Winston Churchill: Boris Johnson's attack on charity was unwarranted – Scotsman comment

Boris Johnson’s attack on the Churchill Fellowship for changing its name from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust is the latest round in a ‘culture war’ that has seen protests over statues linked to slavery and racism.

Winston Churchill played a key role in saving Europe from the Nazis but also had unacceptable views on race (Picture: Evening Standard/Getty Images)

The Prime Minister’s spokesman declared that Johnson “believes that Winston Churchill was a hero who helped save this country and the whole of Europe from a fascist and a racist tyranny by leading the defeat of Nazism”, adding it was “absurd... to airbrush his giant achievements”.

However, dropping Churchill’s first name, and removing an article about him and some photographs from the website, is hardly the same as writing him out of history.

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The charity said it was not “disowning Sir Winston” with the change designed to help people understand what it does, which is provide fellowships to UK citizens so they can “learn from the world and transform lives... as Sir Winston wished”.

The fellowship’s chair, ex-Tory MP Sir Nicholas Soames, Churchill’s grandson, said the row was “absolute b*****ks… so sad and so pathetic”. “Let me tell you that his family, 100 per cent, unequivocally support the work of the fellowship,” he said.

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The Prime Minister’s spokesman argued people should learn from the past, both good and bad, and not “erase” it.

However, the charity’s website makes clear the “international admiration for Sir Winston's wartime leadership in saving Britain and the world from Nazism” but also that “many of his views on race are widely seen as unacceptable today, a view that we share”. It’s hard to disagree.

Those who wage culture wars should perhaps agree charities are non-combatants and let them get on with their good works.

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