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Are You Sure He’s Dead?

The late former Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker told the story of the day Winston Churchill, sitting in the House of Commons, was brought the message that his deadly enemy, Aneurin Bevan, had just died. Churchill bowed his head, clearly shaken. “A great man, a brilliant man, a tragic loss,” he muttered. Some minutes later another member of parliament came to Churchill to inform him that the press was waiting outside to get his “heartfelt opinion on Nye Bevan.” Churchill thought a moment, then looked up warily and said, “Are you sure he’s dead?”

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