Dubbed as a “powerful, Churchill-inspired message” to ISIS, I think quite the contrary. While a famous Churchill quote designed to instill fortitude, resilience and hope in a time of crisis, it also (especially in this context) connotes that ISIS has the UK on the ropes and that the British people should not “surrender” to it. Germany had the British on the ropes during WW II, but that is far from the case regarding ISIS.
So why all this talk of ‘no surrender’? The answer is obvious.
The difference between the UK of the 1940’s and the UK of today (and between Johnson and Churchill) is that the British people of 1940 clearly understood who the enemy was, and set forth on a path to destroy them before being destroyed themselves. That is not the case today. Today, we put enemies on a list. We watch them. We try to track their movements and activities. At best, we deploy obstacles and inject difficulties in an attempt to make their actions harder to execute or more difficult to plan. The “never surrender” speech is translated into modern day as “We will wait, unabated and without loss of resolve, until the next time our enemy strikes”.
This is more “Neville Chamberlain” that Winston Churchill. You cannot win a war on defense alone. You cannot win by appeasement. But that’s the apparent strategy and policy.
Much better Churchill messaging would have been:
“I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.”