Yet another bogus quote in support of a trendy cause.
Spend enough time on Facebook or Twitter and you’ll eventually come across this quote which purportedly emerged from Churchill’s bulldog visage in the darkest days of World War II. It has Churchill responding to a plan to cut money for the arts to fund the war effort by saying: “Then what are we fighting for?”
According to Churchill historian Richard Langworth “This alleged quotation first appeared a few years ago in the Village Voice and is all over the web, but it is not in any of Churchill’s 15 million words in his speeches, papers, letters, articles or books.”
In fact there was no “arts funding” at that time. An allocation of 25,000 pounds had been made to assist cultural societies. This compares with 643,000,000 in defence spending. That money allocated to cultural societies nationwide would have made no difference to defence funding, and it is ludicrous to suggest Churchill would have been faced with a choice between the two.
Rather than dish out invented quotes, it would be better for people who believe taxpayers should be forced to pay for “art” they don’t like, want or need, to list the moral and cultural reasons why money should be extracted from them for that purpose.