29.6.40

The British government has recognised de Gaulle[1], but apparently in some equivocal manner, i.e. it has not stated that it will not recognise the Pétain government.

One very hopeful thing is that the press is on our side and retains its independence. . . . But contained in this is the difficulty that the “freedom” of the press really means that it depends on vested interests and largely (through its advertisements) on the luxury trades. Newspapers which would resist direct treachery can’t take a strong line about cutting down luxuries when they live by advertising chocolates and silk stockings.

[1] Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970) was at this time leader of the Free French and the inspiration for continuing French resistance to Germany after the fall of France. His national pride, coupled with the humiliation he felt for France’s collapse and his determination to free his country, made it difficult at times for the Allies to work with him. After the war, he was interim President 1945-46. He returned to power in 1958 as a result of the crisis in Algeria, and, as architect and President of the Fifth Republic, 1959-69, maintained France’s military and strategic independence. Peter Davison

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4 Responses to 29.6.40

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention 29.6.40 « THE ORWELL PRIZE -- Topsy.com

  2. Pingback: Airminded · Post-blogging 1940

  3. I find it interesting that from Orwell’s perspective, not only was a fascist invasion a possibility, but also that it would be facilitated by fascist elements within British society.

    This is not an unjustified position. He has just watched home-grown fascist governments rise in Portugal, Spain, Italy and Germany. He has seen fascist elements eager to capitulate in Norway and France. And he is well aware of fascist sympathies in Britain.

    This puts Churchill’s accomplishments in a very different perspective. He is a conservative who resisted fascism, which puts him, in that context, into a very distinct minority.

  4. Barry Larking says:

    Stephen. I am not a Conservative and have never voted Conservative in any general election since I was eligible to vote some forty odd years ago. However, to say Churchill was in a ‘distinct minority’ among Conservatives (it is in fact doubtful if he was any such thing – but that’s another post) who would fight is slanderous to the memory of many who died in action. If one looks through the casualties of the privileged in both wars the losses are not inconsiderable. True, there were those who had for one reason or another not to be trusted in the light of possible events. These were spread about in many walks of life among all classes. In the event no one was put to the test.

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