Coffee House

Nelson Mandela: South Africa’s Churchill

6 December 2013

9:21 AM

6 December 2013

9:21 AM

Like Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela had one shining hour that eclipsed everything else and made the world better.

Nelson Mandela belongs to a very rare class of great men.  Such men are remembered not only for their great deeds, not only for making our world better, but for bearing a special grace that transcends the business of their age.  They are the stuff of folklore. In the 20th century I can think of only two examples: Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. But even Gandhi was susceptible to pious humbug. ‘It takes a lot of money to keep Gandhi in poverty,’ said one of his advisers. Mandela was never seduced by the grandeur of humbleness. Among men who attained power, he is probably unique in the past hundred years.

Churchill and Mandela, different in most ways, had this in common. Each had his shining hour. Despite their failures and periods of isolation, each had a moment that eclipsed everything else and made the world better. Churchill’s came in 1940 when his gleaming courage, clarity and leadership saved Europe for democracy against the menace of Hitler’s National Socialism. Mandela’s came in 1994 when, after a lifetime of hardship and persecution, he became the first democratic president of South Africa. He wasn’t a very good president except for one thing, which surpassed everything else: his grace. It flowed like a healing balm over a fearful, angry and anxious land. It disarmed his most ferocious enemies and soothed his most vengeful allies. The great dread of civil war ended the moment he spoke to the nation. For all its problems, South Africa has complete political stability, and this we owe to Nelson Mandela.

There was a ridiculous urban legend that Mandela’s death would be a signal for blacks to turn upon the whites. On the contrary, it has unified the nation in grief and love, if momentarily. Mandela’s whole life is synonymous with the fight against apartheid. His vehicle was the ANC (African National Congress), formed in 1912. The ANC and Mandela are now both shrouded in mythology. For the ANC, the myth and the reality are different. For Mandela, they are the same.

The great myth is that the ANC, with only marginal help from others, overthrew apartheid by heroic armed struggle. It is nonsense. The original ANC consisted of dignified black Christian gentlemen wanting nothing other than the simple human rights of western civilisation. They were shunned by white South African governments until 1948, then abused by the apartheid governments that followed. The ANC marched along, justly and ineffectually, against a stupid and cruel white minority rule. Mandela joined in 1943. In 1960 the ANC was banned. In 1961, despairing of peaceful persuasion, Mandela helped form the ANC’s armed wing, Umkhonto weSizwe (MK), ‘Spear of the Nation’, whose aim was to sabotage installations without taking life. In 1964 he was arrested for sabotage, gave his testimony in the Rivonia Trial, and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He spent the next 27 years in jail.

1976 saw the turning point in the history of apartheid, the Soweto Riots. After these, the masters of apartheid stopped fooling themselves that their system could work and began their slow, clumsy and bloody retreat from it, hoping they could somehow cling to white minority power. The ANC was equally shocked by the riots because they had had no part in them: they were organised by ‘Black Consciousness’ groups such as the Pan African Congress, with leaders such as Steve Biko. The ANC realised it had no control over the black masses. It decided to seize control.

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Thus began the ANC’s ‘People’s War’ of the 1980s. The ANC organised a reign of terror in the black townships, which it sought to make ‘ungovernable’. It never dared to take on the armed forces of apartheid. Overwhelmingly its victims were other blacks, with the occasional outrage against white civilians. The bloodshed was appalling. The aim was to crush all black opponents, in which it was mightily successful everywhere except in Natal, where it was opposed by the Zulus of Prince Buthelezi (a consistent, unyielding opponent of apartheid). The ANC was not so much fighting to end apartheid as fighting to stop anybody else ending it. President P.W. Botha did exactly as it had hoped by striking back with bewildered violence, often before the lenses of the world’s press photographers.

In February 1990, President F.W. de Klerk made his speech that essentially ended apartheid, unbanned the ANC and released Mandela.

Apartheid ended because the Afrikaners in control knew it was morally indefensible and economically ruinous. For revolutionary romantics, it is hateful to acknowledge that Afrikaner decency was a fundamental reason for apartheid’s demise. In 1990, there was no physical threat to the apartheid state. De Klerk had more than enough armed force to crush anything the ANC could throw at him. He could have ruled indefinitely over an increasingly miserable and oppressive country. He chose not to.

Mandela emerged from prison in 1990 at the age of 71, and began his progress to power. He had been shut away during the horrors of the People’s War (what he thought of it in retrospect is not a question anybody asks). During his 27 years in prison he had been turned into a legend. When people saw him for the first time they could compare the legend with the man, and found them identical.

During the four years’ negotiations for a democratic South Africa, Mandela proved tough and shrewd, constantly wrong–footing de Klerk. An ANC colleague, Cyril Ramaphosa, said, ‘Mandela is a very stubborn man. He has nerves of steel.’ The negotiations led to a much-admired liberal constitution and South Africa’s first fully democratic election on 27 April 1994. The ANC won by a landslide and Mandela became the president of South Africa.

I was working in a mill in Natal at the time, among tough white racists who thought de Klerk was a traitor and were hoping (vaguely) for an armed uprising against the black government. Election day itself was unexpectedly peaceful and happy but the mood after it was tense. Then President Mandela began to be heard over South Africa. You could feel the tension melting away; the white racists were amazed to find themselves falling under his charm; implacable white foes became champions of the new multiracial South Africa. Tales of his humility, forgiveness and concern for the little man multiplied. I’ve spoken to people who witnessed it. Mandela would arrive at the door of important event; some elderly white footman would screw up his courage and approach him for an autograph for his grand-daughter. Mandela would say in that distinctive voice, ‘And what is your name, sir?’ He would see him later. Two hours later, when the event was over, Mandela would seek him out, ask him about his life and family, and sign a charming note to his granddaughter.

If ANC rule has not been a great success, nor has it been the disaster many feared. President Mandela, with little interest in economics, left his deputy, Thabo Mbeki, to steer the national finances along the path of rectitude, with low debt, the ANC government’s greatest achievement. On other matters that needed decisive action, such as dreadfully high unemployment and the HIV/AIDS catastrophe, the old Mandela dithered or allowed others to over-rule him. But he presided over a peaceful transition to democracy, and that trumps everything else.

Mandela and Churchill also had this in common: both were simple, generous men. Neither seemed capable of malice or spite. This emerges in their writing. Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, gives the highest praise and affection for Helen Suzman, who visited him in prison, acknowledges the fairness of the Afrikaner judge who gave him the life sentence, and even has some warm words for President P.W. Botha, who met him once. (He would have preferred to negotiate with Botha than de Klerk, for the simple reason that they were the same age.)

I only saw Mandela once in the flesh. This was on 31 December 1999, on Robben Island, where he had been imprisoned. I was a reporter covering the millennium celebrations. The journalists were huddled at one end of a large tent and at the other was a long table for distinguished guests, including Mandela. He had finished his first and only reign as president. When dinner was over, Mandela got up and walked, or rather shuffled, to a central space to speak. The journalists rushed over to him. I stood close enough to touch him. I was shocked at how old, bent and frail he looked. I should never have predicted he would survive another 13 years. He spoke a few words, weak but clear, and entirely platitudinous, but so is most of the virtue of the ages.

During the dinner, having heard of Mandela’s spartan habits and conscious of my own boozy ones, I watched with interest how he would deal with the glass of white wine before him. I saw him raise it to his lips at polite intervals and raise it into the air for various toasts and salutations. But at the end of dinner, I’m blessed if I could see the slightest decline in its level.

