The perfect embodiment of white supremacy”.

He claimed that this supremacist view dominated the politics of the day, and currently dominates in post-Imperial Britain, adding: “The British Empire far worse than the Nazis and lasted far longer.

“That’s just a fact. But if you state something like that it’s like heresy.”

Panellists agreed that discussing Churchill was an emotive subject because he had become beyond reproach, something which belied a historical problem of “lionising dead white men”, according to Prof Andrews.

Fellow panellist Dr Onyeka Nubia noted that Churchill’s History of the English Speaking Peoples made use of the language of white supremacy through the veiled terms “English Speaking Peoples” and “Anglo-Saxon”.

Dr Madhusree Mukerjee argued that the Prime Minister viewed Indians as “rabbits”, and his policies had a direct role in the Bengal Famine of 1943.

She further argued that “militarism is the core of the British identity”, and statues celebrating this should be taken down, adding: “It was the Soviets who defeated the Nazis and the Americans who defeated the Japanese.”

Historian Dr Zareer Masani wrote to the Cambridge College before the event warning that its panel lacked historical expertise and aimed only to “vilify” Churchill.

Andrew Roberts, author of Churchill: Walking with Destiny, described the panels’ claims as “libels” that are “entirely factually incorrect”.

He added: “A white supremacist wants bad things to happen to non-whites... Churchill fought to protect the hundreds of millions of non-whites in the Empire.

“If the Japanese had captured India in WW2 would have led to perhaps tens of millions of deaths if their record elsewhere was comparable.’

“Churchill did his best in the exigencies of wartime to alleviate the Bengal Famine.

“In his political career he fought again and again against slavery and for the rights of non-whites within the British Empire. Churchill was moreover instrumental in destroying the worst racist in history, Adolf Hitler.”

Churchill College said that the event was a panel discussion not a debate, and intended as one in a series of events on the leader’s legacy

So there it is and it's up for discussion.
 

Ruperthoop

Well-known member
Potty people full of hatred who are trying to cause deep divisions in society with their jackanory storytelling . This is hysterical claptrap and Gopala and Andrew are attempting to incite hatred and division.
 

Tangerinemoss

Well-known member
We have discussed on here before the pointlessness of putting current standards on past events. Churchill was a flawed human being who made some grave errors, and was also a leader, a focus, for the Allies before the Americans joined WW2. He undoubtedly held some views which we would currently find extreme, but he was of his time. To suggest that 1940's Britain was worse than the Nazi's is pretty poor for a bunch of academics. Cometh the hour, cometh the man.

As an aside, I was reading about the Education Secretary's plans to enforce free speech in Universities. On the surface something with which we would all agree. However, the campaign is being pushed and funded by some very "interesting "characters with some pretty abhorrent views on eugenics.

I think there is going to be another pretty hard debate about free speech in Academia again this year.
 

spudgun

Well-known member
Potty people full of hatred who are trying to cause deep divisions in society with their jackanory storytelling . This is hysterical claptrap and Gopala and Andrew are attempting to incite hatred and division.

Calm down!

Churchill was a complex man from a privileged background and lived in a time where social mores and norms were greatly different to today. The zeitgeist was totally different.

He also was at the sharp end of politics under enormous pressure and had to make decisions for `the greater good` on many occasions.

The finger may be pointed at him with regards to the Bengal Famine, but if it is, there may be mitigating factors in his reasoning. Whether they were moral is moot.

There are other examples of people being `sacrificed` for the greater good in war.

Whether it was the work of a "white supremacist" is very questionable; as is the claim that "a white supremacist wants bad things to happen to non-whites".

The comparison to Nazi Germany is pure sensationalism.

But we should accept Churchill for what he was - a deeply flawed national hero...
 
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Tangerinenick

Well-known member
Embarrassing so called 'intellectual' debate - as a former Pembroke Graduate from Cambridge why am I not surprised?

