69 1 min 15 yrs

brownmandela203cr_getty.jpgWell, the media and the political left may be dancing in delight that a statue of Nelson Mandela is being unveiled in Parliament Square today but I am singularly unimpressed at this tribute to the Marxist-loving former terrorist Mandela. Naturally Gordon Brown has jumped on the bandwagon, portraying himself as a long standing friend of Mandela. If South Africa wants to erect a statue of Mandela on every corner, fine. But I fail to understand why the United Kingdom goes out of its way to honour this ancient thug. If ever a statue SHOULD go up in Parliament Square, I would nominate Ronald Reagan. Wonder would Gordon Brown be so keen on THAT? 

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  1. Nelson Mamdela will not critisise Mugabe for attacking and murdering his people. Nor Umbeki who supports Mugabe and will not let the South African people get treatment for aids.
    That says a lot about Nelson Mandela who is a bloody fraud. And is only famous for being in prison…

  2. Coaldust.

    And he was a BIG fan of Colonel Ghadafi too! He just loves tyrants but still he is the patron saint of the left and we must all worship at his throne.

  3. Ronald Reagan? I trust that’s a joke.

    Nelson Mandela and the ANC may be terrorists to you but to most he is a freedom fighter who achieved freedom and helped his country move away from an oppressive apartheid system without allowing his society to descend into the anarchy of revenge.

    Your idea of empire and empires subjects is obsolete. Come and join the rest of us in the 21st century. Instead of sniping at those who work towards peace, embrace it. Blindly acquiescing to the USA, as you’d have us do, is not a path to peace.

    The whole world accepts Mandela as great man, your xenophobic, white supremacism makes you a lone voice.

  4. I am sure that I am in the minority but I do not share in the widespread adulation of this man.

  5. Daithio

    "Nelson Mandela and the ANC may be terrorists to you but to most he is a freedom fighter who achieved freedom and helped his country move away from an oppressive apartheid system without allowing his society to descend into the anarchy of revenge."

    He was a part of the move away from apartheid, as was FW De Klerk and many other people.

    I nearly lost a friend at the Magoo’s bar in Durban after an ANC bomb exploded – a "freedom fighter" you say? No, the ANC originally adopted peaceful means but turned to violence, that was when they ceased to be freedom fighters and became terrorists.

    If you spend any time in SA now, you’ll soon see that the so-called Rainbow Nation does not exist and that "revenge" is high on the list of the government’s priorities.

  6. Nor I.

    it will make a splendid place to protest the inequities and corruption prevalent in the UAC and every country therein, including South Africa and its leaders past and present whom only a fool would claim were not as corrupt and entrenched in inequity as any of the less famous big men.

    Ken Livingstone may choose a selected history of Mandela, the millions of people told under his watch that aids was a shame and sin, and denied education on prevention and treatment due to Mandela’s personal prejudice, the millions of displaced and hungry in Zimbabwe and all the other multifaceted disasters old Nelson either is directly responsible for or was a collaborator in will not be eclipsed by a statue.

    what about a statue of a degenerate 12 year old from some unpronounceable part of the world hold a gun up to the al-fresco Londoners ?
    At least they could identify with it.

  7. Daithio,

    I hate to say it but YOU are the lone voice on this thread. Others see Mandela as he is, you see him as you wish him to be. More fool you. Fiona and Juan make powerful points.


    Ask the people of Poland and the other former Soviet clients states if they think Ronald Reagan is a freedom fighter.

  9. Mandela became a symbol of the ending of a hated and racist regime. His symbolic significance is greater than any subjective assessment of his record.

  10. Mandela also presided over the creation of a new and hateful regime run by the crooks in the ANC. South Africa, the supposed rainbow nation, is a cesspit of crime and corruption for which good old Saint Nelson carries the can.

  11. David

    We can only support the right of the people of South Africa to elect their own government. After that it is up to them.

    The apartheid system was an affront to human dignity and democracy is better irrespective of the problems it may bring.

  12. David, yes I’m often a lone voice here on ATW. That’s why I like it here. Debate is healthy but debating with those who agree with everything one says is rather dull.

    I was taking exception to your words really. All things are subjective of course, but when Mandela was imprisoned, just as now, he was acclaimed the world over, by the good and the powerful, by Mr. Reagan too I’d wager!

    And today world leaders fall over themselves to be photographed shaking his hand.

    My admiration for him is not unique!

  13. Hey Daithio,

    Your comments are alway welcome, might not agree but that is part of the fun!

    Many many people share your view of Mandela and I willingly acknowledge that.

    It’s just that I don’t!!

