Summer 1889 (Age 14)

From the time of his resignation Lord Randolph had been a somewhat unenthusiastic supporter of the Government but now the breech arrived. He had gradually lost most of his friends and supporters but everyone was happy to hear him speak in favour of the Government’s position on allowances for the children of the Prince of Wales. However, on 26 July he spoke out against those mainstays of the Tory party, the brewers, and thus alienated most of his remaining friends within the party.

“Podsnappery is rampant and rife in London…”

This was followed by an attack on Tory policy in Ireland. He said that Dickens’s character Mr. Podsnap typified the Tory attitude on Ireland. “Mr. Podsnap was a person in easy circumstances, who was very content with himself and was extremely surprised that all the world was not equally contented like him; and if anyone suggested to Mr. Podsnap that there were possible causes of discontent among the people Mr. Podsnap was very much annoyed … Podsnappery is rampant and rife in London, and I think this Podsnappery we ought to make a great effort to put down.”

At Harrow young Winston prepared to go into the Army Class. A decision was required whether he was destined for Woolwich, the military academy for the Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers, or Sandhurst, the military academy for the infantry, cavalry and remaining arms. His teachers concluded that he was not good enough in Mathematics to pass into Woolwich and that he ought to set his sights on Sandhurst.

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