“The practical way of looking at things . . . may serve well enough in ordinary, normal times. But our times are not ‘normal’ in the good old Victorian sense, and never will be again. . . . These men, even Halifax, were essentially middle-class, not aristocrats. They did not have the hereditary sense of the security of the state, unlike Churchill, Eden, the Cecils. Nor did they have the toughness of the 18th-century aristocracy. They came at the end of the ascendancy of the Victorian middle-class, deeply affected as that was by high-mindedness and humbug. They all talked, in one form or another, the language of disingenuousness and cant: it was second nature to them – so different from Churchill. . . . It meant that they failed to see what was true, until too late, when it was simply a question of survival.”
-- A.L. Rowse, Appeasement: A Study in Political Decline, 1933-39
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