  14. He just loves tyrants

    That hero of the right Ronald Reagan propped up his fair share of tyrants in South America and elsewhere. Remember Iran-Contra?

    And it was perfectly clear in the 1980s that Reagan preferred the continuation of apartheid to majority rule in South Africa, as did Thatcher.

  15. Can we learn the errors of history if we sacrifice an actual unstinting of the events (and thusly the human conditions that provoked them) for the sake of an easy and pleasing narrative ?

    Nelson Mandela is indeed a symbol of triumph over the unpleasant in popular culture.

    Popular culture does not experience the full realities of African life and incompetent government. As such the west can uphold only a cartoon character, a malleable aesthetic of the ‘good guy’.
    Such an instrument can be put to virtually any purpose.

    Without a broad (I find the use of the word subjective curious in relation to history) understanding of the realities of the time and the actions of the man, we have nothing but this malleable and attractive aesthetic which can no doubt provoke a sense of righteousness of action in view of unjust societies, it will not add any understanding or sophistication (or humanity) to those actions, which may have a positive idea behind them but can quickly become distorted, corrupt, harmful and the subject of vested interests (hey! much like the SA elite and nu Middle Classes). Indeed it presupposes in its inaccuracy and simplicity that the action is absolutely positive, when this is rarely the case even when one is seeking to construct "the most benevolent and liberal society in history" (this is a quote from a certain famous iconic figure on a certain Germanic Reich)

    But if we hold this up as an axiom for all, won’t we regret not understanding the unpleasant in the triumphal, the complex reality brought into being by the practise of the simple ideal ( unrefined by experience if indeed the popular positive narrative is to be considered more important than accuracy and thought in history for the general public) when it is, as they say, on our door steps as it is on poor African door steps today ?

    Mandela’s record for taking credit for the abolishment of an evil system the country as a whole brought to an end, and whether we like it or not the orderly and actual disassembly of apartheid structures was achieved by the white side of the government, may be attractive and a good story, it is however untrue and prejudices any serious understanding or concern for the actual problems in South Africa, many of which the hero cult allowed Mandela in his limitations to perpetrate.

    While we ignore a complex and often uncomfortable reality for a pretty revision we are damning not only those poor Africans living today with the short comings of the actual events, but the broader advancement of human understanding and our ability to make a better future.

    if we refuse to understand the complexities of the SA situation for the sake of pleasing and reassuring polemics, we limit ourselves to our childish and destructive goodies-baddies narrative that still stimulates most peoples understanding of conflicts and guarantees their repetition and facilitation. But which i supose is comfortable and at least fun when someone else is the perpatrator, and even more fun when someone else is the victim, all thats Left for you is to be cool with concern and attractive in t shirt sporting activism.

    it is not more important to hold up a hollow idol to a simple ideal in the face of people that they may understanding nothing more than pleasant rhetoric and its elementary deductions than to illustrate to them the complexities of human actions and morality. Humanities abilities must must be increased by the lessons of experience or the same primitive tribalistic, or confused moralistic, simplicity that governs and provokes most non personl non profit acts of violence will continue ad infinitum, south Africa had a great success with the end of apartness laws, the end the the apartness laws has not been a great success for most south Africans. the simplicity of the Mandela cult guarantees this will go unchallenged and indeed for a challenge from Europeans to be considered virtually offensive, and that the same arrogant mistakes will be made again and again when tackling evil and supposing in doing this we are automatically good.

  16. Hang on a second:

    "It was finally agreed the statue should face the Houses of Parliament, and stand alongside images of other great leaders such as Winston Churchill, Benjamin Disraeli and Abraham Lincoln"

    Why do we have to have Lincoln and Mandela in the Square when British PMs such as Thatcher get shoved away inside the Houses? Too controversial for the Square perhaps?

    Frankly ‘whatever’ regards the statue. Were so busy letting commie China buy up half the country whats a marxist statue or two.

  17. Long after we are forgotten you will have taught the world one amazing truth, that you can achieve justice without vengenance. said Mr Livingstone.

    The ANC taught us all that? Must have missed that lesson.

  18. Mandela statues in this country are increasing. The Scots erected a statue to Winnie Mandela, one time wife of Nelson, in Edinburgh, capital of the country. At that time she was involved in crime in the SA town where she lived. I note today that Red Ken and The Greet Broon are attending the unveiling of Nelson’s statue. I must say that I thought that Blair bringing N.Mandela to the Labour Conference a couple of years ago was in keeping with this socialist circus, and very unwise of Nelson to attend. Today in the Telegraph I note Mrs. Brown clutching the hand of Nelson presumably to wring the maximum of public sentamentality from the occasion, which reminded me of that embarassing picture of Jack straw clutching the hand of Mrs.Laurence a few years back. What is it with Marxists, Mendacity, and Mandela. If he had the slightest concern for his African people surely he would set about Robert Mugabe who is trying to murder so many of them.
    It really is difficult to stomach the raw public mawkishmess of socialist political behaviour.

