Friday, 6 December 2013

Nelson Mandela and hypocrisy

I know, it's not the kind of thing you're supposed to put in the same sentence. But it's Amnesty International's hypocrisy I'm referring to. They never adopted Mandela as a prisoner of conscience, although that is what he was. This is why they decided not to, and the position they took back in 1965 was at least a coherent one, and reached by an assembly of their members. It was of course based upon the decision to approve the use of violent means by Umkhonto we Sizwe in support of the ANC's objective of non-racial democracy for South Africa. In 2006 Amnesty adopted Mandela as an "ambassador of conscience", long after he had left prison and after he had been the first non-white President of South Africa. When the moment had passed. Amnesty is of course now a discredited organisation, for Jew-hating, and nobody much cares what that organisation thinks about anything any more.

I don't salute the memory of Nelson Mandela for his part in the struggle for non-racial democracy in South Africa. He didn't do it alone, and many people died in that struggle. I salute him though for his generosity of spirit, for his willingness to pass the baton of power on to others, lesser people than he was, which is the finest political intelligence there is, and for his promotion of forgiveness. It seems to be that it is in Africa that you find forgiveness and reconciliation. They are forgiving in Rwanda, where many of the population have much to forgive. In other places, Ireland, the former Yugoslavia, they don't seem to find it possible. Maybe they could learn from Madiba.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In the UK some people will associate Mandela's name with sink estates built by trendy councils (Mandela Court in Reading, Mandela House in Only Fools and Horses etc.)