Coffee House

David Cameron and Ed Miliband pay tribute to Nelson Mandela

5 December 2013

11:01 PM

5 December 2013

11:01 PM

Downing Street has released the following statement from David Cameron:

‘A great light has gone out in the world. Nelson Mandela was a towering figure in our time; a legend in life and now in death – a true global hero. Across the country he loved they will be mourning a man who was the embodiment of grace. Meeting him was one of the great honours of my life. My heart goes out to his family – and to all in South Africa and around the world whose lives were changed through his courage.’


Ed Miliband has also released a statement on the death of Nelson Mandela:

‘The world has lost the inspirational figure of our age.

‘Nelson Mandela taught people across the globe the true meaning of courage, strength, hope and

‘From campaigner to prisoner to President to global hero, Nelson Mandela will always be remembered for his dignity, integrity and his values of equality and justice.

‘He was an activist who became President and a President who always remained an activist. Right to the end of his life he reminded the richest nations of the world of their responsibilities to the poorest.

‘Above all, he showed us the power of people, in the cause of justice, to overcome the mightiest obstacles.

‘He moved the world and the world will miss him deeply.

“During the struggle against apartheid, the Labour party was proud to stand with the people of South Africa in solidarity. Today we stand with the people of South Africa in mourning.’

Here’s Barack Obama’s statement:-

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.

Show comments
  • huhu

    Speaks well of Mandela, this picture. We all know Cameron’s history and those “Hang Mandela” posters.

  • Rockin Ron

    What distinguishes Nelson Mandela from our current political leaders of all parties is his moral integrity. Nelson Mandela was prepared to sacrifice his freedom to uphold his values. Cameron, Clegg, Miliband, et al don’t have any values that would not sacrifice for power. That partly explains why so many politicians are loathed by the electorate. Nelson Mandela stood for something. Our leaders stand for nothing and fall for everything.

  • Tom Tom

    China wants 23000 objects of art back from Britain taken during the Boxer Rebellion and Voters are being evacuated from flooded homes but Cameron shoots his motormouth off again

  • RavenRandom

    I see the odious Miliband couldn’t resist trying to score political points off Mandela’s death.

  • @PhilKean1

    Give me strength to get through this extended period

    The unconditional and perpetual esteem in which he was held is surely the greatest enigma of all time.

    I didn’t know him personally, and he wasn’t relevant to the struggle the British people are themselves now having to endure to free themselves from their own oppression : EU dictatorship.

    I shall therefore not pay any personal tribute, but will – instead – acknowledge the many, many days of tributes and accolades by people who also didn’t know him.

    • Daniel Maris

      You’re talking about David Cameron I presume?

  • glurk

    Have some respect for a man whose ability to encompass a humanitarian attitude and reconciliate is much greater than squabbling over his achievement can possibly reflect. Give it a rest.

  • Two Bob

    Thanks to people like Mandela we can judge a man by his actions, (for better or for worse) not his skin color.

    Even if you dont approve of many things he has done, at least you judge him by that.

    • Chris Morriss

      So now we will get a 3-week Mandelafest. I suppose we’ll get the same mindless adulation when Gerry Adams, Martin McGuiness and other terrorists finally die?

      • Daniel Maris

        You can’t call someone who takes up arms against a tyranny a “terrorist”. If you do, then you will have to call the French Resistance terrorists.

        Blacks were denied all civil rights in South Africa – they were subject to tyranny. Gerry Adams was not denied all civil rights in Northern Ireland.

        • Tom Tom

          French Resistance were Terrorists which is why they were called Maquis and were mainly Communists

          • Chris Morriss

            Of course Mandela got Joe Slovo to do his killings for him. The BBC coverage of all this is an utter disgrace, worse than the coverage they gave to the death of the bird-brained and inconsequential Diana.

  • Jez

    It’s probably a good time for contingencies to be brought forward regarding the power vacuum that could now arise- especially for the now marginalized White minority there.

    As the different Mandela dynasty factions vie for dominance the Whites may be targeted as they were in Zimbabwe.

    • MirthaTidville

      The whites learnt the lessons of Zimbo..all that could have already got British and Irish passports…They`ll be here soon

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Michael Jackson..and now Mandiba…….why why

  • Hexhamgeezer

    The most competent post WW2 black African political leader in a field of…..?

  • HookesLaw

    We should not be sentimental about Mandela or South Africa.
    But we should not be bigoted and ignorant either.
    I suspect that Mandela’s death will – it already has- exposed the typical nutjob bigotry that hangs around round here and pollutes rational argument.

    The South African experience shows what other totalitarian regimes face as they grope towards unity and democracy.
    Its slow its painful. but the nutjob approach of ignore and persist and let it fester is no answer.
    The fact that progress is slow does not mean that progress should be ignored or prevented.

    • Hexhamgeezer

      You are Peter Oborne and I claim my £5

    • Two Bob

      It is bigoted to assume people with differing opinions to your own are bigots.

      • Daniel Maris

        No but it’s bigoted when people try deny the man any greatness. That seems to fly in the face of the facts. Call him an evil terrorist if you like, but don’t try and belittle the man, because that just exposes your own delusionary view of the world.

    • Daniel Maris

      There is certainly a lot of bigotry about. Mandela was a great man. Perhaps not the greatest at leading a government, but in leading a movement, quite exceptional.

  • WatTylersGhost

    Although I am no fan of the PM, he always speaks and represents the UK well on occasions like this.

    • HookesLaw

      fair point.

    • Rockin Ron

      Not difficult is it? He has a team of speech writers and all he has to do is read it out. He is a skilled actor.

  • Howard Benson

    South Africa has become a violent, brutal and sick society. Is it better off than when under European control? Hardly. Young girls are more likely to be raped than gain a secondary education. Not much of a legacy.

    • telemachus

      You forget that the whole population now have dignity
      And this is due to the personality of one man
      Without Mandela there may have been black majority rule but the whites would have fled and the economy would be Zimbabwian
      As Cameron said last night
      “One of the brightest lights of our world has gone out”

      • Adam

        I really hope you’ve asked Santa for a keyboard with a functional full stop key for Christmas.

      • Tom Tom

        Dignity ? I really don’t think that word applies

      • Ron Todd

        Do the young girls being raped have dignity?