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For many people, the name Tonypandy means little, except perhaps when applied to the late Viscount Tonypandy, a much-loved Speaker of the House of Commons in the Seventies and Eighties.
However, for socialist rabble rousers such as Labour’s Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, the name of this former coal-mining town is seared as deeply into their memories as Orgreave, Wapping and other places where violent militancy was dealt a bloody nose by the forces of law and order.
Left-wing - Mythology - Tonypandy - Scene - Suppression
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.
McDonnell - Comment - Debate - Churchill - Role
McDonnell added that if his comment ‘prompted a more rounded debate about Churchill’s role, well, I welcome that’.
As a historian, I would certainly welcome a more rounded debate about Winston Churchill — or indeed any historical figure.
Historian - Churchill - Flaws - McDonnell - Misrepresentation
No serious historian would ever claim that Churchill was without flaws, some of which were very large indeed. And yet McDonnell’s egregious misrepresentation of the events that took place in Tonypandy are so shocking that they cannot go unchallenged.
The truth is almost the complete opposite of what the Shadow Chancellor claims.
Problem - Hard-Leftists - McDonnell - Acolytes - Churchill
The problem is that hard-Leftists such as McDonnell and his acolytes — who predictably attacked Churchill on Twitter yesterday — are utterly wedded to the Marxist narrative that the murderous forces of capitalism crush the workers into poverty and early graves.
Any presentation of facts that may conflict with their blinkered worldview will simply be dismissed as Right-wing lies.
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