Book Review

Winston Churchill: His Times, His Crimes by Tariq Ali

read a great book about a very bad person and a very bad place

cw: very strong language; alcohol abuse

June 7th, 2022, mid-afternoon, London

As I arrived back into England a little over a week ago, I decided to inoculate myself against its colonial bombast by reading a left-wing biography of cunt extraordinaire, Winston Churchill. Little did I realise, from my North American outpost, that I was actually set to be arriving in the UK in the run-up to the gross, embarrassing and – frankly – unconscionable celebration of its failed and false democracy, i.e. the 70th anniversary of the UK’s latest inability to have an elected head of state. 

With the “cost of living” (as if life itself isn’t price enough?) rising even for the empathy-less, small-minded dickheads who vote Tory, the use of food banks sky-rocketing except for in the handful of places where there are no longer donations to the food banks due to even more severe poverty, the UK government decided to needlessly piss away millions and millions of pounds (which, these days, is basically thousands and thousands of dollars so not as much as it sounds) on “Platinum Jubilee” celebrations.

It made me feel physically sick.

It also made me so depressed I was finally able – for the first time in AGES – to drink enough to throw up, which was a really positive, purging, cathartic feeling and definitely the best thing I’ve done since I arrived here in England!

swearing at winston churchill and everyone who thinks he isn’t a piece of shit

People here love to celebrate their subjugation.

I noticed that an “anti-monarchist” group was getting a bit of attention in the lefty press, but when I looked into them a little more closely there was absolutely no mention of also abolishing the House of Lords, which means their political message is essentially pisswater.

To retain the same unelected head of state for seventy years is not something to celebrate, rather it is a situation of which to feel deeply, deeply ashamed.

But, as a “figurehead” rather than – at least in theory – a formal part of the legislative process, the replacement of the House of Lords with a fully elected, fixed term second chamber is a far more pressing issue and one that much, much more energy should be spent on. But, hey, there’s no appetite for change in this international disgrace: the British electorate don’t care about the unelected head of state, they don’t care about all laws having to be passed by a fully unelected chamber of lifetime appointees(!), and they didn’t care about voting for a transformative, progressive, socialist Labour party when they had the opportunity.

swearing at winston churchill and everyone who thinks he isn’t a piece of shit

The Labour party are slowly climbing their way back up the polls, as they offer less and less and less that could change the day-to-day existence of fewer and fewer people. They’re a fucking disgrace. The whole political landscape in this country is a fucking disgrace. It is hard to understand the political & economic situation here without utter despair, unless you’re one of the pricks who’s benefitting from the impoverishment of the masses!

The fact that Winston Churchill – who, directly, definitely and conclusively was responsible for mass starvation, mass bombing of civilian targets, mass imprisonment in insanitary conditions (all of which constitute war crimes, definitively, and genocide, essentially) – remains a politically popular figure speaks fucking volumes.

Tariq Ali, in this brand new Verso book, looks at the various decisions and statements Churchill made throughout his life and career and pulls together the threads to show – without doubt – that Churchill was an unrepentant white supremacist mass murderer.

Churchill’s crimes – familiar to those of us not blinded to the continued propaganda of the British establishment and its hard-on for false (i.e. sinisterly redemptive) narratives of the British Empire – are documented in detail here, un-confrontationally so, but certain to be read as confrontational by the lobotomised pieces of shit scum who genuinely believe that the British Empire was anything other than evil.

What is most interesting, though, is the second part of Ali’s subtitle, the discussion of Churchill’s times. The book offers a fascinating and in-depth context to all of the domestic and international policy decisions Churchill was involved with during his [far too] many decades as a top level politician.

Sometimes the contextualising takes centre stage, but – as the kind of reader this book is for, probably – that’s very refreshing.

It’s pretty obvious from very early on that Churchill was a fucking prick, and it is far more valuable for a book like this to detail the causes of the “problems” he dealt with, and the repercussions of his “solutions”.

Basically, the problems were growing autonomy for subjugated peoples (within the British Empire and without) and the solutions were force, fascism and very aggressive repression.

The guy was nasty dickhead Tory scum, through and through. And so were a lot of the Empire-loving “Labour” leaders of his time, too.

Racism and misogyny run through the British establishment like poo runs through my evermore-prone-to-haemorrhoids anus.

I hate this fucking country and I do not want to be in it.

Order Tariq Ali’s Churchill book direct from fackin Verso here


my latest – and imo best – book hip-hop-o-crit available now

sad prose book the pleasure of regret from Broken Sleep Books.

Humour ‘n’ Full Frontal Nudes in Because Earth Is Flat (with Sean Preston)

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Order my raucous poetry collection via Open Pen.

Order my sad prose chapbook via Selcouth Station Press.


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