Nelson Mandela

The Specials – Free Nelson Mandela

For those who think I’m a total lefty, I was actually once, in much younger days, a paid up member of the Conservative Party. I resigned principally over their “Hang Nelson Mandela” campaign, in the early 80s.

42 thoughts on “Nelson Mandela

  1. I actually still have an ancient Betamax tape (and two working Betamax VCRs) of me on BBC news (regional) talking about this. Maybe one day I’ll upload it but not today…

    There are cowards, at least one of which I know reads this blog (but doesn’t comment), who stayed silent at the time. Yes, I remember who you are.

  2. Brian.

    I had long, unwashed, messy hair and was filmed outside in very strong wind – that’s one good reason why you don’t get to see it! One day though…

  3. Aww..HAHA… .That soo made me laugh…. i was much the same…. invented ripped jeans…but mine’s weren’t ripped but worn to death…. Loved that look… till the fashion Dicks cottoned on some years later.

    My Man Peter Gabriel was there…as a friend… unlike the effin rest of the evil western silembags

    “I remember at this moment his bond of affection with Fidel Castro, a symbol of the fraternal relations between Africans and Cubans. Fidel has said, and I quote, “Nelson Mandela will not go down in history for the 27 consecutive years he spent incarcerated without ever renouncing his ideas. He will go down in history because he was capable of cleaning out his soul from the poison that such an unfair punishment could have planted there and for his generosity and wisdom which at the time of victory allowed him to lead with great talent his selfless and heroic people, knowing that the new South Africa could not be built on hatred and vengeance”.

    Honour and glory forever to the great Comrade Nelson Mandela and to the heroic people of South Africa.

    Thank You.

  4. I was looking to see what has happened to Pistorius. He has been charged with two further gun offences and will be tried next March.

    I saw this essay by a fine writer, Jonny Steinberg, on the South African dilemma and the condition of the country. Excellent. Life is on a knife edge. The anchor is small and the ground uncertain. The UK is heading in the same direction.

    Oscar Pistorius: the end of the rainbow
    Oscar Pistorius was more than a national hero. His success came to symbolise South Africa’s triumph over apartheid. Then he shot his girlfriend and left the nation’s self-image in tatters

    Interesting background on the ANC and the transition to power by Ronnie Kasrils. Heard him speak at UCL in London on Palestine. He is a powerful speaker.

    Pepe Escobar on the same.

  5. Revolutionary on ZBC! Spotted on the Six O’Clock News last night:

    from 8:45 mins – 9:06 mins

    BBC correspondent Nomsa Maseko talking to camera, walking in front of a crowd carrying huge banner with the famous Mandela quote:

    “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians; without the resolution of conflicts in East Timor, the Sudan and other parts of the world.”

    Address at The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (4 December 1997)

  6. Hello Mary, you’re the early bird amongst us stay-up-late geeks, aren’t you? I have an excuse; I have a cold or flu or something. I think I need to stay in bed today.

  7. Right on Squonk.

    Just in from War on Want.

    Killer drones

    Israel is one of the most heavily militarised states on earth. It is the single largest exporter of drones in the world, responsible for 41% of all UAVs exported between 2001 and 2011.

    War on Want’s new report Killer Drones: UK complicity in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people exposes the devastating effect Israel’s drones have on the population and infrastructure of occupied and besieged Gaza.

    Israeli companies, such as Elbit and Israel Aerospace Industries are happy to market their equipment globally as ‘field tested’ in ‘real life situations’.

    Take action to end research subsidies for Israel’s arms companies

    The British army has awarded Israeli company Elbit and its partner company Thales UK a contract worth nearly £1 billion for the development of the Watchkeeper drone. This drone is based on the Israeli Hermes 450 model, described as the ‘workhorse’ of Israel’s military in its operations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

    By trading in arms with Israel, the British government is giving direct support for Israel’s aggression and sending a clear message of approval for its action.

    The EU is also aiding Israel’s arms companies by allowing them to take part in public research projects. Currently, in the European Security Research Programme Israeli organisations – including Elbit and Israel Aerospace Industries – participate in 46 projects.

    Take action to end research subsidies for Israel’s arms companies

    In light of Israel’s violations of international law and Palestinian human rights, the British government and the European Union must implement an immediate two-way arms embargo on Israel. Today I urge you to demand an end to your taxes being used to subsidise Israeli drone makers and their attacks on Palestinian civilians.

    Yours sincerely,

    Rafeef Ziadah
    Senior Campaigner for Global Justice

  8. Yes, AA. Let’s not forget Steven Biko and the many who died in SA jails from ‘natural causes’.

    You still have a Betamax? Superior to VHS but marketing made it a loser. I remember seeing an ABC van with a bumper sticker ‘Use a Betamax go to jail’.

    Dotcom was just a nightmare then.

  9. Betamax? Pah! I have a Philips VCR2000 in my loft; I rescued it from a skip during the late ’90s. I can barely lift the thing. It takes thirty minute tapes. But inside it’s an engineering art-form, every module is individually screened, and the quality wasn’t surpassed by a domestic format until the digital era.

