Mandela. No saint he
“Some ideas are so stupid only intellectuals could believe them.”
Since George Orwell penned the above, stupid has gone mainstream. The latest example is the almost universal conviction among Britain’s media that Nelson Mandela was as one Telegraph journalist put it, “a living saint.”
Emblematic of Britain’s sad decline towards a sort of bling version of North Korea was the arrest of a man who had made a couple of jokes online about the former South African president. One of which went “My PC takes so long to shut down, I’ve decided to call it Nelson Mandela”. He was arrested following a complaint from a so called “Liberal Democratic” councillor who probably wouldn’t see the irony of the name of his party linked to his own fascistic reflexes. The hate criminal, Neil Philips from Rugeley, insisted that he “meant no harm” with his jokes and after 8 hours of questioning, fingerprinting and the taking of a DNA sample the police very magnanimously let him go minus his computer.
If you’ve been wondering where Britain’s long, sad decline from the most civilised country on earth would end, wonder no longer because we’ve arrived. You now live in such a primitive, totalitarian-liberal basket case that you can be arrested for blasphemy against one of its saints on the say so of a Liberal Democrat councillor.
Another revealing pointer to the state of Britain’s mental health was the deliriously fawning reaction of the media to the death of Nelson Mandela. Even those inured to the level of discourse from Britain’s quality newspapers were stunned at the ululations of despair emanating from that quarter. I chose the “living saint” quote above from The Telegraph to emphasise just how complete the victory of “progressive” fantasies over our former freedom is.
The Telegraph was just about the last place a thinking right-winger could go to read a little plain common sense. Only very rarely and in the name in the name of keeping their readers up to date with current leftwing “thought” would they print some progressive idiocy.
The death of Mandela, however, revealed that the proportion of sense to idiocy has now reversed. Now the common sense is drowned out by liberal emoting.
The general tone was set by The Telegraph’s chief political commentator with this headline:
Few human beings can be compared to Jesus Christ. Mandela was one
That this was no slip of the keyboard or product of temporary insanity soon became apparent. In the wake of the death of Mandela there were at least half a dozen articles in the Telegraph that were so loosely related to the truth that even hagiography would be a charitable description.
John McTernan, for example, had it that:
"We will never in the future agree on anything as much as we do about Nelson Mandela."
And just what they would never agree on more was plain from his headline:
Nelson Mandela had a unique gift: he was able to govern in poetry
I could go on for a few pages more without even considering any of the other so called right-wing newspapers, but I think Dan Hodges post heading makes the point:
Nelson Mandela fought the last great crusade of modern civilisation
In the old Telegraph the inclusion of one loopy puff piece would have been justified by its potential for providing comic relief or as an insight into the ever more baffling adolescent mindset of the progressive. But the coverage of Mandela’s death has revealed that the ideas that were formerly so stupid that they were confined to the Junior Common Room are now dominant across the political spectrum.
It was not even as if the Telegraph journalists were pandering to their readers. The fact that they turned off the comments sections when it became apparent that better than 90% of their readers thought they’d lost it big time. This told me two things. First that they are embarrassed by their readers. And second, that they really believed the rubbish they were publishing.
The sad thing for these seekers after the truth is that the true story of Nelson Mandela is far more interesting that the Christmas card baby Jesus versions to be found in the British media. First and foremost it has to be said that their Jesus type figure wouldn’t have lasted 5 minutes in the South African political scene that Mandela dominated for decades.
So what was Mandela?
Here are a few snapshots that illustrate the human behind the hagiography.
As we all know Nelson Mandela almost single-handedly saved his country from a race war. His commitment to the anti-apartheid cause could not be challenged by ANC militants and white South Africans were disarmed by the obvious sincerity of his desire for reconciliation. Nobody else had the stature to pull off the peaceful transition to black majority rule.
