A co-conspirator has got in touch with Guido to remind readers that there is plenty of documentary evidence highlighting Margaret Thatcher’s repeated attempts to free Nelson Mandela, working through diplomatic channels – rather than just protesting outside the embassy. The Anti-Apatheid Movement specifically expressed their gratitude to her for her efforts…
Many left-wingers, despite being told by people who were actually involved in the diplomacy, despite all the available historical documentary evidence and the clarity of statements by Nelson Mandela himself, still persist in claiming Margaret Thatcher supported apartheid. It goes beyond mere political propaganda.
It is not enough that they disagreed with her on the means to end apartheid, they have to demonise her and further justify their hatred of Maggie. It chimes with the truism that the right thinks that left-wingers are just wrong about human nature whereas the left think that right-wingers are wicked humans. They have an emotional need to believe this, for the left it is not a difference of political opinion, it is a clash between the righteous and the bad.
The belief that Maggie supported apartheid has nothing to do with reason or reality. They want to believe she and her allies supported the racist regime to galvanise their hatred. It is dishonest, the deception however is more about emotion than propaganda.
Channel 4‘s interview with the Prime Minister in South Africa has again given rise to the internet myth that Margaret Thatcher somehow supported apartheid. Here’s Nelson Mandela setting the record straight.
“[Margaret Thatcher] is an enemy of apartheid. Our differences are in regard to the methods of inducing the Government to dismantle apartheid.”
Also worth noting that Michael Crick’s accusation that “Mrs Thatcher believed that Nelson Mandela was a terrorist” is nonsense. In fact when she met the leader of South Africa in 1984, official records show that Thatcher told Botha “very firmly” that “apartheid had to be dismantled, [and] Nelson Mandela and other prisoners released”. Anti-apartheid movement president Trevor Huddleston wrote to Thatcher to say her words were “truly all I could have wished for”.
Channel 4 should be better than to peddle comprehensively disproven internet myths.
Top Corbynista Chris Williamson has once again made a fool of himself by tweeting a fake ‘quote’ purportedly from Nelson Mandela. The shadow minister tweeted a graphic attributing the following words to the South African icon:
“Apartheid is a crime against humanity. Israel has deprived millions of Palestinians of their liberty and property. It has perpetuated a system of gross racial discrimination and inequality. It has systematically incarcerated and tortured thousands of Palestinians, contrary to the rules of international law. It has, in particular, waged a war against a civilian population, in particular children.”
Problem is Mandela never said it. The made-up quote was part of a satirical post on the extremist website Electronic Intifada. As Electronic Intifada itself admits, the quote “has been repeatedly mistaken for an actual letter from Mandela. It is not. It is a piece of satire”. Another stunning Chris Williamson success…
Jeremy Corbyn has written to Theresa May claiming Margaret Thatcher “supported Apartheid”. He’s tweeted the same:
A demonstrably untrue statement straight out of the Trumpian playbook that the Labour leader is currently copying. Nelson Mandela praised Thatcher’s role in helping to end Apartheid, famously saying:
“She is an enemy of Apartheid. We have much to thank her for.”
Amhed Kathadra, one of Mandela’s closest friends, said Thatcher was instrumental in ending Apartheid:
“Her word did count – I’m sure of it… Mrs Thatcher wasn’t one of our oppressors.”
F W de Klerk said of Thatcher’s contribution to the end of Apartheid:
“She exerted more influence on what happened in South Africa than any other political leader”
Robin Renwick, Britain’s former ambassador to South Africa, has written at length about how Thatcher quietly campaigned to end Apartheid. He says Thatcher told P W Botha “very firmly” to end Apartheid and “exploded” at the South African ambassador, telling him “Apartheid must go”. Renwick says the claim Thatcher supported Apartheid is a “myth“. Fake news from Jez…
When on Thursday night this blog put up a picture of Margaret Thatcher and Nelson Mandela together the abuse on Twitter from some quarters was more self righteous than Guido can recall ever before. It was also wrong.
The myth that Thatcher (and her admirers) supported apartheid is one of the core beliefs of the Comrade Blimpish left. Charles Moore touched on it in The Telegraph this morning. It is a false charge and Nelson Mandela himself was in no doubt – saying of Margaret Thatcher in July 1990 only a few months after his release: “She is an enemy of apartheid… We have much to thank her for.”
Mandela knew that for years behind the scenes she had been arguing with the South African apartheid regime for his release. Written evidence of her lobbying only came to light decades later when the ANC government released a now declassified secret 1985 letter from Margaret Thatcher to P. W. Botha. Comrade Blimp-types just won’t accept the fact that she did more to encourage the end of apartheid than Paul Weller and Billy Bragg. They’re wrong.
Read the entire letter here