In this he was different from Winston Churchill.


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  • http://twitter.com/True_Belle True_Belle

    Perhaps in Mandela’s more mature later years , he was the only African to have shown true Christian leadership principles!

  • Drakken

    Please God don’t make me puke reading this rubbish, ole Mandela has put SA on the road to ruin, see Rhodesia for the end result. The whites cannot get out of the country fast enough and nobody says a word about the white genocide that is taking place, but heaven forbid one of the communist left little darling so called minorities get so much as a hair out of place and the left has a meltdown. Your going to have to pardon me while I give your beatification of Mandela a big huge middle finger.

  • emiller7

    terrorist!

  • Otto

    And now for some reality, unlike the Right wing hypocrisy about a Mandela that they came to love only after doing their best to slaughter him. Here is an article by Roque Pineda in the Huffington Post today:

    Americans generally view Nelson Mandela as a hero and Fidel Castro as a villain. Mandela saw things differently.

    The South African leader’s nationalist and anti-imperialist stances
    collided head on with the world’s superpower and gave him a lot in
    common with its Cuban archenemy. Mandela embraced the former Cuban
    dictator because he opposed apartheid and represented the aspirations of
    Third World nationalists that the United States undermined across the
    globe during the Cold War.

    As it did for many leftists in the Global South, the Cuban
    Revolution’s triumph in 1959 inspired Mandela. Charged with the task of
    starting a guerrilla army in 1961, he looked to the writings of Cuban
    Communists for guidance.

    “Any and every source was of interest to me,” Mandela wrote in his 2008 autobiography.
    “I read the report of Blas Roca, the general secretary of the Community
    Party of Cuba, about their years as an illegal organization during the
    Batista regime. In Commando, by Deneys Reitz, I read of the
    unconventional guerrilla tactics of the Boer generals during the
    Anglo-Boer War. I read works by and about Che Guevara, Mao Tse-tung,
    Fidel Castro.”

    Mandela’s admiration for the Cuban Revolution only grew with time.
    Cuba under Castro opposed apartheid and supported the African National
    Congress — Mandela’s political organization and the current ruling
    party. Mandela credited Cuba’s military support to Angola in the 1970s and 1980s with helping to debilitate South Africa’s government enough to result in the legalization of the ANC in 1990.

    The U.S. government, on the other hand, reportedly played a role in Mandela’s 1962 arrest and subsequently branded him a terrorist — a designation they only rescinded in 2008. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan vetoed the Anti-Apartheid Act.

    Given this history, it shouldn’t be surprising that Mandela remained
    sharply critical of the United States into his later life. When the George W. Bush administration announced plans to invade Iraq in 2003, Mandela said:
    “If there’s a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the
    world, it is the United States of America. They don’t care.”

    Shortly following his release after 27 years as a political prisoner
    in 1990, Mandela visited Cuba to express his gratitude, calling
    Castro’s Revolution “a source of inspiration to all freedom-loving
    people.”

    “We admire the sacrifices of the Cuban people in maintaining their
    independence and sovereignty in the face of a vicious,
    imperialist-orchestrated campaign,” Mandela said during the visit, according to the Los Angeles Times. “We, too, want to control our own destiny.”

    During a public event in Havana, Mandela asked Castro to visit South Africa.

    “Who trained our people, who gave us resources, who helped so many of our soldiers, our doctors?” Mandela said. “You have not come to our country — when are you coming?”

    None of this went down well with the Cuban exile community in the
    United States, most of whom fled the dictatorship in the early 1960s.
    Even before Mandela’s visit to Cuba, Castro’s opponents in South Florida
    fumed over the praise Mandela heaped on the island’s Communist
    dictator. When Mandela came to speak against apartheid in Miami in 1990,
    five Cuban-American mayors signed a letter criticizing him for his
    pro-Castro comments.

    The pressure prompted the local government to snub Mandela, canceling an official welcome of the recently released leader.

    In response, black leaders boycotted the Miami tourist industry until 1993, according to the Miami Herald.

    Despite protest from Cuban Americans and criticism from those who
    pointed to human rights abuses in Cuba, Castro and Mandela continued
    their warm relationship, with Mandela saying he wouldn’t turn his back on those who had opposed apartheid.
    Castro took Mandela up on his offer to visit in 1994, when he traveled
    to attend Mandela’s inauguration as South Africa’s first black
    president.

    Mandela passed away on Thursday at the age of 95.”

  • Otto

    Right up to the late 1980s when it became clear Apartheid could not be sustained the Spectator like most of the Western establishment with the honorable exception of Sweden supported the racist regime in South Africa tooth and nail – including killing hundreds of thousands in Angola alongside Apartheid forces, in the case of the US – and sneered at or ignored Mandela.

    Just so people don’t forget who you are and your hypocrisy.

    What broke the will of the Apartheid forces was military defeat at Cuban-Soviet hands in Angola. Mandela acknowledged that. He had his hero: Fidel Castro.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Without Mandela`s peace and reconciliation, the white racists would have been slaughtered, with or without due process. A fate they richly deserved. But hey, you can`t you can`t win um all.

    • Algernon the Sceptic

      You claim to admire Mandela but your words show you really do not.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        I realise irony in print can be difficult. Especially to ROM, two-dimensional, humourless rubes.
        And I say this with all due respect.

        • Algernon the Sceptic

          It may be that being an American you still have not quite grasped the intricacies of irony.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            American? Now you`re really being nasty.

    • SwitchedOnSavage

      so you admit the blacks are murderous savages then?

  • Algernon the Sceptic

    F.W. de Klerk – the man who actually ended apartheid.

    Just thought it worth mentioning.

    • Daniel Maris

      Jack the Ripper – the man who eventually stopped murdering people.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Think you`ll find it was prostitutes.

      • Wilhelm

        Maris, don’t be supercilious.

    • SwitchedOnSavage

      The man who destroyed South Africa….. a deluded cretin.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Will Douglas Murray be writing a Mandela character assassination?
    And while you`re pondering that, be advised that it was the CIA that disclosed Mandela`s location to the SA authorities leading directly to his arrest and subsequent imprisonment. A case of white supremacists sticking together perhaps?
    Jack, Japan Alps

  • Curnonsky

    Here is an inspirational quote from the departed one:

    “From its earliest days, the Cuban Revolution has also been a source of
    inspiration to all freedom-loving people. We admire the sacrifices of the Cuban people in maintaining their independence and sovereignty in the face of the vicious imperialist-orquestrated campaign to destroy the impressive gain made in the Cuban Revolution. … Long live the Cuban Revolution. Long live comrade Fidel Castro.”

    • Daniel Maris

      It is rather annoying the way communists have been written out of the narrative in the hagiofest going on.

      For better or worse, communists were among a very small minority of white people who took racial equality seriously in South Africa, the US, Europe and elsewhere. There was cross membership between ANC and the CPSA and Communists as in other movements like the French Resistance were key to organising the struggle. And yet, on what you might call Planet Blair communists can’t be involved in something like this, so they get written out.

      • Otto

        Well said!

  • London Calling

    RIP ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Sadly missed

  • trotters1957

    A brilliant 7 part obituary in the Telegraph online.
    All the nutjobs should read it and learn.

    • Colonel Mustard

      That turn of phrase sounds suspiciously like telemachus.

      We can presume that you, nutjob, have already read it and learned.

