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Wind of change/ winds of change

Posted by ESC on February 04, 2004

In Reply to: Wind of change/ winds of change posted by ESC on February 04, 2004

: : : : I see the phrase the "wind of change" is attributed to Harold MacMillan 1960, but I recall it, or similar, being used by both Winston Churchill and Basil Rathbone (Rathbone in the guise of Sherlock Holmes)many years earlier (Holmes in 1 of the propaganda "modernised" films circa 1942)Anyone have the full version of this speech/quote please?

: : : I will look in a political dictionary this evening. In the meantime, I must quote a poster from

: : : "When the winds of change blow hard enough, the most trivial of things can turn into deadly projectiles."

: : "The wind of change is blowing through the continent. Whether we like it or not, this growth of national consciousness is a political fact." From a speech by Sir Harold Macmillan (later Lord Stockton) British Prime Minister to South African Houses of Parliament, Cape Town, 3 February 1960. It was drafted by Sir David Hunt, which seems the appropriate process for a speech about wind.

:WIND OF CHANGE/WINDS OF CHANGE - "a fundamental shift in power or policy; an inexorable current not under control of leaders. The phrase was popularized in its present context by British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in an address to the South African Parliament, February 4, 1960, speaking about the future of Africa: 'The wind of change is blowing through the Continent. Whether we like it or not, this growth of national consciousness is a political fact." "...the use of the simple metaphor in the turmoil of African affairs was apt."

"As with most memorable phrases, a long history can be traced, which does not detract from the ring of originality." A Christian Science Monitor editorial congratulated Macmillan on coining an excellent expression, and pointed to 'The Libation-bearers,' written by Aeschylus in 458 B.C.: 'Zeus at last may cause our ill winds to change.' Mr. Safire also mentions 'Sweet William's Farewell to Black-Eyed Susan' by English poet John Gay (1685-1732), 'Change, as ye list, ye winds.' ; Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1947, 'Strong winds are blowing all over Asia.'; John Gunther writing of the Mormon community in Utah in 1947, '...the astringent winds of a new world.'; and 'Winds of Doctrine' used by Milton in Areopagitica and by George Santayana as the title of a book in 1913. "In 1934 British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin said: 'There is a wind of nationalism and freedom blowing around the world." Mr. Safire concludes by noting that, "When Harold Macmillan came to titling his own memoirs in 1966, he accepted the editing of common usage that changed his 'wind of change' to 'winds' and called his book 'The Winds of Change.'" Safire's New Political Dictionary by William Safire (Random House, New York, 1993). Page 879-880.

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