I am of course open to any ( Left wing debate cos if you are right of centre you must be a fascist/racist/supremacist/nationalistic/brexiteer and not entitled to open your gob ) :

What did the Romans ever do for us?

Stalinism and he growth of the Gulag.

Hitler the great vegetarian.

Pol Pot - agriculture made easy.

Was Elizabeth the first a twat?
 

Eternaloptimist

Well-known member
Were the assembled people made up of entirely non-English?
Interesting how supporters of the great man were not allowed entry and also, maybe someone should tell them that Germany started the war that killed millions of people and had we (and our allies) not intervened then God only knows what the outcome would have been
Maybe Professor Priyamvadi Gopala would not be here today to spout all her rhetoric.

Imagine if a group of English professors and historians attend the top university in India and delivered a seminar (without inviting people of contrary views and having bona fide proof that they are wrong) that Ghandi was a racist who was responsible for the deaths of millions etc! They would be hung, drawn and quartered for inciting racism and offending a great leader.

As the term “rabbits” is an obvious reference to how they breed how does she know that was his view? Where is the narrative to prove that?

And by the way, the above was in no way a discussion or a debate it was a group of racists whose sole intent was to discredit a great ENGLISHMAN ! And in the great halls that were named after him.
An absolute disgrace and an insult not only to Winston but to our Country.
 

Ruperthoop

Well-known member
Yes there is reason to believe Churchill was a flawed character but there has to be perspective on this such as what was going on at the time and any mitigating circumstances. There is no balance to their argument and i would not be surprised if there is a legal challenge to it. I also feel they are trying to incite hatred and division.
 

Wizaard

Well-known member
Were the assembled people made up of entirely non-English?
Interesting how supporters of the great man were not allowed entry and also, maybe someone should tell them that Germany started the war that killed millions of people and had we (and our allies) not intervened then God only knows what the outcome would have been
Maybe Professor Priyamvadi Gopala would not be here today to spout all her rhetoric.

Imagine if a group of English professors and historians attend the top university in India and delivered a seminar (without inviting people of contrary views and having bona fide proof that they are wrong) that Ghandi was a racist who was responsible for the deaths of millions etc! They would be hung, drawn and quartered for inciting racism and offending a great leader.

As the term “rabbits” is an obvious reference to how they breed how does she know that was his view? Where is the narrative to prove that?

And by the way, the above was in no way a discussion or a debate it was a group of racists whose sole intent was to discredit a great ENGLISHMAN ! And in the great halls that were named after him.
An absolute disgrace and an insult not only to Winston but to our Country.
Just to be pedantic we declared war on Germany after they invaded Poland.
 

Mexboroseasider

Well-known member
Yes there is reason to believe Churchill was a flawed character but there has to be perspective on this such as what was going on at the time and any mitigating circumstances. There is no balance to their argument and i would not be surprised if there is a legal challenge to it. I also feel they are trying to incite hatred and division.
The balance was provided by Andrew Roberts.
 

Mexboroseasider

Well-known member
We have discussed on here before the pointlessness of putting current standards on past events. Churchill was a flawed human being who made some grave errors, and was also a leader, a focus, for the Allies before the Americans joined WW2. He undoubtedly held some views which we would currently find extreme, but he was of his time. To suggest that 1940's Britain was worse than the Nazi's is pretty poor for a bunch of academics. Cometh the hour, cometh the man.

As an aside, I was reading about the Education Secretary's plans to enforce free speech in Universities. On the surface something with which we would all agree. However, the campaign is being pushed and funded by some very "interesting "characters with some pretty abhorrent views on eugenics.

I think there is going to be another pretty hard debate about free speech in Academia again this year.
Good reply which pretty much sums up my view.

I’ve also been reading about the free speech legislation that’s being mooted, which on the face of seems perfectly reasonable. But behind all that seems to be a blatantly political move to promote the new “Culture War” people are suddenly talking about. The people behind the move know this sort of issue appeals strongly to large parts of the conservative/traditional voters in this country, hence why it’s suddenly popping up in the media and government ministers are mentioning it.
 