      • trotters1957

        Finished raking up the leaves? Better bring in the dahlias before the frosts.
        Now have a cup of tea and calm down, you’ve had an exciting day.
        I wouldn’t want you to have a heart attack, old man.
        Remember, tomorrow belongs to me.

        • Colonel Mustard

          That which you resort to does you no credit but exposes the hypocrisy behind the orthodoxy you serve. A nasty sect.

          You will get old too, scumbag. We are all only tenants. Tomorrow won’t belong to you forever and none of us can say what tomorrow will bring.

  • starfish

    A ludicrous comparison

    Completely different characters, background, historical context and impact

    Mandela has his place in history but lets not make him into a saint

    I suspect he would find today’s unbalanced canonisation in the UK media embarrassing, if not laughable

    If only his successors prove worthy of him

  • Doggie Roussel

    Truly great man… just a shame that his successors have done all they could to trash his legacy.

  • PAUL WESTON

    The Daily Telegraph has 5 articles on Mandela, all gushing, but comments are disabled…..

    • Tom Tom

      Yes because Peter Oborne has had a funny turn and the Barclay Bros. are wonderig how to get him to the Priory without being noticed.

  • Q46

    Nelson Mandella a ‘Churchill’? No, really, no.

    An apple and a pear have many things in common, but that does not make them in any way the same.

    Dignified, calm, exemplar of tolerance, restraint and forgiveness, figurehead…. yes.

    He won no war, lead his people to no victory. Churchill was a propaganda weapon, Nelson Mandella was just amunition. He did however ensure a peaceful transition and that was his great contribution; for that his deserved praise.

    As a great leader of Government and State, orator, politican, well even he knew he was a failure there, and did the decent thing and quit after three years… praise too for that but no praise for not leaving a worthy successor in his place.

    • trotters1957

      “He won no war”
      Is that a joke? You think the ANC didn’t win the war.
      That the whites surrendered with hardly a shot being fired doesn’t mean it wasn’t a war.
      Mandela was a great war leader.

      • Tom Tom

        The Americans sold out South Africa.

      • leofwine

        World opinion and mining rights defeated the White South Africans. The country should hve been divided. No prizes for guessing which part woiuld have prospered.

  • Augustus

    Although he undoubtedly gave the black South African new hope for a time, the ANC has established itself as a thoroughly corrupt gang of people where nepotism is the norm. And the blacks themselves aren’t all that much better off, and the whites have good reason to be wary on a daily basis. That part of his dream, in the spirit of unity and brotherhood, hasn’t come true. Figures show that racist violence against whites continues unabated.

    • trotters1957

      You seem to have forgotten the 69 miners shot dead because they asked for a pay rise from their white employers.
      The blacks may be in government but the whites pull the strings.

      • Tom Tom

        You seem to have ignored the role of Cyril Ramaphosa who was the honcho who put down the strike. Black empowerment made him very rich and he sold out the miners union. You clearly read comic book press rather than informed opinion

      • Drakken

        There is white genocide happening as we speak, and where are all those leftist voices now? I hear crickets chirping. The whites cannot get out of SA fast enough and once the last white has left with the whatever wealth he has, SA will be exactly like Rhodesia, and you efing leftist will be completely happy turning a former prosperous country into a cesspit of a African country. The funny thing is and it is quite ironic, is that you commi’s are trying to do the same thing here. I truly hope that we are smarter than that and start fighting back instead of taking it in the shorts for you to feel better about yourselves while dragging us with you.

  • Smithersjones2013

    Each had his shining hour……,…..Mandela’s came in 1994 when, after a lifetime of hardship and persecution, he became the first democratic president of South Africa. He wasn’t a very good president except for one thing, which surpassed
    everything else: his grace.

    Which once again demonstrates that whatever attributes Mandela had his legend in this country is a fabrication of the delusional and often disturbed minds of a hysterical panty wetting media and political class starved of any true political quality in the domestic arena for decades.

    Enough of this purile nausea inducing narcissistic display of posturing by commentators not worthy to frequent the underside of Mandela’s shoe. The weathers not bad today here at least so its a good day to ignore the media and get some gardening and DIY done.

    RIP Nelson Mandela

    PS Mandela was nothing like Churchill and only a fool would try to compare them!

    PPS And in the real world people are more concerned with the storms and subsequent flooding! Perhaps the media should desist from what is clearly indulgent behaviour on their part. After Princess Di the rest of the country had more than had its fill of such aberrant behaviour

  • Wilhelm

    For a different take on Mandela.

    ”Nelson Mandela is dead, and South Africa without “Madiba” will be
    much the same as it was before: a wreck of a country with slowly
    collapsing infrastructure, high crime, and the slow-motion genocide of
    Afrikaners.

    None of this much matters to the opinion makers of what used to be
    the West. For them, the true hallmark of leftist totalitarianism isn’t
    brutality—it’s kitsch, and we’ll see plenty of that. Mandela will be on
    every magazine cover, the Internet will be drowning in sentimental
    schmaltz, and Facebook will be littered with sanctimonious status
    updates.”

    http://www.amren.com/features/2013/12/mandela-white-genocide-with-a-whimper/

    • arnoldo87

      Every time I watch the South African Rugby team play, with Afrikaans speakers playing alongside Habana, Pieterson and the Beast, I rejoice that it is a further step in the long road to full integration in that wonderful country.

      And how racists like you all over the world must thoroughly hate it.

      • Wilhelm

        Ah yes, the mind numbingly tiresome ‘R’ word. If you love multiculturalism sooo much, why don’t you move there then, see how long you last before getting butchered, hypocrite.

        http://www.southafricaproject.info

        • Colonel Mustard

          Socialist scum like arnoldo87 define themselves by defining others as racist, etc. They thrive only by the demonisation of dissent. It is part of their “struggle”.

          Deranged, demented and dangerous fools every single one of them.

          • Wilhelm

            Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals

            ”Rule 13, Pick the target, Freeze it, Personalise it, Polarise it.”

            Hooky does it every 3 seconds.

          • Hermes Mercury

            Socialist scum? What makes Socialist scum? Is the Honorable Bernard Sanders scum? BY WHAT DEFINITION sir? Further, how do YOU define Socialism, in full please. If you want to have a conversation involving people with any education, start by defining your terms.

        • Hermes Mercury

          I don’t particularly see anything mind numbing about using an appropriate word. Your utterings are by their nature racist. I have some respect for racists who claim themselves as what they are — for those who try to pretend to be something else, I feel nothing but almost unutterable contempt. The West does not depend on racism, and contrary to your delusions, it does not depend on you or those like you. The West and Western civilization will continue just fine, thanks. The mistaken belief that somehow civilization, particularly Western civilization is somehow tied to race is pathetic. Tribalism is backwards, make no mistake – no matter WHAT group comprises the tribes, or what religion they follow, but race plays no part in tribal formation and never did. Because someone does not agree with you, does not make them a hypocrite. Because someone does not do what you tell them to doesn’t either. You are truly pathetic. Get over yourself.

      • leofwine

        Don’t be so naive.

      • Drakken

        Looks like the race card has been overplayed to the point it has zero meaning anymore.

    • Tom Tom

      The power cuts get omitted from reports about RSA

  • Wilhelm

    Harry Endfield doing an impression of Nelson Mandela, he’s picked up on the fact that they like mobile phones.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tG98-FxBYgA

  • Count Boso

    From the fuss the BBC are making anybody would think Jimmy Saville had died

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Savile: Do try and get the spelling right after all this time.

    • Tom Tom

      Now you know about Savile Row

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        You can always rely on Tom to vote for ignorance.