  10. Ahh AA

    was watching that Biko video a few weeks ago in prep for the Man’s show at the new Glasgow Hydro.. its gotta be thee best video of Biko….So touching

    it was great to finally hear Biko live, and we chanted long after he had left the stage,

    Great video that ..cheers

  11. A favourite



    ZBC are being castigated for excessive coverage of the memorial service. 140 employees over there. I saw moronic and rather patronising exchanges from Jon Sopel this morning with people in the queue to view the coffin.


    “When I talk about surveillance in my speeches, I call for “three cheers for Edward Snowden.” You might think this is superfluous because everyone knows that he deserves our admiration. Not so! US politicians (especially those that support massive surveillance) continue trying to demonize Snowden. We have to defeat them, and the way to do it is by showing our views.”

  13. The MI5 man in this account, Helenus Milmo, went on to become a High Court judge.

    ‘Nobody is talking’

    The evidence of two new books demonstrates that 9/11 created the will for new, harsher interrogation techniques of foreign suspects by the US and led to the abuses in Guantánamo, Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond. In a special report, James Meek reveals that it is the British who refined these methods, and who have provided the precedent for legalised torture
    The Guardian, Friday 18 February 2005

    I came across the name when looking up Chuka Umunna, Shadow Business Secretary.He was on Radio 4 Today this morning in the debate about gender segregation at UK uni lectures. Straw speaking from Jerusalem! was on the same programme and topic earlier in the programme. Umunna is Milmo’s grandson.

    He is also is a Labour Friend of Israel and visited ‘Israel and Palestine’ as it is called in 2012. Shame on him.

  14. This moving classic needs to be posted here also;

    (BTW AA, I can almost match you on the Betamax score, but just one working machine (+ dozens of tapes); yes the better machine lost out to the inferior VHS, just like the ahead of its time BSB Satellite channel lost out to the inferior Sky system.)

  15. Just in from JVforP

    This is a victory pro tempore

    Dear ……..

    We’ve just received the welcome news from our allies on the ground that the Prawer Plan to forcibly relocate over 40,000 Israeli Bedouin from their ancestral lands is no longer under consideration by the Israeli Knesset. The recent demonstrations on both sides of the Green Line, and throughout the world, succeeded in raising enough doubt about this plan to help take it off the table.

    Your voices, in concert with the Bedouin communities in the Negev, Jewish-Israeli activists, and the unanimous Palestinian resistance, revealed the plan’s lack of integrity and accountability. We now know, if and when a future plan is developed, we have the ability to stop it in its tracks.


  16. Just a footnote to the previous where an attempt was made to remove 40,000 Bedouin people from their homes and land and resettle them.

    65 years ago Israel accepted this General Assembly resolution. 65 years of theft, murder and wriggling have followed.

    UN GA Resolution 194 (right of return)
    UN General Assembly Resolution 194, adopted on the 11th December 1948:

    Right of return or compensation for the Palestinians

    UN General Assembly Resolution 194, adopted on 11 December 1948 is important for two main reasons.

    First of all it lays down the Palestinians’ right of return or compensation. Furthermore, its implementation was accepted by Israel as a condition for membership to the United Nations (see Resolution 273. The fact that Israel has not observed it has been used by Arab countries repeatedly as an argument requesting the expulsion of Israel.

  17. Good essay here by David Edwards, one of the co-editors of Medialens, on the media’s attitude to Mandela’s death and their treatment of him in life.

    The Media’s Hypocritical Oath – Mandela And Economic Apartheid

    13 December 2013
    By David Edwards

    What does it mean when a notoriously profit-driven, warmongering, climate-killing media system mourns, with one impassioned voice, the death of a principled freedom fighter like Nelson Mandela?

    Does it mean that the corporate system has a heart, that it cares? Or does it mean that Mandela’s politics, and the mythology surrounding them, are somehow serviceable to power?


  18. Remembering Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, deprived of their freedom, and Chelsea Manning at present incarcerated in the US, and wishing them Season’s Greetings.

    This article speculates on how Edward Snowden will be viewed and remembered post his own death, long distant we hope, cf Nelson Mandela.

    Wednesday, 11 December 2013
    Snowden smashing the shackles of totalitarianism
    by Guy Rundle

    PS Julian has been inside the embassy since June 2012. Incredible that the UK gangsters-in-charge are masterminding his virtual imprisonment.

  19. thanks for that Link Mary

    The comments section on that Ma’an item …would make ya scream.

    really gets me down the way the west allows Isreal’s Crimes, Funds the crimes, $3 million a day.

    Meant to post this good piece by John Hilley …

    ” Today, Mandela’s and South Africa’s ‘long walk to freedom’ has been deeply compromised by the ANC’s short stroll to neoliberal sellout.

    It may seem somehow inappropriate at this sad moment to ‘sully’ Mandela’s reputation with such truths. Yet, reflecting Mandela’s own resistance to the system of apartheid, rather than any given leader of it, it’s appropriate, likewise, that no one figure ……” – John Hilley

  20. Hi AA..

    i got a response comment (about 9;15 ish ) to Mary’s 8;05pm post …. Lost somehow…A second 9;23 pm post went up ok though

    tried to get this link to her

    ” Today, Mandela’s and South Africa’s ‘long walk to freedom’ has been deeply compromised by the ANC’s short stroll to neoliberal sellout.

