Prime Minister Gordon Brown dismissed claims today that he had forgotten the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War Two. Some are asking why Britain is not following the lead of Russia and Poland in commemorating a key moment in European history. There is speculation that Brown fears that he might be compared to Winston Churchill who was one of the greatest Prime Ministers and war leaders in British history. Brown's record is less impressive.
It is 70 years since Britain declared war on Germany, heralding the start of World War II. At 11am on September 3, 1939 the Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain broadcast the announcement on radio. Chamberlain of course was the man responsible for appeasing Hitler and is often characterised as a ditherer, something close to Mr Brown's heart. So perhaps unfavourable comparisons with both leaders were ultimately what encouraged him to overlook any commemoration.
That said, Mr Brown later set the record straight. "I was indeed afraid that I might be compared to Churchill, but not for the reasons that people suspect." A Brown aide proceeded to clarify this statement: No10, it seems, had learnt that yet another third rate revisionist had been "trying to flog his new book" by stating that Churchill was a deeply flawed monster, who was utterly wrong to push for war and should have continued down the path of the appeaser Chamberlain. Said the aide: "Mr Brown could never tolerate comparison with someone like that... A warmonger, that is."