    • Amin

      Well – Racists like you . . . what does one expect?

  • Reco2

    Churchill was a drunk who didn’t give a damn when Indians were starving to death under his rule….to compare him to Mandala is an insult!

    • Tom Tom

      Why ? Mandela never condemned Abacha in Nigeria nor Mugabe in Zimbabwe. South Africa could have destroyed Mugabe by cutting off electricity

    • Tom Tom

      Mandala is Sanskrit and a Hindu, Budhist religious symbol

  • Alex Creel

    Mandela died age 95. Average life expectancy in SA 1990 – 62 years, average life expectancy in SA 2011 – 53 years. Even Tutu said he couldn’t vote for the ANC any more, they’ve created an economic apartheid. Where was Mandela when that happened? He was a hero for the abused majority – who is standing up for them now?

  • Wilhelm

    ”South Africa’s Churchill ” I find that some what disagreeable, well, it’s vomit inducing, isn’t it ?

    ”As a newly qualified attorney [Mandela] was known as a big spending
    ladies’ man rather than as a focused political activist. To the horror
    of his African National Congress (ANC) colleagues, he even fancied
    becoming a professional boxer, so some of the ANC sighed with relief
    when he went to jail.”

    barelyablog.com/nelson-mandela-the-che-guevara-of-of-africa/

    • HookesLaw

      The Duke of Wellington was a ladies man. As was the original Nelson.

      Just as well the govt ignored that or we would all be singing the Marseillaise now.
      Go back under your bigoted stone.

      • arnoldo87

        Well said, Hooky. Churchill and Mandela were both great men and both flawed in their different ways. Most great men are flawed.

        • James Strong

          All men and women are flawed; and we should remember that whenever we are asked to accept the praise that conventional wisdom puts forward.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          I disagree. All great men are flawed what makes them great is that their good deeds are judged by history to outweigh significantly their bad deeds.

        • Tom Tom

          Mandela was a fraud.

        • leofwine

          All men are flawed,some a lot more than others.It’s a pretty big flaw to murder ones own countrymen indiscriminately.

      • Smithersjones2013

        Oh Hooky you must be happy as a pig in mud given this is the perfect opportunity for you to sling your race and bigot slurs about at all and sundry to your hearts content!

        You might even get some people agreeing with you (probably Guardianista Labour Voters). Won’t that be novel?

      • Tom Tom

        Adulterer is the word you avoided you JFK fanboy

      • leofwine

        Nelson and Wellington were honourable military men,men of real courage and genius fighting a powerful and ruthless tyrant,not a skulking terrorist murdering innocent people for political power.

      • Drakken

        Your race and bigot card has been played out, it has zero meaning. Try again.

  • Wilhelm

    On this day I think it’s appropriate to look back at what Hendrik Werwoerd said ” What the ANC want is not one man, one vote, that’s only a means to an end, what they want is a dictatorship, no man, no vote, that is the way of Africa.” It’s at 15.40

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/apartheid/7207.shtml

    • arnoldo87

      Well Verwoerd was wrong then, wasn’t he?
      It was his regime that denied universal suffrage and the ANC that provided it.

      • Wilhelm

        No, my child.

      • leofwine

        The White South Africans were on the horns of a dilemma;one man one vote meant losing the country they had carved from the wilderness on their own,denying it meant denying democracy. It’s a choice we might face in this country one day,and not too far away.

        • Tom Tom

          It was faced in 1918…….Representation of the People Act

    • Zantedeschia

      In what way is the current liberal democracy in SA any more dictatorial than our liberal democracy in the UK, given the former enjoys entrenched liberal constitutional rights protections for the rights of the individual against the tyranny of the majority (whereas in the UK we just have the HRA and ECHR and Parliament can reverse either on a simple majority) , as well as PR whereas in the UK we’ve untrammelled majoritarian FPTP?

      • leofwine

        Their ideas of democracy came from Britain;Britain also gave them the bill of rights.

    • Fergus Pickering

      One man, one vote, one time, was the crack. It’s more or less true, since South Africa is a one party state.

  • rtj1211

    The discussions about Presidents, Prime Ministers etc should always accept that there are Presidents/PMs for different times and some are only suited to certain situations.

    Churchill was a war leader, Mandela a post-freedom healer.

    The trick to being a great leader is knowing what you can and can’t do, what you shouldn’t try to do and what you must not let others try and force you to do.

    Ed Miliband can never be an inspirational leader and shouldn’t try to. His only hope of success is to focus on the three most crucial priorities for people in 2015 and deliver a workable, long-term solution for them.

    David Cameron shouldn’t try to be a champion of the poor because he was born well-to-do. He should utilise the combination of his networks and his principles to best effect.

    What the world shouldn’t fixate on is one set of circumstances in one country at one time in history.

    Leadership is about now, here, under these unique circumstances.

  • Tom Tom

    South Africa’s Gerry Adams who chose the path of politics once he gained what he wanted

    • arnoldo87

      Yes, indeed. Those 27 years in jail were the making of Mandela.
      Devious bugger.

      • Tom Tom

        So true. Without jail he would have been dead

  • JoeDM

    Churchill was never a terrorist.

    • arnoldo87

      Citizens who fight an unelected and oppressive regime are NOT terrorists. Were the French resistance in WWII terrorists?

      • Colonel Mustard

        That is relative and infinitely debatable. The cause and the actions to further or support that cause are not always governed by an inclusive moral imperative. I might argue, with evidence, that the EU Commission is an unelected and oppressive regime so it would be ok for me to fight it by resorting to violence?

        • dalai guevara

          ..or you might just argue that NM was not a terrorist. But you don’t.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Why should I? Plenty of eulogisers on the left to argue that. You, for example, who hasn’t argued it either.

        • arnoldo87

          No it would not. You have a democratic way of removing its influence on Britain.
          The South African majority had no such remedy.

          • Colonel Mustard

            So the justification for terrorism is no viable political alternative for the “struggle”? Don’t make me laugh. The justification for terrorism is always whether the “struggle” is of the left. You and your comrades are always “struggling” against something, even when you were in power for 13 years.

            • Tom Tom

              Mandela sought weapons in Communist China and aid from the Ministry of State Security in the GDR and Romania…….and was linked to the IRA and PLO.

              • leofwine

                Yes ,quite so.The IRA imparted their bomb making skills to the ANC

          • Q46

            And for whom should I vote to achieve that, Labour Conservative or Liberal Democrat?

            UKIP?

            Do take a look at how Western ‘demockracy’ (sic) works and then you will see the only realistic way of removing anything is not going to be by democracy… the State and those who control it hold all the cards.

          • Tom Tom

            The MAJORITY of voters in the UK have no such option and have not had such an option

          • leofwine

            They had the same way as anyone else, by reasoned debate and world opinion. It was world opinion that actually destroyed the South African White state;It was made virtually bankrupt.

      • Q46

        The Afrikaaner ‘regime’ was elected. The Afrikaaners were there before the Blacks who mostly were immigrants over the 400 years since the Dutch set up re-victualling stations for Dutch East India Company ships.

        Once European settlers became more numerous, Blacks were attracted into the area by the prosperity and later to work in the mines.

        The French Resistance engaged the military of an invading power: terrorists never engage the military; they prefer soft civilian targets.

        Terrorists terrorise the citizenry by using intimidation and violence, attacking civil and economic targets in order to drive the population to support it and to beg its Government to concede to make it all stop.

        You might check how many Black people were killed by the Freedom Fighters in RSA and how many White.

