Churchill Had the Answer for Joe Wilson
John Hellegers, a reader and an old friend, sent me the following email this morning:
Last night’s outburst from Rep. Joe Wilson (R.-S.C.) brings to mind one of the better Churchill stories. There’s abundant heckling in the British House of Commons, but there are limits on what can be said. One can impute all manner of ignorance, folly or faulty analysis to a fellow member– and one can do that in very colorful language–but one can’t call him a liar or a crook.
In the aftermath of World War II, there was a young Labour MP who didn’t know the limits, and went after Winston Churchill, no less, in highly unacceptable terms. Clement Attlee required him to apologize, so he drove down to Churchill’s country house to do so.
Arriving at the door, the young MP told the butler his name. The butler went inside to search for Churchill. He learned that he was in one of the bathrooms. The butler knocked and told Churchill the name of the visitor. Churchill’s response was “Tell him I’m on the pot and I can take only one shit at a time.”