Curryman

Well-known member
Free speech, what is it?

1963 was the year when the BBC ended its ban on mentioning politics, royalty, religion or sex in comedy shows.

Freedoms of speech, it could be argued, was curtailed by convention and not by law. The same principle appears to apply today, although the law has, quite rightly, stamped down on free speech where hatred is concerned, which makes some of the comments made, by those mentioned in the Telegraph, as being rather on the cusp of breaking those laws.
 
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TSSeasider

Well-known member
I’ve also been reading about the free speech legislation that’s being mooted, which on the face of seems perfectly reasonable. But behind all that seems to be a blatantly political move to promote the new “Culture War” people are suddenly talking about. The people behind the move know this sort of issue appeals strongly to large numbers of voters in this country, hence why it’s suddenly popping up in the media and government ministers are mentioning it.
I think that is probably more balanced.

I'd also add, that it wasn't the large numbers of the population who got their knickers in a twist of intersectionality and so on. Most folk are of a 'live and let live' persuasion from what I've seen.
 

straightatthewall

Well-known member
Obviously the statement '1940's Britain was worse than the nazi's' is total bull shit. But you are also allowed to point out that Churchill was a bit of a shit too. It's probably what made him a good war time leader.
 

Ruperthoop

Well-known member
Eternaloptimist- Totally agree with you. These are racists hell bent on destroying Churchills good name and fermenting hatred and division in society. And calling the" empire" morally poorer than the third reich is absurd. These clowns need to revisit history, Auschwitz would be a good start. " white supremacists"- i suppose it sells books.
 

Bloodtangerine

Well-known member
It's just a debate, although admittedly biased and it's not a viewpoint I would agree with but this is what happens in democracies although I realise some of a right leaning persuasion want to stop any criticism of anything British, which of course is ironically fascist in itself.
You Facist!😁
 

1966_and_all_that

Well-known member
We have discussed on here before the pointlessness of putting current standards on past events. Churchill was a flawed human being who made some grave errors, and was also a leader, a focus, for the Allies before the Americans joined WW2. He undoubtedly held some views which we would currently find extreme, but he was of his time. To suggest that 1940's Britain was worse than the Nazi's is pretty poor for a bunch of academics. Cometh the hour, cometh the man.

As an aside, I was reading about the Education Secretary's plans to enforce free speech in Universities. On the surface something with which we would all agree. However, the campaign is being pushed and funded by some very "interesting "characters with some pretty abhorrent views on eugenics.

I think there is going to be another pretty hard debate about free speech in Academia again this year.
A well balanced and thoughtful post TM. Imperialism is no a good thing and never was but Churchill grew up through the time of Empire and acted as we should expect for a Conservative born of the British aristocracy and American high society. People of all social classes generally looked down on people of colour - not necessarily in a hateful way, just casually. It is also true that the British Empire was responsible for some horrific crimes. But then, the British Government was forced to take over the governance of India from the East India Company because of the latter's barbaric practices. It is not all one dimensional and, yes, there is a place in academia for discussions like the one outlined in the OP.
 
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Mexboroseasider

Well-known member
I think that is probably more balanced.

I'd also add, that it wasn't the large numbers of the population who got their knickers in a twist of intersectionality and so on. Most folk are of a 'live and let live' persuasion from what I've seen.
I don’t think your change to my post is more balanced to be honest.

On the whole I think the Culture War issues being deliberately promoted at the moment are targeted at a specific demographic. When I said “conservative” I meant conservative with a small “c”, which is why I added the word “traditional” for clarity. I think for large parts of the electorate, especially many of the young, the issues that trigger posters on here don’t really resonate. And I agree with you that most folk are of a live and let live mindset, and don’t get themselves wound up about “taking the knee” and things like that. But the Culture Wars aren’t really aimed at them.
 

