Today is the 70th anniversary of our declaration of war on Germany. My own view is that this was the greatest single disaster in British and perhaps world history. It beats the decision to go to war with Germany in 1914. That was a disaster in its own right, but did not necessarily mean the destruction of western civilisation. By 1945, around fifty million Europeans had been killed in battle or murdered or starved or bombed, and Bolshevik Russia was supreme across half the continent. British liberalism and world power had collapsed. Their best replacement was American corporatism with its increasingly ludicrous fig leaf of “human
rights” and “democracy”. None of this would have happened had we stayed out of another European war.
I see that the newspapers here are yet again pushing the Churchill cult. The man was named in a BBC poll some years ago as the Greatest Ever Briton. I suppose he had more solid qualities than the late Princess of
Wales. But I increasingly wish the “Fuzzy-Wuzzies” had tried a little harder at Omdurman and planted a spear in his belly. Without him to preach jihad against Germany, the 20th century might easily have been a
continuation of the 19th, rather than a precipitate retreat from a liberal world order underpinned by the Pax Britannica.
I am working on a new novel and have neither time nor inclination to set out my reasons at any length why the declaration of war was such a mistake. However, I refer you to an article I wrote in 2003 about Neville
Chamberlain and appeasement: