- How Far Do the Sources Suggest That Winston Churchill Was Responsible for the Conservative Party’s Defeat in the 1945 Election?

571 Words3 Pages
The result of the 1945 election was a shock to not only the people of Britain but also the parliamentary parties, one of the main reasons thought to have led to Labour’s victory, was Churchill’s radio broadcast, in which he stated socialism could not be established without a ‘Gestapo’. Source one, an extract from Margaret Thatcher’s book, explains her thoughts when listening to Churchill’s 1945 radio broadcast. Thatcher believes Churchill said was correct in what he said, but his use of the word ‘Gestapo’ was inappropriate, and wasn’t particularly helpful for post-war Britain. However it could be argued Thatcher knew that what Churchill said was a mistake, but as she was part of the same conservative party as he was, she couldn’t admit it. Although, she does admit even she was shocked when listening to the speech, as she explains “the line was not believable”. From this I can conclude that source one doesn’t wholly hold Churchill responsible for the 1945 election defeat, however the reliability of the source is questionable as it is bias towards the conservative party. Source two, an extract from Lord Butler’s memoirs, clearly shows opposition to not only Churchill but also the conservative party, Lord Butler for example describes Churchill’s speech as a “negative attack on the labour party” and believed that he should have instead focused on “post-war policies”. By describing Churchill’s use of the word “Gestapo” as a “strategic blunder” shows that Butler is blaming Churchill in having played a role in the defeat of the 1945 election. Although both members of the conservative party, Butler and Churchill were political enemies, this is evident when looking at the extract: “a poor third place to the concentrated exploitation of Churchill’s personality” – this is a personal attack on Churchill’s actions. Butler also explains that the radio broadcast “set the tone
Open Document