When England Betrayed Churchill

Aaron Schnoor
Historical Footnotes
4 min readMay 31, 2019

Why Theresa May’s story isn’t all that surprising…

Image courtesy of The Independent

Theresa May, the embattled Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, announced her resignation on May 24, 2019. The announcement, which May presented outside 10 Downing Street in London, came after a three year struggle to push a Brexit deal through Parliament.

In all fairness to May, the fight to exit the European Union was a losing battle even before she took the helm of the British government. Public pressure had mounted on the Conservative Party leader from the very beginning, with May’s own political miscues adding fuel to the fire of criticism directed by the media. As a recent CNN article states:

May’s legacy will be defined by failures, public humiliations and catastrophic political miscalculations. Some of these were out of her hands. Some were the result of poor advice from those she chose to surround herself with. Some were because of the unprecedented political crisis that would come to dominate her time in Downing Street.

But much of it was her own fault. Many of her decisions had a directly negative impact on her ability to lead. The problem for May wasn’t just that British politics has been deadlocked for the best part of three years, but that she repeatedly engineered ways to erode her own authority.

Yes, much of the Prime Minister’s failures can be directly attributed to May’s actions. But, at the same time, the public didn’t show the patience — or a willingness to compromise — that was necessary to allow for any success.

This might be surprising, given the stereotypical attitude of patience associated with the British. But a small glimpse into the past shows anything but patience, at least when it comes to political matters.

The year is 1945. England has emerged victorious in World War II, bloodied and scarred but still unconquered. Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party, has become one of the greatest heroes of the modern age. With his show of courage and stiff-necked stubbornness, he is the man of the hour. There is no doubt that Churchill is beloved by all of England, and it is known that he will run in the next election as Prime Minister. And so, naturally, Churchill loses in the 1945 election.

Aaron Schnoor
Historical Footnotes

Wealth Management Professional, Occasional Writer