“She is an enemy of apartheid……We have much to thank her for.”
My rebuttal of the case for sanctions rested on two main premises: that sanctions do not work, indeed are likely to be counter-productive and damaging to those they are intended to
help: and that it was inappropriate to take punitive action against South Africa at the very moment when you are taking steps to get rid of apartheid and to make major changes in the system of government in South Africa.
I received a good deal of abuse in response, being accused of preferring British jobs to African lives, of being concerned with pennies rather than principles, of lack of concern for human
rights and much more in the same vein. I in turn reminded them of some of the less satisfactory features of their own societies and pointed to the inconsistency of trading with the Soviet Union, with its appalling human rights record, and putting trade sanctions on South Africa. In short, as your message acknowledced, the debate was a highly unpleasant and bitter one; and there is no doubt that the issue of sanctions will not go away, despite my success in preventing the Commonwealth from adopting them at this meeting.
I continue to believe, as I have said to you before, that the release of Nelson Mandela would have more impact than almost any single action you could undertake.
Strange that, with all its massive coverage of Nelson Mandela, the BBC doesn’t see fit, or find room, to similarly link to this letter preferring instead to smear Mrs Thatcher with the imported comments of the ignorant and prejudiced comedians and charlatans that the BBC gives so much airtime and prominence to.
After Mandela’s release from prison in 1990, he re-entered the world’s stage and one of his favourite destinations was Britain. The fact that the British government under Margaret Thatcher had strongly resisted imposing sanctions on the apartheid government did not cool his attitude to the country at large.
If Thatcher’s stance was so important, and it was, why is there a blackout imposed by the BBC on the full details?
Is it because the truth isn’t anything like that which the BBC is broadcasting?
We’ve had the imported, ‘deniable’ slurs from the useful idiots but it isn’t just them…..many a BBC presenter has put their two penneth in as well…here’s a particularly good example of their small minded ignorance…..
The world owns Nelson now, as will become clear when all those world leaders arrive.
Including a representative, possibly Prince Charles, of a nation where a former government conspired with Apartheid by dismissing Nelson Mandela as a terrorist.
Not often you see anything quite so wrong and prejudiced as that from a reporter…unless you watch the BBC’s coverage of the Middle East..or Climate Change..or Europe…or Tory policies….or immigration…..
Mandela: Nelson by name, defender of British values by nature
Nelson Mandela regarded the British Parliament as ‘the most democratic institution in the world’
In this long story, one sees not so much the overthrow of British imperialism as a fulfilment of its better aspects. In the life and character of Nelson Mandela, good British values found expression, while bad colonial disputes found reconciliation. It is not at all incongruous that his statue now stands in Parliament Square, near that of Jan Smuts. As soon as Mandela became president, in 1994, his country rejoined the Commonwealth.
In 1985, Mandela was offered his freedom, but on the unacceptable terms that the ANC stayed banned. He refused. Mrs Thatcher kept up the pressure, in public, in private and sometimes in secret. Indeed, the release of Mandela was the strongest and most specific of all her demands. His release, she believed, would allow talks to start, without preconditions.
In 1989, Botha was replaced by F W de Klerk. A year later, he ordered Mandela’s release. Because Mrs Thatcher, almost alone of world leaders, had maintained close contacts with the government, her voice had proved the most persuasive.
Once out of jail, Mandela wanted to meet her. This was against the advice of the ANC, but his view was that she was “a very powerful lady… one I would rather have as an ally than an enemy”.