  19. Instead of Mandela on a statue in Parliament Square I think it should be Guy Fawkes…At least he tried?

    And as for the ANC they prefere to do business with their old paymasters Russia and China. And ignore the west.

  20. hey peter, sorry you had to turn this into another opportunity to bash the USA…..
    how is it that everyone that talks about the USA in the 50’s-80’s seems to forget the cold war? I wonder what the USA would have been doing then had it not been for the murderous regimes in russia and china? probably doing what Bush was originally voted in for, looked after their own business… but then again maybe the mohammedans would just have started stirring things up earlier.

    as for Mandela, he’s a symbol for his time, nothing more… as long as Africa accepts Zimbabwe and Darfur without complaint and blames everything on the west they have little hope of moving on. Maybe once the killing starts for real in Nigeria they’ll begin to wake up!

  21. I wasn’t aware there was a statue of Abraham Lincoln in Parliament Square and I’m almost as opposed to that as to this statue of Mandela. Maybe Lincoln actually was a good guy (unlike Mandela) but neither of them are British! What is our government doing erecting statues outside parliament of foreign leaders?

    I’d also like to know where the funding for this came. Are my taxes (or those of Londoners) paying for these things to be put up? Why couldn’t it be done charitably?

  22. Have they left room for a statue of Castro? – I hear there is much doubt as to his well-being, and that he ‘Chairs’ meetings with his soul ‘in absentia’…

  23. IMHO, statues in Parliament Square should be reserved for politicians who’ve achieved great things for this country.

    Mandela set a good example or forgiveness in South Africa, but I don’t see what he’s done to merit a statue here.

  24. When history takes a sober look at the ‘Rainbow Nation’, as endowed by the ex-terrorist and failed revolutionary Mandela, will the statistics include the following:-

    Pre-the release of saintly Nelson, South Africa had a booming economy, the best infrastructure in the continent, a Judicial system both independant and upright, a Defence force which was truly the envy of many and an economy which worked!

    Over a decade after the Black Hand settled over Pretoria, we see a murder rate now reaching 24,000 per year, the number of rapes, robberies, armed attacks and general mayhem which leaves the statisticians unable to cope, blatant corruption and nepotism in all areas of Government; a population racked by AIDs, with filthy hospitals unable to cope with the dead and dying!

    The statue should really show the motto made famous by a previous fool, which went:-

    "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"

  25. Someone once said that he would rather people asked why there was no statute of him, instead of asking why there was one.

    I recall seeing the Lincoln statute in Parliment Square. I think ther might be a view other statesman born elsewhere there as well. A tribute to a great man by a friendly nation, not uncommon here in the U.S. – we have statutes of Churchill and Lafayette among others. I am sorry that Cynical Lib doesn’t like it, but frankly you can’t please all the people all the time. And certainly not absurd people.

    As for Mandela – I suspect we may have one of him here already in NY (I can’t recall, I know old Ghandi is down in Union Square). Perhaps we’ll get one in D.C. if we don’t have one there already. He has a mixed legacy, but he is in fact an inspiration for many people. I don’t suppose it would do much harm.

  26. What’s so galling is that genuine Statesmen like Churchill had to wait until they were DEAD before they got a statue; Mandela gets one while still hale and hearty; Sycophancy rules OK!

    Not to worry, the ‘yellow peril’ will take over all of Africa one day and then they’ll know what a real occupation is like.

  27. "recall seeing the Lincoln statute in Parliment Square. I think ther might be a view other statesman born elsewhere there as well. A tribute to a great man by a friendly nation, not uncommon here in the U.S. – we have statutes of Churchill and Lafayette among others. I am sorry that Cynical Lib doesn’t like it, but frankly you can’t please all the people all the time."

    I don’t have a problem with the existence of a statue of Lincoln in the UK. What I object to is that the British government is the one putting up the statue. If the people of London had clubbed together and bought the statue, or if local businesses had done so, or if a think tank had put him outside their office, I would have no problem with it.

