Writer: J P Fear
Date:Saturday November 18 2006
After reading much of the debate regarding the past under Doug Ellis and the future under Randy Lerner, I cannot help but be reminded of the political situation in Britain in the late 1930s and early 1940s.
Doug Ellis should be thought of as Neville Chamberlain. He found himself in a position of power and the view of many is that he didn't help the country at all.
Chamberlain, a Brummie himself, could be considered to be someone who nearly destroyed the country through his actions - or inaction - but others would claim that the time from Munich to Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland, the Appeasement Era, ensured the nation was at least in a position to defend itself.
But, and it is a big but, he stayed on for far too long. Once he realised he had made too many mistakes, Chamberlain should have stood down, but the former Lord Mayor of Birmingham didn't.
So, a man who had spent a lifetime serving the public became vilified by his peers, by members of the House of Commons and by the wider public. It took the debacle of the Norwegian campaign, the invasion of France and the Low Countries, and a vote of no confidence in Parliament to get rid of him.
One of the most powerful speeches of the No Confidence debate was from Leo Amery MP. He used the same words that Oliver Cromwell had used to the Long Parliament: 'You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go.'
Perhaps this could be compared to the last days of David O'Leary, perhaps not.
However, despite all his failings, the country was still in a good enough condition, with improved defences and the like, for Winston Churchill (half-American, with a father, son and great-grandson all named Randolph) to come in and face Nazi tyranny across the Channel and, eventually, emerge victorious.
Neville Chamberlain could not have won the war, but without his work could Churchill have won it?
So I put it that, despite all of his faults, Ellis should be remembered as a man who at least kept the club in one piece, making in possible for Randy to eventually come alone and save the day, as it were.
And as a footnote - what became of Neville Chamberlain after he gave up power? He died within six months of leaving office...
Article sent in by johnnyrotterdam
Date:Saturday November 18 2006
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