Remember What The Rememberers Remember

When people are paying tribute to Nelson Mandela:

Really, I have no desire to hear them from leaders of parties who described his organisation as terrorist, who believed that sanctions were wrong, whose jolly young members wore T-shirts demanding he be strung up. Of course, not all Tories were pro-apartheid, but I can already feel the revisionism revving up.


By 1984Jerry Dammers had written Free Nelson Mandela. But apartheid continued to exist, propped up by the Tories. Some of their elder statesmen, such as Norman Tebbit, still see Thatcher’s policy as a success.David Cameron denounced it in 2006, saying she had been wrong to condemn the ANC as terrorists and to have opposed sanctions. Too late for those veteran campaigners such as Peter Hain, who had seen the massacres in the townships and knew it was a life-or-death struggle.

We’ll have our share of hypocrites here, too, people who either did nothing when apartheid was the law of the land, or actively supported it, talking about Mandela as if they were close personal friends.