1966_and_all_that

Well-known member
Embarrassing so called 'intellectual' debate - as a former Pembroke Graduate from Cambridge why am I not surprised?

I am of course open to any ( Left wing debate cos if you are right of centre you must be a fascist/racist/supremacist/nationalistic/brexiteer and not entitled to open your gob ) :

What did the Romans ever do for us?

Stalinism and he growth of the Gulag.

Hitler the great vegetarian.

Pol Pot - agriculture made easy.

Was Elizabeth the first a twat?
No need to sneer. We talk about all sorts of politics on here and this item is no different. The OP raises fair points about what appear at first glance, to be a ridiculous string of accusations against Churchill. Others come in with their own take and in the end we all agree. Same as always.
 
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BFC_BFC_BFC

Well-known member
People would do well to listen to the discussion itself and perhaps soak up a bit of what was actually said, rather than talking shit in the absence of understanding....
 

TSSeasider

Well-known member
I don’t think your change to my post is more balanced to be honest.

On the whole I think the Culture War issues being deliberately promoted at the moment are targeted at a specific demographic. When I said “conservative” I meant conservative with a small “c”, which is why I added the word “traditional” for clarity. I think for large parts of the electorate, especially many of the young, the issues that trigger posters on here don’t really resonate. And I agree with you that most folk are of a live and let live mindset, and don’t get themselves wound up about “taking the knee” and things like that. But the Culture Wars aren’t really aimed at them.

I was unsure of the use of the word 'traditional' I'm a traditional voter insofar as I vote in most elections and it was that I had read it as.

Anyhow I agree with most of what you're saying; but I think the the 'cultural awakening' wasn't started by those who are against the type of revisionism going on with Churchill, just responding to it. Whether there are huge numbers of votes in standing against it I'm not so sure, so as an electioneering tool, I can't see a huge advantage to fomenting a response. I think it's a case of people just disagreeing with what appears to be happening because they disagree.

I guess most people will read what was said and probably agree or disagree and crack on with getting their tea ready.
 

Mexboroseasider

Well-known member
I was unsure of the use of the word 'traditional' I'm a traditional voter insofar as I vote in most elections and it was that I had read it as.

Anyhow I agree with most of what you're saying; but I think the the 'cultural awakening' wasn't started by those who are against the type of revisionism going on with Churchill, just responding to it. Whether there are huge numbers of votes in standing against it I'm not so sure, so as an electioneering tool, I can't see a huge advantage to fomenting a response. I think it's a case of people just disagreeing with what appears to be happening because they disagree.

I guess most people will read what was said and probably agree or disagree and crack on with getting their tea ready.

This research sort of bears out what we’re saying.
 

BigHandsOliverKahn

Well-known member
People would do well to listen to the discussion itself and perhaps soak up a bit of what was actually said, rather than talking shit in the absence of understanding....
Modern life doesn't work like that. An event will take place. A reporter will misunderstand what went on. They will go away and write an inaccurate report. They then add a headline on top that is more inaccurate than even their own report content because they applied their own political slant to it. That headline is the only thing the masses will read. The masses then become outraged.
 

BFC_BFC_BFC

Well-known member
Modern life doesn't work like that. An event will take place. A reporter will misunderstand what went on. They will go away and write an inaccurate report. They then add a headline on top that is more inaccurate than even their report content because they applied their own political slant to it. That headline is the only thing the masses will read. The masses then become outraged.
The O/P (obviously based on a pathetically biased News Article) is a very poor reflection of the nature of the discussion itself, which is actually extremely interesting and simply seeks to add some much needed balance to the subject at hand.

The comment regarding "worse than the Nazi's" for example is simply contextualised appropriately in the discussion itself, by virtue of comparing how long eavh lasted and the amount of suffering and death caused by each. The fact that people prefer to conveniently sidestep or ignore the factual reality is a matter for themselves, but I'm not sure they have the right to silence the discussion, just because it exposes potentially inconvenient truths.
 

