Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Mandela: What they said

Courtesy of Socialist Meme's
As I'm sure you've all heard Nelson Mandela passed away aged 95 on Thursday (in my time zone). South Africa's first black president is one of the few world leaders to have overwhelming support throughout the world and across the spectrum. As a result every politico worth a soapbox was tripping over themselves to grab some media attention saying how inspiring he was, and great loss to the world etc.

But as the above image courtesy of the Federation of Conservative Students,  shows it wasn't always like this. Before the 1990's Mandela's list of admirers though still lengthy came in two colours, Black and Red. Most right wing groups including the American Republican party and British Conservative party where did all they could to support Apartheid and undermine the ANC however they could. In fact so pronounced was the Tories support for Apartheid South Africa that during the Poll tax riots in London when resentment of Tory rule boiled over a key target for the riotous anger was South Africa House

I say goodbye and walk back to Trafalgar Square. Jesus! The portakabins on Grand Buildings have been set ablaze. Massive fires climb up the side of this office development. I vaguely consider such an action as a bit over the top. Oh shit. I forget that’s what it is all about isn't it. As I feel the heat from the fire, I wonder how more mental it’s gonna go. I still can’t see any of my friends in the area but over on the left I can see that somebody's set alight to the South African Embassy. I love the person who did that!
So instead of adding my own insipid platitudes to the mix I think I'll just dig up the past (I do love history after all) and see what more then a few of the well wishers would like us all to forget.


In addition to some snappy posters the Tories were quite outspoken on the subject.

'The ANC is a typical terrorist organisation ...  - Margaret Thatcher, 1987

 In response to the assertion that the ANC would target British companies many of whom her husband was connected to, operating in South Africa.

 Anyone who thinks it is going to run the government in South Africa is living in cloud-cuckoo land' Bernard Ingham 1987
Press spokesmen for Thatcher who ridiculed the idea that the ANC might come to power to justify keeping them out of the negotiations.
'How much longer will the Prime Minister allow herself to be kicked in the face by this black terrorist?' - Terry Dicks MP, mid-1990
 When Mandela refused to meet Margaret Thatcher on his trip to London. Can't imagine why he'd do such a thing.
'Nelson Mandela should be shot' - Teddy Taylor MP, mid-1980s
Don't know the context for this but Taylor admitted he said it and its pretty unambiguous.
 'Because of his age, Mr Cameron is looking at these events as part of history. Others of us who lived through them and had input into the discussions at the time see things very differently. The policy of the Thatcher government was a success.Tebbit 2006
Tebbit wasn't pleased (is he ever?) when David Cameron publicly broke with Thatcher's policies on South Africa.


"Our relationship with South Africa ... has always over the years been a friendly one,"
Ronald Reagan in 1985.

 Just as the left in 81 wanted to make El Salvador the big Issue, the College Republicans responded with a Poland campaign- same point made.... Its not all black and white and awful
Grover Norquist speaking to the National Student Federation, a pro Apartheid Student organisation with links to the South African Defence Force in 1985.

 The U.S. should cease advocating the release of Nelson Mandela until he forswears violent change in South Africa.Jeff Gayner July 1986
Article published to argue against sanctions and for reinvestment in South Africa while dropping any support for the ANC.

The Liberal media has for too long suppressed the other side of the story in South Africa. They tend to only go to two or three black ministers with the South African Council of Churches -which by the way, funds the leftist United Democratic Front- and then purport to speak for the whole population of South Africa! Please write to your Congressman and Senators express your views regarding economic sanctions against South Africa. Jerry Falwell 1985
Jerry Falwell Televangelist and close ally to the Reagan Administration was one of South Africa's biggest supporters, going so far as to encourage his viewers to buy Kruggerands.

If you want support from American blacks you have to bash South Africa, I think that's bad. Pat Robertson 1988
 Pat Robertson lamented that his support for South Africa was undermining his Presidential Election bid.

Yasser Arafat, Nelson Mandela, and former dictators from India, Cambodia, the Congo, and elsewhere travel freely around the world. Phylis Schaffly 1998
The arrest of Pinochet provoked a tirade from Phylis during which she lumped Mandela with a number of Dictators claiming the ICC is hypocritical.
The liberal media has for too long suppressed the other side of the story in South Africa - See more at:
  the ANC 'at the time was viewed as a terrorist organization and had a number of interests that were fundamentally inimical to the U.S.' Dick Cheney 2000
Explaining his vote opposing the release of Mandela from prison.

In 1985 Congress passed legislation for Sanctioning South Africa, Reagan used his Presidential Veto to derail it. It wasn't until 1986 with Reagan's reluctance to move on the issue increased support for sanctions and a super majority pushed through a Sanctions act.

Even after this legislative defeat right wing Americans continued to maintain links with South African agencies.

A conservative think tank with ties to U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms and other prominent Republicans was actually a front for South Africa's white rulers during the last days of apartheid, New York Newsday reported Sunday.
The Washington-based International Freedom Foundation, founded in 1986, was part of a South African intelligence-gathering operation and was designed to be an instrument for ``political warfare'' against apartheid's foes, according to Newsday.
 Disgusting but all in the past as most politicians have been busy mining wikiqoute for there own eulogies and or book tours. So we've seen the end of this love affair of Apartheid and tut tutting at the uppity oppressed right?

Wrong: here's what our modern day "Patriots" had to say about it just a few days ago.


Screens courtesy of EDLNews

You know I don't think the boys and girls of the Fash realise how problematic there little party is nowadays. In the 80's this would be expected (well it still is expected but bear with me) partly because the language of the Far Right was still heavily tied with Nazi talk of the master race, and the superiority of white people. As such the breakdown of Apartheid was more then a source of disappointment it was a major threat to there ideology. If White people really are superior then why can't they keep control of Blacks, Asians and Jews and Communists even with a highly militarized society and the freedom to pass or by pass any law they feel like?

The Apartheid regime had every advantage apart from numbers, a completely controlled and explicitly racist political and legal system. An advanced military machine, an expansive security apparatus with dozens of fronts for intelligence and policing units, the support of powerful governments (though one was Israel) and God, until the Dutch Reform Church removed support in the 80's. And yet they lost and had to put there fates in the ANC's hands and hope for the best.

But nowadays most right wing groups are pushing a "Freedom for Whites" agenda based on the argument that Whites are the ones being threatened and oppressed. In the new Far Right narrative they think of themselves as much closer to Mandela then PW Botha. So there's no real way to explain there joy other then plain and simple racism. Which of course most right wing organisations like the BNP and EDL spend a lot of time trying to deny. So there really just shooting themselves in the foot.

"Our relationship with South Africa ... has always over the years been a friendly one," - See more at:
"Our relationship with South Africa ... has always over the years been a friendly one," - See more at:

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