If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.

—Winston Churchill. The Gathering Storm, 1948.

Appeasement was the sorry course adopted by Britain and France in the 1930s, and the results provide an unmistakable lesson for future generations. By contrast the Soviet Union was contained during the Cold War because it was made clear that even a hundred yards of West German territory would cost the Soviet leaders their lives and cause most of the Russian population to perish in a nuclear firestorm.

Despite this clear guidance from the past, the lessons of appeasement have been forgotten. Under pretext of moderation, Iran and North Korea are being continuously appeased, while China is allowed to shamelessly go on stealing intellectual property and military secrets. This appeasement must be reversed before it is too late or the whole world will one day rue the weakness of the politicians responsible.

This article is an extract from the book ‘Principles of Good Government’ by Matthew Bransgrove