November 21, 2005

The Real Tyrant

"Robert Menzies observed in 1941 that Churchill’s 'real tyrant is the glittering phrase -– so attractive to his mind that awkward facts may have to give way'" (David Reynolds in an old LRB). It's hard to imagine the Menzies we "knew" in later years -- the buffoon, the reactionary, the rather self-satisfied patrician, the anti-intellectual -- having the insight and wit to say something like that.

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