  28. They should put a statue of Brian Haw in parliament square.

    (Then again maybe this is plan B, fill the square with statues, after all they can’t protest)

  29. how can the ANC be described as terrorists? they fought against minority oppression. Their land and their country were stolen from their and they were subjugated in terrible conditions.

    if they were a white minority this board would be cheering them, but racists are racists i suppose

  30. Cynical: I don’t know if any taxpayer money was used for the Lincoln Statue which I believe was donated and accepted by the Prime Minister on behalf of the British people. Governments like to recognize their allies, and the cost of the Lincoln statue unveiled in the 1920’s was likely repaid a few times over in the decades to come as you might recall. In any event we don’t individually have a right to direct where tax money goes as that is chaos, although it is clearly one’s right to complain.

  31. "how can the ANC be described as terrorists?"

    Its generally the blowing up of innocent people and the setting of burning tyres around the necks of political opponents from children to OAPs that clinches it for me.

  32. Observer
    "how can the ANC be described as terrorists? they fought against minority oppression. Their land and their country were stolen from their and they were subjugated in terrible conditions."

    A terrorist is normally defined as a person who terrorizes or frightens others. I lived in SA and the ANC certainly frightened and terrorized me, and many millions of others. Their bombing campaigns didn’t only target white people. For example, the car bomb in Pretoria in 1983 killed 16 people and injured over 130. Limpet mines exploding at electrical substations, injuring and killing workers and rescuers, hand grenades chucked wildly into bakeries, police stations, shops, bombs going off in department stores, banks, hotels and nightclubs, limpet mines in petrol stations and magistrate’s courts, limpet mines found and defused at high schools and railway stations, minibuses unexpectedly exploding, bombs in post offices…..etc etc etc.

    Don’t forget the military wing of the ANC, Umkhonto we Sizwe who were responsible for many attacks on people of all colours. They particularly enjoyed attacking members of the Inkatha Freedom Party who were the ANC’s major rivals (it came down to Zulu vs Xhosa) The majority of IFP members were black.

    The ANC murdered too many people to count, they murdered indiscriminately. They murdered black people who refused to strike if they called one, they murdered black people who refused to support them, the murdered black and white people who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    The British Government (as well as the US and others) labelled them a terrorist organisation because of their unapologetic attacks on the civilian population of South Africa. They were vicious. Don’t forget that it was them who invented necklacing – an obscene way of murdering people who didn’t agree with them – and the "mother" of the nation, Winnie, proudly stated that with their matches and their tyres, they would rule the country. Nice!

    Look up the history of Winnie and Stompie, see how her "football team" killed a black child on her orders.

    Yes, apartheid was wrong, a disgusting ideology that should never have seen the light of day. But to label the ANC and Mandela as saviours of their people is a complete nonsense.

    They were terrorists.

  33. ‘if they were a white minority this board would be cheering them, but racists are racists i suppose.’

    Since you are here observer, are you a racist too then? Or only everybody else?

  34. The statues in Parliament square should be of great members of that Parliament. Nelson Mandela is deserving of every tribute but that is not the most appropriate place for a statue of him.

  35. Observer

    Some of the comments on this thread will give you an idea how much these guys pine for the old days of apartheid.

  36. They should put a statue of a true English hero – John Lilburne, imprisoned by a tyrannical king, imprisoned by a tyrannical house of lords, imprisoned by the tyrannical junta of Cromwell, who stood up for freedom and justice against the scum that ruled us then and rule us still.

  37. RC,

    "They should put a statue of a true English hero"

    Andrew McCann in his car, beeping his horn, with terrified children on bikes (scooters?) in front of him trying to escape.

  38. Alison,

    each to his or her own, I guess.


    I shall wait for the new Jerusalem, where Lilburne’s statue will be of gold.


    lol, sounds good but I think the Tate Modern would be a better venue.

  39. "NO RC there is enough testosterone on that square. "

    I totally agree, Alison. A 9 foot high statue of Natalie Portman would bring a much needed femenine touch to the square.

  40. Peter: "Some of the comments on this thread will give you an idea how much these guys pine for the old days of apartheid."

    Which comments exactly? Who yearns for the return of apartheid? Come on, be specific.

  41. Or perhaps a statue of me in my car charging at those who defend one of the most despicable religious creeds around today. It could be entitled ‘Andrew McCann obliterates useful idiot.’

  42. Andrew, as far as I remember there’s already a statute of a loser, Boadicea, charging in her chariot nearby.

  43. The stance of Mandela at his trial was dignified and worthy of praise. His relative moderation during his period in office post-release is also of good note. And I think that SA’s slide into criminal street-anarchy is little to do with him and more to do with Africa being Africa, and Africans being Africans.
    Mandela is no Castro or Mugabe but I don’t see why he has to have a prominent statue in London. Where are our own heroes?

  44. ‘Andrew, as far as I remember there’s already a statute of a loser, Boadicea, charging in her chariot nearby.’