        • Tom Tom

          The Germans were invited into France by the Vichy Government which accepted an Armistice and continued to rule the country

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Sad how so many instinctively side with Authority. Any Authority.

        • arnoldo87

          “The Afrikaaner ‘regime’ was elected. The Afrikaaners were there before the Blacks ”
          It’s impossible to argue against knowledge such as this.

          • Fergus Pickering

            I think they were there before the blacks who are there now. The hottentots, who were there, were wiped out by everyone else. The Zulus were particularly addicted to killing other peple in large numbers.

            • leofwine

              Yes. The Zulus had a large Kingdom that they ruled with vigour.

          • leofwine

            It is true.Vast swathes of the area was empty.That’s why the whites settled there.

      • Tom Tom

        The Government of South Africa was ELECTED just as much as the Government that took Britain to war in 1914 was ELECTED and in which Jan Smuts of South Africa served

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Sad how many identify and support Authority. Any authority.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Yes, of course they were.

    • Daniel Maris

      Hmmm…one’s man freedom fighter and all that. Remember it was Churchill who gave the order to set all Europe ablaze through armed groups who did employ terror e.g. shooting citizens deemed to be collaborators.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Yes that was during the greatest single most cataclysmic event in the history of mankind so perhaps a little perspective might be appropriate.

      • Wilhelm

        Maris, so you preferred the Axis, who would have thunk it !

      • Tom Tom

        Since the phrase you quote refers to the creation of SOE in which my family was very involved I take issue with that stupid comment Daniel. They did not go to Robben Island but hung on meat hooks in Buchenwald

      • leofwine

        Churchill was leading a country fighting a nation that had declared war on most of civilization by her actions and intentions;ww2 was not a terrorist operation,it was a life or death situation for millions of people.Terrorism is a sneaking cowardly way of changing society.

    • trotters1957

      Ask an Afrikaner what they thought of Churchill, they thought he was a terrorist.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        He was a soldier in the British army and later an accredited journalist but never a terrorist.

        • trotters1957

          Read it again please, I said Afrikaner, do you see the difference.
          Doh.

          • Tom Tom

            Take a look at the Imperial War Cabinet membership 1917

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            I know exactly what you meant and I corrected your misrepresentation.

      • Tom Tom

        Yet Jan Smuts served in the Lloyd George Government with Churchill

      • leofwine

        The Boers might’ve done. But the tactics of the Boers after defeat in the field were akin to terrorism. Once the South African war was finally finished they settled down to be good citizens and good friends of Britain.

  • swatnan

    Mandela … SA’s Gandhi.
    Winston was a sodden alcoholic.

    • Wessex Man

      What sort of halfwit makes a statement like that? the halfwit above, you’ll be telling that Stalin was a misunderstood Saint next!

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      An idiotic statement. No alcoholic could have conducted all but 8 or 9 months of the Second World War as an alcoholic. Churchill enjoyed Champagne (Pol Roget, indeed he now has a vintage named in his honour) and drank Whisky diluted by soda to the point that it was no more than a mouthwash. To say that he was a “sodden alcoholic” is a typical piece of leftist nonsense spoken in defiance of all historical records.

      • Makroon

        That is as maybe, but the pathetic posters on here sniping at Mandela, should pause and compare him to other African “liberation leaders” – the hate-filled Kwame Nkrumah, the Nigerian clowns, the corrupt and devious tribalist Jomo Kenyatta, and the daddy of them all, Robert Mugabe.
        Of course Mandela was both great and good.
        Nyerere was also a man of integrity but, alas, a political failure.
        Please give Mandela the respect and honour due.

        • Colonel Mustard

          You are the one sniping.

        • leofwine

          The only man that was great and good was Jesus Christ,and politicians crucufied him.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          I cannot disagree with what you are saying but wonder why it is directed at me with such vehemence when all I was doing was responding to a ludicrous unfounded and stereotypical assertion about Churchill. I believe Mandela was a humane, flawed but decent man who achieved great things.

        • Fergus Pickering

          I don’t think you can make Mandela great and good simply by comparing him with other African leaders. That would be like saying Franco was great and good because he wasn’t Hiler or Mussolini.

    • Tom Tom

      so was William Pitt

    • leofwine

      Get a grip man!! ;don’t let hatred destroy what little sense you appear to have been born with .

    • Drakken

      Churchill would have had that commi Mandela for breakfast and made tea time.

      • swatnan

        The half-naked fakir beat Churchill into submission in the end.
        The fact is when it comes to denying freedom and self determination, then the jingoists are onto a loser.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Where did I read that it took a great deal of money to keep Ghandi in picturesque poverty. He was a bit of a humbug, wasn’t he?

  • Andrew Parke

    This is the best ‘tribute’ to Mandela that I have read.
    As someone who is naturally sceptical of anyone who the BBC and soundbite politicians beatify so incessantly, it is good to read an account that is measured in its idolisation while not brushing over his (and especially the ANC’s) faults.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    His choice of women could be suspect as well

  • formonitoring

    mandela was also different from churchill in that he didnt use poison gas to subdue native colonial populations, head a govt that ran gulags in kenya, or switch the british navy to oil – thus necessitating an extension of empire – while taking free shares in the anglo-iranian oil company…. i guess thats worth mentioning…

    • Colonel Mustard

      There is little evidence that gas was actually used or, if it was, that the gas involved was lethal rather than of tear gas type. In March and July, 1992, United States Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez, speaking in the House of Representatives, said that Britain used gas against the Kurds and his statement has been much quoted by self-hating lefties.

      The main source usually quoted in support of the idea that Britain used poison gas in Mesopotamia is Geoff Simons in ‘Iraq: From Sumer to Saddam’ (1994), who wrote that “gas was used against the Iraqi rebels in 1920.” In the third edition of this book published in 2004 Simons wrote: “In the event, gas was used against the Iraqi rebels in 1920 with ‘excellent moral effect’, though gas shells were not dropped from aircraft because of practical difficulties.”

      Another historian, Lawrence James, states: “By September the local commander, General Sir Aylmer Haldane, was beginning to get the upper hand, although he was still desperate enough to clamour for large supplies of poison gas. It was not needed, for air power had given his forces the edge whenever the going got tough”. On whether gas was used he wrote that: “RAF Officers asked Churchill… for use of poison gas. He agreed but it was not used”.

      Niall Ferguson, in his 2006 book The War of the World, writes: “To end the Iraqi Insurgency of 1920 . . . the British relied on a combination of aerial bombardment and punitive village burning expeditions. Indeed, they even contemplated using mustard gas too, though supplies proved unavailable”.

      Anthony Clayton writes in The Oxford History of the British Empire that “the use of poisonous gas was never sanctioned”.

      A December 2009 article in the Journal of Modern History by R.M. Douglas of Colgate University went through the known sources and concluded that: “while at various moments tear gas munitions were available in Mesopotamia, circumstances seeming to call for their use existed, and official sanction to employ them had been received, at no time during the period of the mandate did all three of these conditions apply” and that it was clear that no poison gas was used. Douglas observed that Churchill’s statement had served to convince observers of the existence of weapons of mass destruction which were not actually there, which ironically matched events in 2003.