    It may seem somehow inappropriate at this sad moment to ‘sully’ Mandela’s reputation with such truths. Yet, reflecting Mandela’s own resistance to the system of apartheid, rather than any given leader of it, it’s appropriate, likewise, that no one figure, however heroic, should be used to disguise any other oppressive system that comes to replace it.” – John Hilley…

    ….”As John Pilger recently asserted” ‘Mandela’s greatness is assured, but not his legacy’.

  21. Brian; I think Mandela’s gift is in forgiveness and this is important since most revolutions are based on revenge. His genius in recognizing the unity in SA from the 1995 World Cup was pure genius, but that doesn’t mean everyone is going to approve. Clearly he originally thought the ANC was the only answer to the fascist bell, but when he acquired real power, he felt the full weight of responsibility and sought to achieve unification between white and black through a form of appeasement, an improperly maligned concept in my opinion. I think the Pharisees were successful in convincing Rome that Jesus was a threat, but that doesn’t make Jesus a threat.

  22. Yes ben… the forgiveness must surely take a good heart, i can only half imagine the consequences, if Mandela had revenge in his soul, what with almost the entire nation behind him, a monumental moment in modern history when he at last walked free,

  23. This rather upsets the apple cart.

    Exporting Apartheid to Sub-Saharan Africa. The Legacy of Nelson Mandela
    By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

    Global Research, December 13, 2013

    ‘This article was first published in French in the Monde Diplomatique in April 1997. It was subsequently published in the African Journal of Political Economy and in the author’s book: The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order.

    The policy of land expropriation in Mozambique leading to the establishment of White Afrikaner farms using indentured Mozambican farm workers had the support of the ANC government. It also had the personal blessing of President Nelson Mandela “who had delegated Mpumalanga Premier Matthews Phosa to the SACADA Board of Governors.

    Premier Phosa, a distinguished ANC politician and among the most prosperous black businessmen in Mpumalanga province (East Transvaal), contributed to laying the political ground work for the expansion of White Afrikaner business interests into neighbouring countries.

    The SACADA project was coordinated by the leader of the right wing Freedom Front and former South African Defense Force Chief General Constand Viljoen …..’


    From the article:
    ‘In the words of the project liaison officer at the South African High Commission in Maputo: “Each and every Afrikaner farmer will bring his tame Kaffirs” who will be used to supervise the local workers’. !!

    It is difficult to believe this account, but it is by Professor Michel Chossudovsky of Global Research. He describes utter evil and you will note the EU is there, up to its neck, along with the WMO and IMF. The scale of the conspiracy, for that is what it is, is almost beyond imagining.

  24. I’m probably about to upgrade WordPress to 3.8 to stop it moaning at me to do so. Hopefully the blog should be offline for no more than a few minutes.

    Might be a bit longer if I have to reverse the upgrade for any reason.


    ““They’ve never done anything like that, where they would not allow shellfish from this entire area based on potentially two areas or maybe just one area,” said Jerry Borchert of the Washington Department of Health. U.S. officials think the contaminated clams came from Washington or Alaska but are waiting for more details from China to help identify the exact source.”


  26. Exellent Piece on Mandela from John Hilley…. And Re Comments sections, i wonder if John H, has closed all comments down.

    “Mandela coverage – the urgent need for corporate-free media

    “Thus, we had Obama’s ‘wondrous’ speech, Cameron’s gushing praises, tittle-tattle over their ‘selfies’, Bush and Bono posing together like saintly partners, and, of course, Blair, the perennial interloper, treated as some grand visiting ex-statesman. A crass assembly of warmongers and ‘war-on-wanters’ mixing in self-serving ‘homage’.

    At the graveside we had the media lauding of billionaires Richard Branson and Oprah Winfrey, while thousands of impoverished black South Africans watched from afar and beyond security cordons.

    At no point did a mainstream, or most liberal, media consider any of this intrusive spectacle odd, distasteful or conveniently distracting from the real story of continuing poverty and oppression.”

    John Hilley

  27. The Mandela Barbie Doll

    “I can’t take it anymore. All week, I’ve watched Nelson Mandela reduced to a Barbie doll. From Fox News to the Bush family, the politicians and media mavens who body-blocked the anti- Apartheid Movement and were happy to keep Mandela behind bars, now get to dress his image up in any silly outfit they choose. It’s more nauseating than hypocrisy and ignorance. The Mandela Barbie.”

  28. This is a moving tribute.

    Eyad Sarraj obituary

    Victoria Brittain
    The Guardian, Thursday 19 December 2013

    Eyad Sarraj established a community mental health programme in Gaza. Photograph: Sean Smith

    My friend and mentor Eyad Sarraj, who has died aged 69 after suffering from multiple myeloma, was not only Gaza’s first and most distinguished psychiatrist, but also a tireless chronicler of pain and resilience in that tiny, crowded territory under occupation and Israeli firepower.


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