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15 February 2019 01:30

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The intellectual villainy of calling Winston Churchill a villain

Watch what happened when Labour Party Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John McDonnell was asked whether Britain's famous prime minister in World War II, Winston Churchill, was a hero or a villain. No, McDonnell judges Churchill by the Tonypandy incident in 1910, when, as home secretary, Churchill deployed the army to support a police force in putting down rioting miners. Williamson, who like many on the British Left happens to be a Putin poodle, was asked by the BBC's Andrew Neil whether he agreed with McDonnell. With his traditional reference points to history (of Napoleon and "bitter weeds in England", for example), Churchill kept his country going (note the ending "New World" hat tip to America). A senior British left-wing politician has sparked a political backlash after describing former Prime Minister Winston Churchill as a "villain"--a comment he later clarified after coming under heavy criticism.

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Top UK left-wing politician calls Winston Churchill a ‘villain,’ sparks firestorm

John McDonnell, a far-left Labour Party MP and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, was asked in a Q&A on Wednesday whether Churchill was a hero or a villain. "If John McDonnell had the slightest knowledge of history he would be aware that Churchill also had an extraordinary record as a social reformer who cared deeply for working people and their lives." "In history, like many complex characters, Churchill has both sides to him," McDonnell told ITV News. Churchill was obviously a hero during the Second World War but there is another side to Churchill in our history which is the side in which actually many working-class people at the time and well into the 40s and 50s were angry about his behavior," he said. According to Left-wing mythology, Tonypandy was the scene of the shameful and brutal suppression of a coal-miners' strike and rioting in November 1910, with the insurrection finally quelled by the then home secretary — none other than Winston Churchill — who sent in the Army to crush the disturbance. If you listened to McDonnell this week, you might start to believe that the way Churchill and the British Army behaved at Tonypandy outweighed their courage decades later in liberating Europe from tyranny.

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Yesterday, when justifying calling Churchill a 'villain', McDonnell told ITV News: 'He sent the troops into Tonypandy to shoot the miners, and a miner died. The official's hopes were in vain, because although Winston Churchill had dispatched two squadrons of the 18th Hussars to Cardiff from Marlborough, they had still not arrived, and — despite the claims of John McDonnell — the home secretary was extremely reluctant to use them. After calling for a cessation of rioting, Churchill continued: 'Confiding in the good sense of the Cambrian Combine workmen, we are holding back the soldiers for the present and sending police instead.' In other words, he was showing precisely the kind of restraint that John McDonnell says was shockingly absent. Labour's Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, told ITV News: 'He sent the troops into Tonypandy to shoot the miners, and a miner died. But the notion, as propagated by John McDonnell, that Churchill willingly sent in the troops to shoot people is just bad history.

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Theresa May hit back at Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell last night after he refused to apologise for calling Winston Churchill a 'villain'. Mr McDonnell had branded Sir Winston a 'villain' on Wednesday night and blamed him for sending troops to deal with rioting Welsh miners in Tonypandy in 1910 when he was home secretary. John McDonnell had branded Sir Winston a 'villain' on Wednesday night and blamed him for sending troops to deal with rioting Welsh miners in Tonypandy in 1910 when he was home secretary. Theresa May (pictured) hit back at Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell last night after he refused to apologise for calling Winston Churchill a 'villain' Yesterday, not only did Mr McDonnell fail to apologise, but he also insisted that he was just being 'honest' and that Churchill was not someone working-class families in Britain 'looked up to' even after the last war If John McDonnell had the slightest knowledge of history he would be aware that Churchill also had an extraordinary record as a social reformer who cared deeply for working people and their lives. And Derby MP Chris Williamson, a close ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, said he agreed with Mr McDonnell, adding: 'It was people like my mum and dad that won the war, not Winston Churchill.' The legacy of Winston Churchill has proven to be a controversial topic among politicians over the past weeks with some going as far to label the war Prime Minister a "white supremacist", while others have argued that the UK would be speaking German if it were not for his efforts.

"I think some of the decisions he took in the Second World War were questionable but he was undoubtedly seen as a great wartime leader." Mr Neil spat another question: "Would we be here today having this free discussion if Mr Churchill had not become our Prime Minister in 1940? The "villain" comment refers to McDonnell criticising Churchill over his decision to send troops to crush the Tonypandy riots in south Wales in 1910.