Beatrix Potter vs Winston Churchill
"Edward Wakefield's pioneering and innovative development of the stepped float brought about the evolution of a revolutionary new capability - the ability to take off from water. . ."
But the invention that resulted was very noisy.
Winston Churchill saw the possibilities of the Waterbird as a defender of future peace.
Beatrix Potter was thinking of the 'sunlit uplands' (Winston's phrase) and the peaceful silence of her beloved lakes. . .
Churchill later wrote that his colleagues had "a genuine love of peace and a pathetic belief that love can be its sole foundation." A genuine love of peace is not enough to guarantee it. Signalling weakness to those who worship strength is not the way to protect peace.
Most today will take Beatrix Potter's side in this quarrel. Loving the country quiet, I share her feelings.
But how close England came to dying in her sleep on the eve of the Second World War!
After the war, the strength of the democracies preserved the peace, though many in Eastern Europe dwelt in the darkness of the Iron Curtain.
The strength of the democracies and the democratic convictions of the people behind the Iron Curtain and the demise of the USSR finally tore down the ring of steel.
And today? What preserves the quiet of the sunlit uplands? Our hopes and prayers?