      Churchill’s statement of 12th May 1919 was as follows:-

      “I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. We have definitely adopted the position at the Peace Conference of arguing in favour of the retention of gas as a permanent method of warfare. It is sheer affectation to lacerate a man with the poisonous fragment of a bursting shell and to boggle at making his eyes water by means of lachrymatory gas. I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes. The moral effect should be so good that the loss of life should be reduced to a minimum. It is not necessary to use only the most deadly gasses: gasses can be used which cause great inconvenience and would spread a lively terror and yet would leave no serious permanent effects on most of those affected.”

      • HookesLaw

        1920’s was also a relatively short time after WW1 where everybody happily gassed each other. I imagine Churchill himslef had been subject to gas attacks.

        • Drakken

          Here is a novel idea for you, if you love those oppressed third worlders so much, go live with them and give them all sorts of hugs and kisses, tell them we sent you.

      • Daniel Maris

        That’s all right then, they only occupied other people’s land and set fire to their villages. Nice people.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Only if you believe the socialist scum who doctor Wiki. Iraq was a mandated territory that used to belong to the Ottoman Empire (which you are always quiet about, preferring instead to beat your self-hating chest only about the British Empire). The tribal factions had always bubbled away beneath the surface and still do. The British attempted to keep the peace.

          I expect that if you were alive there, then, instead of pontificating from your safe and comfortable leftist high chair now you would have been grateful.

    • In2minds

      Formonitoring – “mandela was also different from churchill”

      You are right, Churchill was not associated with the ANC who carried out
      many ‘necklace’ killings.

    • Alexandrovich

      It doesn’t help, when browsing odd bits of history, having a total inability to contextualise.

    • Tom Tom

      Switching the Royal Navy to oil was sensible don’t you think ?

    • leofwine

      The British Empire didn’t exist in a vacuum,it had responsibilities and in the real world tough decisions have to be made,or you’ll go under. Today we have a clique of professional ,lilly livered,out of touch hypocrites instead of real statesmen and gifted politicians.;We’ve forgotten what it’s like to be governed by strong,patriotic principled people.

  • Hilary

    Gandhi never approved the slaying of children

    • leofwine

      Gandhi was a hypocrite ;he did not do India any good at all.

  • Fergus Pickering

    Mandela is not the slightest bit like Churchill.

    • Tom Tom

      He was male and is now dead

    • Mynydd

      I agree, Mandela took armed forces off the street, Churchill sent armed forces onto the street. Mandela was a man of peace, Churchill was a man of war.

      • Colonel Mustard

        And you are a man of monumental stupidity.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          Actually she is a woman of monumental stupidity.

        • Mynydd

          A monumental historical fact, Mr Churchill sent the army onto the streets of south Wales.

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            And that is your idiot assessment of Churchill’s entire career. A wonder that Martin Gilbert managed to turn that into an 8 volume biography. No recollection of leading Britain through the greatest most terrible event in the entire history of mankind. We call it World War 2 and it happened between 1939 and 1945. Oh and he led the defiance against your communist soulmates in the Soviet Union as well. So no mention of his part in preserving democracy and freedom in the face of the two most evil tyrannies in the history of mankind only a reference to troops on the streets of South Wales. You are a lamentably ignorant and biased leftist propagandist and should air your views on Labour List but not here.

            • Amin

              He didn’t really lead anything . . .troops were not led by him. The agenda was not led by him. And after the war he was rejected.

              His success? He was around at the time.

              – –

              His record?

              He was deeply racist and hated Blacks – whom he was proud for having personally “bagged” a few.

              He was responsible for the death of about 3 million people . . .in Bengal.

              He was an eugenicist – he believed the lower classes should be culled.

              Who does he sound like? Hitler.

              • leofwine

                Have you stopped taking your medication again?

                • Amin

                  It is obvious you have nothing to to add. Racists like you never do . . . it is sad that.

            • Mynydd

              Mr Churchill used the army against his own country men, so to did Hitler and Stalin

          • Tom Tom

            I would send troops onto the streets of South Wales too !

        • Amin

          “Colonel Mustard”

          What your comment shows is that you are UNABLE to answer him. Other than to call him stupid. Big deal.

      • Max J

        Warmonger Churchill. Jesus wept.

      • serialluncher

        So Mandela would have stopped Hitler by just giving him a hug?

        • Tom Tom

          Well Mandela was 21 when war broke out. What did he do ?

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          Don’t give the idiot ideas.

          • Drakken

            Perhaps it would be a wonderful idea for her to go live in her communist utopia in SA.

    • serialluncher

      True but it’s better than Peter O’borne on the DT who thinks he’s like Jesus.

      • Tom Tom

        That proves Oborne is not a Christian like so many in public life

    • Amin

      Of course Mandela is nothing like Churchill. Churchill was responsible for the death of millions – was racist – eugenicist . . . let us face it – Churchill was a step or two away from Hitler.

      • Fergus Pickering

        You really don’t like him, dearie. I look at it this way. Mandela was a nice guy but I owe him nothing. On the other hand, without Churchill I might be writing in German.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          Except that a medium of free speech such as this would not be available for writing in any language. Too much for that idiot to comprehend however.

          • Amin

            Why wouldn’t it be? The thing is – you haven’t really got a clue . . how & why?

            “Too much for that idiot to comprehend however.”

            People like you just tend insult people . . . in place of making a salient comment.

            • Fergus Pickering

              But it is salient that you are an idiot. If you had any sense or the slightest knowledge then you wouldn’t burble on the way you do. Do you call yourself after Idi Amin, by the way?

              • Amin

                There we have it . . . just more abuse. Sorry dearest . . . but you are not able to make a single point other than to be petty.

                • leofwine

                  And what’s your point? Or are you totally pointless.?

                • Amin

                  My point is already made . . . better stick to insult – if your attempts at wit are anything to go by.

                • leofwine

                  I wouldn’t dream of insulting anyone,I’m just asking a question.

                • Amin

                  Trying to back track – are you now? No – it doesn’t work like that – son.

            • leofwine

              Unlike you who not only insult people and spout utter bilge but also pretend to know all about people you’ve never met. You’re quite sad really,living in your little topsy-turvy world.

              • Amin

                There we go . . .

                1. I do not resort to insulting people.

                2. You have already admitted – you have not read any books on this matter and hence do not know much.

                3. Which shows off your comment in full light . . . you know full well you are wrong . . . but the hate and bitterness and the darkness of your heart. . .

                This is WHY I pity you . . . I hope you see the light.

                • leofwine

                  I didn’t say I hadn’t read any books on the matter,you’re making that up. You see ,you are doing it again,pretending to know what is in a person’s heart. Thank you for your good wishes but it is you who needs to let the light in. Don’t be so bitter about everything.Has someone upset you?; you seem to be so tense. It’s not good for you.

                • Amin

                  “I didn’t say I hadn’t read any books on the matter,you’re making that up.”

                  No I am not. . .it is conclusion of what you said. See above.

                  – –

                  “You see ,you are doing it again,pretending to know what is in a person’s heart.”

                  I do not need to pretend. I go off by your comments.

                  – –

                  “Thank you for your good wishes”

                  You are welcome!
                  You know – it is nice to know the good seed has been planted. . .

                  – –

                  Now – grab a good book and read it. . . I’ll tell you what. Email? And I will send a few over . . how does that sound?

                  Then you see – it does NOT matter what your opinions are . . . then you will have authority behind them – rather than this ignorance . . .which becomes obvious . . . within 2 comments.

                • leofwine

                  Thank you for the offer but I’m reading Galileo Galilei, dialogue concerning the two chief world systems;then i’ve got to finish Piers ploughman,in the old English of course. I don’t see the point of reading such books in the modern translation,do you? . So at the moment I’m a bit “booked” up.