Tangerinemoss

Well-known member

This is worth a read as well. Written by a conservative.
Interesting read, again supporting what posters have put above.

The thought expressed by the author that this Czar can fine, without a set of regulations, is certainly heading for Fascism

(Walks off whistling )
 

Recidivist3

Well-known member
The O/P (obviously based on a pathetically biased News Article) is a very poor reflection of the nature of the discussion itself, which is actually extremely interesting and simply seeks to add some much needed balance to the subject at hand.

The comment regarding "worse than the Nazi's" for example is simply contextualised appropriately in the discussion itself, by virtue of comparing how long eavh lasted and the amount of suffering and death caused by each. The fact that people prefer to conveniently sidestep or ignore the factual reality is a matter for themselves, but I'm not sure they have the right to silence the discussion, just because it exposes potentially inconvenient truths

Spot on, BFC. I doubt that any of the Mr Angry’s on here have, or will, listen to the debate and form their own opinions
 

20togo

Well-known member
People posting pathetically biased news articles on here? Wow, who'd have thought that that happens?
 

Mexboroseasider

Well-known member
People posting pathetically biased news articles on here? Wow, who'd have thought that that happens?
Which article or articles in particular? If you’re referring to the article from the Independent it was written by a member of the Conservative Party and Treasurer to the LSE Conservative Society.
 

Mexboroseasider

Well-known member
It would be a real waste if this discussion drifts off on a tangent towards some Left Wing / Right Wing bullshit....

AGAIN 🙄
I agree. It should really be a debate about free speech in universities.

The op began with a complaint about what was said by some people during a university debate.

We then moved on to the government about to appoint a free speech tsar to ensure people could say what they want during university debates. (Although I suspect the government minister probably wouldn’t have liked a lot of the comments made in debate mentioned above. And perhaps it wasn’t quite the free speech he’d had in mind. If I’m wrong then all credit to him).

And then we discussed the question of Culture Wars - whether they are real or concocted and exploited by politicians for their own ends?

Pretty interesting really.
 

basilrobbie

Well-known member
There is an interesting debate to be had about the extent to which our "ruling class" (sic) have historically flirted with ideas and attitudes that today we would label as fascistic. And Churchill and his wife would have been immersed in that culture, if not enthusiastically espousing all of it.

Much of our Imperial history is not much to be proud of, empirically speaking. And it undoubtedly had impacts upon our culture and values that still persist today - some good, but others bad (see Brexit for an example).

As for the article in the OP, it may be dressed up with a respectable pseudo-academic label. But it is just a more than usually refined piece of click bait.
 

BFC_BFC_BFC

Well-known member
I agree. It should really be a debate about free speech in universities.

The op began with a complaint about what was said by some people during a university debate.

We then moved on to the government about to appoint a free speech tsar to ensure people could say what they want during university debates. (Although I suspect the government minister probably wouldn’t have liked a lot of the comments made in debate mentioned above. And perhaps it wasn’t quite the free speech he’d had in mind. If I’m wrong then all credit to him).

And then we discussed the question of Culture Wars - whether they are real or concocted and exploited by politicians for their own ends?

Pretty interesting really.
Yes, you’ve managed to completely sidetrack the discussion (as per usual) towards your own politically biased agenda..

I’m not sure whether I should congratulate you for managing the process so capably and then following that up with som innocent (in denial) type statement to try and suggest it was just a natural progression of the debate itself!!!

Of course we need to preserve free speech in our Universities and it’s important that very little, if anything, is off the agenda...

The problem with many ‘Free Speech’ advocates from whichever side of the political spectrum is that they struggle with free speech that they don’t agree with...

In the case of the O/P, however, this isn’t about right or left or just freedom of speech, so much as a) An issue we have here in the U.K. with the attachment to a specific narrative / myth surround the empire and Churchill as a figurehead and b) a certain amount of inherent racism that resist the very idea that people with a different tone of skin might actually have something at value to say on the matter.