    Mmm, maybe you should put your neck against one of the swords sticking out of the wheels of her chariot.

  45. Yep me too actually Peter. Just because we loathe what South Africa has become doesnt mean we liked apartheid either.

  46. Another disgusting post Mr Vance.On what grounds do you label Mandela a terrorist/.Your hero worship of the state of Israel who have had at least three prime ministers who were involved in murdering and killing not only innocent civilians but also butchering captured British soldiers prior to the formation of the state of Israel points out the glaring hypocrisy on your so called stance on terrorists being in government

  47. Fiona, DSD, Juan

    Try Mike’s post at 6.01pm yesterday. A paen of praise to the old South Africa without a mention of the brutal repression of the apartheid regime. The clear implication is that it would have been better if that regime was still in power. There’s no other way to read it.

  48. So David what is the big difference in tactics between the ANC and Irgun and the Stern gang?

  49. You said you could provide us multiple examples of a general endorsement of racial segregation in historic Saud Afrika.

    Then you hit us with one person’s failure to condemn the social policy of a regime whilst discussing economic and infrastructural decline between it and a divergent regime.

    How you construe it necessary for the poster to reference his moral repudiation of the apartness scandal in this context is baffling. Unless you feel all understanding, opinions and debating of the multifaceted and dynamic aspects of this piece of history should be reduced to the vocal and repetitive endorsement of the popular good guy and a simplistic form of moralising on Historical events. This system of debate would result in nothing, save an increase in the moralists sense of self-satisfaction and guaranteeing the actual methods of preventing repetitive mistakes cannot be uncovered – being simply the enjoyment of observing those mistake and waging the finger.

    Now pay attention.
    Failure to condemn something is not an endorsement of it. There are multiple factors to be considered in a historical or political discussion and in order to increase understanding and broaden the terms of the debate to incorporate as much information on the actual events, their consequences and origins as possible it is simply dysfunctional to insist that all remarks, opinions or (as in this case) statements of fact be prefaced with, augmented to, and limited by a generalistic moral disclaimer which repudiates every aspect of the actions of the perceived bad guy full stop. Under these terms you feel are required by good taste, anything but the most simplistic cheerleading for the popular side would be impossible. Forums would be full of people like you cheering when the pretty pictures come and booing when the scary music starts and the nasty pictures of bad men appear.

    This is the repression of thought and makes a nonsense of the principle of free debate.

    There are many aspect to the complex problems and achievements of modern South Africa. The mindless endorsement of Mandela prohibits the meaningful engagement with or understanding of any of them, condemning south Africa to the current status quo and limiting our understanding of a crucial study in modern history.

    Accept things are never black and white and that the understanding of events or even simply life cannot be limited to simplistic and superficial moralising.

  50. ahoy submariner,

    they both prove a rule of a particular dead white male ?

    "you can’t make an omelette with breaking a few eggs"

    If this evil rule is true for the evil men that blasted the King David, and it is,

    Is it not equally true for St. Nelson of the Necktie ?

    Isn’t there then, as you already concede with the reference, a correlation between the rainbow nation and the most repudiated state on earth? Is this not an inconsistency on the part of our moralists?

  51. I have the suspicion that Peter likes to play the ‘racist’ card – warm, sanctimonious feeling etc, that the lib-left just love to have. Play the card and feel good!

  52. It strikes me that most of the leftist commentators on this thread are quite happy to blatantly ignore the fact that the ANC actually killed innocent people in their terrorist attacks. Oh, that’s OK, because at least they weren’t "racist".

  53. Tom

    I have never defended the ANC’s attacks on innocents but I will defend Nelson Mandela a person who I admire hugely.

    Do you or those who attack Nelson Mandela have ideas of how the black majortiy in South Africa should have responded to the impostition of the humiliation of Apartheid. If it is acceptable for the US/UK to use violence to free the people of Iraq from Saddams’s rule – violence that undoubtedly took innocent lives -then why is it not acceptable for Black Africans to respond in kind to the violence of white supremacist rule ?

    Nelson Mandela was not and never has been a terrorist.

  54. Mandela was the head of a terrorist organisation, which now holds office in South Africa. If South Africans are happy with that then fine, they’ve now got the government they wanted.

  55. Colm,

    there’s an if in what you say, and it’s a very big if. No one’s crimes should be white washed (a general point).


    a well-made point.

  56. if you accept that the deliberate targeting of white civ’s (the difference to my mind between iraq and SA) is fine in this context, what about the attacks on opposing black parties in the same legal position under apartness ? was that not just murder for the sake of power by the Mandela gang ?

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