                • Amin

                  Nice try . . . but you are not reading:

                  “Galileo Galilei, dialogue concerning the two chief world systems” whatever that is! Jeez! Must be sad . . . especially around Christmas time . .

                • leofwine

                  You’re doing it again,assuming.Don’t tell me you haven’t heard of it,it’s a famous book,and very interesting. I have a large library of about two thousand books;obviously I haven’t read them all,yet. Don’t worry,as it’s Christmas, I’ll also read Charles Dickens,”Christmas Books” which includes “A Christmas Carol “,obviously. I must go now,I’m reading the last chapter of “War and Peace” and I want to finish it. I’ve read the book a couple of times before ,but I always find something new in it. Tolstoy is a genius,wouldn’t you say? Merry Christmas,and as Tiny Tim would remark.”God bless us ,every one”!

                • Amin

                  You’re lying and it’s obvious. And you lack the intelligence to figure out why someone would see through your BS easily.

        • Amin

          Unlikely – as Churchill didn’t really do much . . . and it is insult to the soldiers [most of them Russian], military leaders, scientists, ordinary people . .

          • Fergus Pickering

            Whenever anyone says an opinion is an insult to someone or other, I know they have no case. You have no case, ducky.

            • Amin

              Lol! I doubt you have read 2 books in your life. You certainly never passed your GCSE’s.

              Your own sad state is your own fault . . .quit blaming others.

              • leofwine

                You’ve probably read books but they’ve all been written by morons.

                • Amin

                  It says a lot for you ignorance doesn’t it?

                  Well live in your bliss. . . but here you admit – you know NOTHING about this subject. . . not about Hitler, Churchill, Stalin, Germany, Jews . . . .

                  Isn’t it surprising . . . how such people as you turn out to be really ignorant?

                • leofwine

                  I might be a Jew for all you know.

                • Amin

                  Give up the nonsense . . . you have tried it on . . . it’s over.

                • leofwine

                  You’re right;I have been teasing you a bit. I’ll be serious from now on. But you do assume too much.

                • Amin

                  Are you lonely, sweetie?

                • leofwine

                  No;I have a very large family;and then there’s the staff always buzzing about.

                • Amin

                  Prison isn’t what it used to be. . . is it. They let loose on the net.

                • Tom Tom

                  What do you know about Jews >?

              • Tom Tom

                Noone fails GCSEs – Keith Joseph designed them as No-Fail CSEs

          • leofwine

            Stalin,obviously one of your heros ,was as much responsible for ww2 as Hitler. Stalin could have stopped the whole thing by making it clear that Russia would oppose him. Instead the old pirate decided that a good opportunity had presented itself for spreading Bolshevism. Stalin brought the miusery of war on his own people;he invaded Poland also and promptly started murdering and filling the gulags.Salin ordered that any soldier not showing enough fighting zeal to be shot;tens of thousands were on his orders.

            • Amin

              “Stalin,obviously one of your heros”

              You are just being “petty”.

              – –

              And it was the millions of Russian deaths . . . that really put the boot in.

              • Tom Tom

                Lots of them died in POW camps or Gulags

                • Amin

                  And? Die they did . . . to keep you ungrateful alive. . . it seems.

            • Tom Tom

              Stalin intended to attack the west anyway which is why he occupied Bessarabia to seize German oil supplies thus advancing German invasion plans. Chamberlain was tricked by Col Beck who lied to him and Britain ended up saving Stalin

          • Tom Tom

            He certainly saved Stalin, stupidly. Huge amounts of aid and Spitfires were sent to Stalin the incompetent who panicked and wanted to run as the Wehrmacht reached Moscow. Stalin simply put a Russian in front of every German bullet until German ammo supplies ran low. Chinese tried the same in Korea as UN machine guns overheated because they could not kill them fast enough

            • Amin

              Yes. And it was Russians who stopped Hitler. Germany VS UK – Germany. Germany was far more powerful. It took a combined might to push it over.

      • leofwine

        Then why was he one of the few men who insisted Hitler must be stopped.? I don’t know what books you’ve been reading but I think you should get some history books written by sane people.

        • Amin

          “Then why was he one of the few men who insisted Hitler must be stopped.?”

          He was not one of few. He wanted Hitler stopped as Hitler would have and did threaten England.

          – –

          “I don’t know what books you’ve been reading but I think you should get some history books written by sane people.”

          No dearest – it you who has NEVER read a book on Churchill. . . hence why you failed to mention a single book . . .er . . . which you consider “sane”.

          • Tom Tom

            Hitler did not threaten England. He was an Anglophile and in Mein Kampf stated that the only two alliances Germany could make were with Britain and Italy. He never intended to invade Britain as he made the decision to invade the USSR in June 1940 after Dunkirk and offered peace terms in 1940 which Churchill sought to block to induce the USA to enter the war.

            RAB Butler at the Foreign Office was meeting with Dahlerus in May 1940 to discuss terms. In 1941 Hess brought a plan for Britain to be neutral and keep its empire and navy

        • Tom Tom

          Pilsudski wanted to invade Germany in 1935 when Poland’s Army was bigger than Germany’s but his treaty ally France refused

    • victor67

      Indeed Mandela wasn’t an imperialist.

      • Tom Tom

        Did not get chance

  • JamesdelaMare

    The Daily Telegraph has a report on Mandela’s death by its labour columnist, Hodges. After three comments (which are inaccessible) the DT has posted “comments are closed”. The main DT article on the death doesn’t have comments. These articles are not a joke, Jez, as you ask. They are in the same vein as the grovelling disproportionate lunacy we saw the other day about Kennedy, about Princess Diana’s death, about Thatcher’s death. They are the extraordinary build-up of a media personality in the media age – the same media which has given us Cameron as a totally inadequate prime minister.

    Of course Mandela doesn’t deserve all this attention. He was nothing, did nothing and had nothing to justify it. He was always built up by his immature, poorly educated, impoverished followers, encouraged by the world’s post-1945, anti-colonial politicians and media to be the figure who overcame Europeans in southern Africa – those Europeans who ran good governments, law and order, civilisation, as best they could against great odds. Now we see the final predictable absurdity. Mandela is at last dead, after being kept alive in a comatose state for as long as they could until he was 95, and is perhaps the most grotesquely over-rated of all over-rated people the media have built up for a paying, gullible, stupid public. To compare him with Churchill is of course an admission that the writer knows next to nothing about Churchill, and perhaps nothing at all about Churchill’s wide-ranging qualities.

    • HookesLaw

      I imagine the comments were closed because they were racist. Most commentators in the telegraph blogs are ranting racists.

      Your own comments show that typically for nutjob posters here you are in denial. Totally out of touch with the world, living on another planet.

      • James Strong

        And I imagine comments were closed because they didn’t fit in with the hagiography that is so widespread.
        Had the comments been racist they could have been deleted and the comment thread left open for others.

        • Drakken

          They were closed because of the overwhelming outrage.

        • Fergus Pickering

          You might listen to what Desmond Tutu, a better and a braver man thatn Nelson, had to say.

      • Andy

        Oh do stop being such a pathetic old fool. Mandela was not all he is cracked up to be, neither in the 1950s and 60s nor in recent times. Comparing him with Churchill is just plain daft.

        • Bandmomma

          Or Obourne comparing him to Jesus Christ, for Christ’s sakes!

          • Andy

            Yes well I regarded that as Blasphemy, and completely stupid and idiotic. Had he compared him to Mohammed some nutter would be straight round to do for him.

