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He gladly took part in raids that laid waste to whole valleys, destroying houses and burning crops.

He then sped off to help reconquer the Sudan, where he bragged that he personally shot at least three "savages".

Victoria had just been crowned Empress of India, and the scramble for Africa was only a few years away.

At Harrow School and then Sandhurst, he was told a simple story: the superior white man was conquering the primitive, dark-skinned natives, and bringing them the benefits of civilisation.

To give just one, major, example, in 1943 a famine broke out in Bengal, caused – as the Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen has proved – by the imperial policies of the British.

Up to 3 million people starved to death while British officials begged Churchill to direct food supplies to the region. He raged that it was their own fault for "breeding like rabbits".

The young Churchill charged through imperial atrocities, defending each in turn.

When concentration camps were built in South Africa, for white Boers, he said they produced "the minimum of suffering".Even his startled doctor, Lord Moran, said of other races: "Winston thinks only of the colour of their skin." Many of his colleagues thought Churchill was driven by a deep loathing of democracy for anyone other than the British and a tiny clique of supposedly superior races. When Mahatma Gandhi launched his campaign of peaceful resistance, Churchill raged that he "ought to be lain bound hand and foot at the gates of Delhi, and then trampled on by an enormous elephant with the new Viceroy seated on its back." As the resistance swelled, he announced: "I hate Indians.They are a beastly people with a beastly religion." This hatred killed.In some of his private correspondence, he appears to really believe they are helpless children who will "willingly, naturally, gratefully include themselves within the golden circle of an ancient crown".But when they defied this script, Churchill demanded they be crushed with extreme force.As soon as he could, Churchill charged off to take his part in "a lot of jolly little wars against barbarous peoples".

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