The O/P himself along with a good few of those following up, sums up precisely why these discussions must take place and need to be heard by the widest possible audience. The willingness to simply dismiss and even deride those who might focus on historical fact in favour of what essentially amounts to a load of fanciful made up bollocks, just because it feels more comfortable is embarrassing...

To my mind that mentality is no different that the 5G conspiracy theorists.... Both are equally deluded!
 

20togo

Well-known member
Which article or articles in particular? If you’re referring to the article from the Independent it was written by a member of the Conservative Party and Treasurer to the LSE Conservative Society.
Articles from both sides of the debate which have been posted on here for months and even years.
 

spudgun

Well-known member
It would be a real waste if this discussion drifts off on a tangent towards some Left Wing / Right Wing bullshit....

AGAIN 🙄

Exactly.

The continuous labelling of posters into erroneous categories and the use of idioms such as "usual suspects" do little to encourage discussion and undermine any attempts at well-disposed debate. Some decent topics are derailed by those who constantly snipe but rarely bring any constructive information to the table.

Back to the thread:

Another area of interest, perhaps closely associated with the University debate, is the move by the government to restrict scrutiny through Freedom of Information. The government seem to be looking to restrict FoI and not adhere to the `applicant blind` policy. There has been claims of discrimination based on journalistic bias.

It perhaps begs the question as to whether the pandemic may be being used as a pretext for enhanced secrecy and evasion...
 

Mexboroseasider

Well-known member
Yes, you’ve managed to completely sidetrack the discussion (as per usual) towards your own politically biased agenda..

I’m not sure whether I should congratulate you for managing the process so capably and then following that up with som innocent (in denial) type statement to try and suggest it was just a natural progression of the debate itself!!!

Of course we need to preserve free speech in our Universities and it’s important that very little, if anything, is off the agenda...

The problem with many ‘Free Speech’ advocates from whichever side of the political spectrum is that they struggle with free speech that they don’t agree with...

In the case of the O/P, however, this isn’t about right or left or just freedom of speech, so much as a) An issue we have here in the U.K. with the attachment to a specific narrative / myth surround the empire and Churchill as a figurehead and b) a certain amount of inherent racism that resist the very idea that people with a different tone of skin might actually have something at value to say on the matter.

The O/P himself along with a good few of those following up, sums up precisely why these discussions must take place and need to be heard by the widest possible audience. The willingness to simply dismiss and even deride those who might focus on historical fact in favour of what essentially amounts to a load of fanciful made up bollocks, just because it feels more comfortable is embarrassing...

To my mind that mentality is no different that the 5G conspiracy theorists.... Both are equally deluded!
Well apart from the first two paragraphs 😊 I agree with most of that.

From the bit I’ve read in the op, I think the comments from both sides of the debate were a bit cliched and predictable. Tangerinemoss’s take was better and closer to the truth imo. Then again maybe the journalist who wrote the article was a tad biased and only looking for sensationalist sound bites?
 

BFC_BFC_BFC

Well-known member
Well apart from the first two paragraphs 😊 I agree with most of that.

From the bit I’ve read in the op, I think the comments from both sides of the debate were a bit cliched and predictable. Tangerinemoss’s take was better and closer to the truth imo. Then again maybe the journalist who wrote the article was a tad biased and only looking for sensationalist sound bites?
Unfortunately TM’s comments (much like the OP’s) reflect on the skewed version of the discussion presented through media soundbites.

As it happens, the discussion itself is well worth a listen and has a very important place in a much wider discussion/debate that needs to take place.
 

Mexboroseasider

Well-known member
Unfortunately TM’s comments (much like the OP’s) reflect on the skewed version of the discussion presented through media soundbites.

As it happens, the discussion itself is well worth a listen and has a very important place in a much wider discussion/debate that needs to take place.
Where can you listen to it?
 
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