            This whole ‘Mandela was a Saint’ crap has gone totally over the top. No saint would have been so chummy with the evil Gadaffi, or the evil Castro, nor would a saint have remained silent on AIDS sweeping his country, nor on the mayhem developing across the border because of another evil lefty idiot called Mugabe. There were flaws a plenty with Mandela.

        • Amin

          Of course it is . . . Churchill was nasty and disgusting. Eugenicist – who believed the lower classes should be culled. Responsible for about 3 million death.

          And he hated “Africans” and was proud of having “bagged” a few – personally.

          – –

          His legacy? He was there at the right time.

          • Andy

            No his legacy was defeat of the Nazis.

            And for that ‘his name liveth for evermore’.

          • Tom Tom

            Eugenics was big in Sweden, USA esp. California long before Hitler picked up on it.

            • Amin

              You don’t even know what it means.

      • Q46

        Isn’t determining who owns territory, who has the right to rule it is dependent entirely on skin colour racist?

        • Tom Tom

          It might not be when it is asserted in the UK

      • Tom Tom

        You “imagine” ! If that is not an expression of self-delusion it is hard to know what could be

      • leofwine

        Surely you are the one in denial. Mandela was most certainly not the avuncular figure he appeared to be in later life.He was a strong force for violence as a member of a violent pro communist terrorist group.This group was responsible for the deaths of many innocent South Africans ,white and black.Dozens of black police were targeted for murder and terror,public places were bombed causing death and injury. Mandela refused to renounce violence,one of the reasons he remained in prison for so many years. South Africa had become an often cruel and unjust country,but the black rulers since majority rule have not benefited the country which is really disintegrating.More whites are leaving ,fearing being dipossessed and/or murdered;without them the country will collapse.Yet all this is ignored by the lefty liberal commentators who have built Mandela into a saint-like figure.He isn’t and never was.

        • Amin

          Mandela was no terrorist – neither “terrorized” anyone.

          To Racist people like you . . . praise of a black man is difficult to take.

          • leofwine

            As far as I ,and most other people,are concerned anyone who blows people to pieces or plans,participates or encourages the death of men,women and children regardless of the pain and misery caused ,for political purposes is a terrorist. Mandela did this. As for your other juvenile remarks;you know nothing about me,I might be black . Black men and women don’t like terrorism either.It would appear that the “racist” person here is you,denigrating people you assume are of a certain race because they do not agree with you and assuming that black people will automatically favour a terrorist because he is black.

            • Amin

              You are not black – you are white and racist.

              Mandela – did not “blow” people up or encourage it. That simply is your make belief.

              – –

              Mandela is well-known and is not terrorist – it is only the white racists who call out as such . . . no – it is you who is a racist.
              I am right about that.

              – –

              • leofwine

                You can’t be a witness on your own behalf;you show all the signs of an intolerant “racist” It is well known that Mandela was a terrorist,except it appears by you. You still don’t know if I am black. You mustn’t stereotype you know.You are very judgmental. None so blind—–

                • Amin

                  “It is well known that Mandela was a terrorist”

                  Is it? Well know by whom? The oppressive and racist whites of that time? Who else?

                  If it is THAT well known . . . then you wouldn’t have trouble finding sources would you . . . ?

                  – –

                  “You still don’t know if I am black. You mustn’t stereotype you know.You are very judgmental. None so blind—–”

                  Of course you are not black! It is OBVIOUS . . . jeez! You really aren’t very bright are you . . . .

                  See this what hatred does . . . stops rationality.

                • leofwine

                  Your remarks are very hurtful. And you still don’t know if I am black or not,what’s wrong with being black and not worshipping Mandela? . The only person showing hatred is you,towards innocent white people.Aren’t you ashamed?

                • Amin

                  “Your remarks are very hurtful.”

                  Good . . as they say you reap what you sow.

                  – –

                  “And you still don’t know if I am black”

                  Yes, I do. I know full well that you are white. It is 100% obvious.

                  – –

                  “The only person showing hatred is you,towards innocent white people.Aren’t you ashamed?”

                  Ah . . . so which “innocent” white people have I shown hatred towards? You racists really are shameless.

                • Tom Tom

                  You are bonkers

                • Amin

                  Of course I am. But if you are UNABLE to counter anything I have to say and merely disagree in such fashion – sonny you’re whole lot worse.

                • Tom Tom

                  Noone has ever claimed that not being black is a sign of being unintelligent

              • Tom Tom

                You did such a poor job in Uganda Idi

          • Tom Tom

            Good job you aren’t black Amin. BTW Idi I thought you had died in Saudi Arabia in 2003. If not you must be 88 now. Will you return to Uganda ?

      • Drakken

        Pssst, the race card that you just threw out there ahs been overplayed, so get stuffed commi.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      DT has posted “comments are closed”

      That`s the Telegraph for you. Aka the “Capitalist Lackey”.

      • Tom Tom

        The Orders come from the Foreign Office. When the Lackeys gather in Cape Town for The Grand Funeral the drone attacks and suicide bombers will give Mandela companions in death as Al-Qaeda avails itself of chaotic South African security

      • JamesdelaMare

        Very true, Jack. The DT did the same when Thatcher died – suppressed all the comments when they found the readers didn’t all agree with the Telegraph’s (or the Barclays’, or Moore’s) adulation of her. I posted a comment about Mandela on the Guardian article too, and that was quickly suppressed, i.e. removed, even though my comments there are objective and generally not unpopular. Such is our wonderful free press here…….

        • Jackthesmilingblack

          Sad, but true. But there will be a reckoning. Just hope I get to shout, “Fire”.

  • Harold Angryperson

    At least Ed Balls will be relieved – his lamentable performance yesterday now forgotten amongst the wall-to-wall lefty wailing and chest beating over their departed Messiah…

    • telemachus

      .

      Ed had to shout above MPs to respond to Osborne’s statement
      But they could not cow him

      He said: “The Chancellor is in complete denial… for most
      people in our country living standards aren’t rising… they are falling year on
      year on year.”

      He accused the government of standing up for energy companies, hedge funds and high-wage earners, but not working people
      In short he was effective and magnificent, whatever you read in the Telegraph

      • Colonel Mustard

        Don’t you feel slightly ashamed of pulling this stunt of trying to ‘tag’ the top comment in every thread? You ought to be.

        • telemachus

          2 points
          HA made a ridiculous comment about Ed which required rebuttal
          Second if you have an important truth it must be promulgated prominently
          *
          However in the interests of fairness I will put your points to the politburo

          • Colonel Mustard

            Neither of those points address mine and to deceive yourself (and to attempt to deceive others) into thinking yours is the only truth, let alone an important one, is demented.

            We saw the same kind of bonkers and bigoted arrogance from the (w)itch Toynbee on DP today when she attempted to deflect Toby Young’s important point about freedom of speech by suggesting that only Murdoch, Dacre and the Daily Mail should be censored.

            • telemachus

              Polly has a legitimate point

          • Andy

            Why do you defend Fascists so much ?

            • Zantedeschia

              Why do you set such store in a fictional absolute freedom from authority that you see a party who believe in paternalism e.g. wearing seatbelts and taxing 3% more than the other side, as unacceptably authoritarian?

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              Because he is idiot#1.

              • Andy

                That may possibly be so.

            • Drakken

              He or it is a bloody communist, and no matter how many times they try communism, it always ends up with millions dead in the end.

  • Jez

    Is this a joke?

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