It`s been good to read that Boris Johnson`s recent money-making enterprise received the treatment it deserved from the literary critics. Not only has the book on Churchill been criticised for its "distinctive writing style", its more sinister purpose, the creation of political association and similarity between the author and subject, has been rightly, and widely, lampooned. Although its content also has come under attack for its "negligible contribution to knowledge" and bearing as much resemblance "to a history book as a Doctor Who episode", the criticism has not gone far enough!
Johnson`s "objectivity" will undoubtedly have ensured the exclusion of detailed chapters devoted to Churchill`s attempts to control the BBC during the General Strike, his sending of troops to end the strike at Tonypandy, his infamous racist comments, including the ones which practically ensured the death of three million during the Bengal famine of 1943, and even his encouragement of the use of chemical weapons in the Middle East!
It needs to be remembered that not only did the people of this country vote Churchill out in 1945, they elected Attlee, whom polls have frequently shown most people see as Britain`s best prime minister, and certainly the one our politicians should be attempting to emulate. Incidentally, seven weeks before that election, Attlee, not the most charismatic of politicians, received a letter from the Labour party chairman, Laski, pointing out that his leadership was "a grave handicap to the hopes of victory"!! A 190 seat victory followed!
No doubt, Johnson`s book will reach the bestselling lists, thereby earning him yet more obscene amounts of money which he can describe as "chickenfeed", but more worrying is the fact that it will become another in a long list of "history" books being used to mislead the nation.