On the other hand it was the same Nelson Mandela backin June 1961 who personally persuaded the ANC leadership of the case for violent resistance to Apartheid in the first place. Formerly the ANC had been committed to a Gandhi style non-violent resistance. Mandela himself was appointed head of the Spear of the Nation (MK). He then lost no time in recruiting fellow extremists such as Walter Sisulu and Joe Slovo, a white communist, to lead a group of bomb makers.
Mandela is sincerely loved by millions of his countrymen of all races as the father of modern South Africa.
However, the pre-prison Mandela was an arrogant and shameless womaniser who flaunted his infidelity to his first wife Evelyn. Unsurprisingly, he wasn’t much of a father to their children and became estranged from them.
Mandela is worshipped by millions of white liberals as a Jesus like figure.
But when his wife, Winnie, in a typically demoniacal outburst said that South Africans would liberate themselves with necklacing (placing a petrol soaked tyre around a collaborator’s head and lighting it) Mandela expressed his approval of this disgusting and barbaric practice.
Mandela is considered by many to be a great admirer of western liberal democracy.
But he was also friends with Fidel Castro, Col. Gaddafi and Gerry Adams. He once said of the States:
“If there’s a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States.”
“We admire the sacrifices of the Cuban people in maintaining their independence and sovereignty in the face of a vicious, imperialist orchestrated campaign.” (LA Times)
Mandela proved himself a master strategist in his negotiations with FW de Klerk.
However, Mandela’s rejection of non-violence in 1961 resulted in complete defeat and arrest for almost the entire leadership of the ANC which put the struggle for black majority rule back at least a decade.
Mandela’s achievements are considered unequalled because the racist apartheid regime was uniquely evil.
But many other African regimes discriminate between peoples, not least Mandela’s old friend Robert Mugabe’s in which the Shona oppress the Ndebele or Rwanda where the Hutu massacred 800,000 Tutsi in the matter of a few weeks. Sadly, these regimes don’t seem to inspire much revulsion from white liberals.
Apartheid was uniquely evil because it was perpetrated by white people.
But why is it more evil when whitey does it? Isn’t it racist to expect better behaviour from whites?
Then again unlike almost every other African leader Mandela left the treasury untouched and stepped down as president after just one term as an example to those who followed.
But he turned a blind eye to the corruption and illegality of others.
What emerges from a consideration of the ruthless truth about Mandela is the biography of an extraordinary man. Extraordinary because though he started out along the same road as dozens of African despots he ended up embracing non-violence as the solution.
The irony is that Mandela’s life and success was not made possible by the evil of apartheid but its leniency. Or in other words apartheid South Africa was western enough to respect his right to life. If Mandela had tried a little armed resistance to the regimes of his good buddies Castro and Gaddafi he would have been pushing up the daisies these last 50 years alone and forgotten in an unmarked grave.
It’s curious how distressed Mandela’s admirers are by his 27 years in prison and how blasé they are about the thousands of executions under Castro’s regime or the millions across the continent of Africa. Twenty seven years in prison is an awful fate, but it beats the hell out of execution. It also could have been much less. PW Botha offered Mandela freedom in 1985 under the single condition that he “unconditionally condemn violence”. Several such offers were made but Mandela was not yet ready to tread the Gandhi road to liberation.
Then when Mandela was finally released he could only be the great reconciler because the South African leader FW de Klerk was essentially a western liberal who wanted it too.
And as to why South African whites finally embraced reconciliation has little to do with the efforts of anti-apartheid activists like Mandela.
The great man’s life itself offers a clue, but not one that receives much attention. He had 13 brothers and sisters. And despite spending 27 years in prison he still managed to be survived by 17 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.
The decline of South Africa’s white population from half the total in 1900 to around 10% in 1990 when Mandela was released explains the white’s willingness to negotiate. As Mark Steyn is keen on saying, “demography is destiny” and this was never more clearly demonstrated than in the case of South Africa.
So for God’s sake let’s have no more of the two dimensional Jesus claptrap about Mandela. He was a man. Let’s celebrate or criticise that.