I feel a bit shameful for saying this, but I have to admit to getting a bit fed up with the countless people who have ever met Nelson Mandela being dragged into a studio to show their credentials by telling some story of some small kindness shown by him during a brief meeting, many years before.
After Mandela became President, everybody in the world wanted to be associated with him, and every world leader who had publicly condemned apartheid just had to have a photo of themselves standing with him. Even the Spice Girls went over there and got on the bandwagon. At least Nelson had an eye for the young ladies, so it can't have been all bad for him.
Margaret Thatcher must have been kicking herself for taking the blatantly obvious wrong side when she described Mandela as a 'grubby little man'. It didn't stop her from ignoring her advisors in the future, though.
If Mandela was at any point a 'terrorist', then he soon renounced it from his cell in Robyn Island, having heard of the 10,000 fatalities following the Sharpville massacre, when the ANC took up arms. Menachem Begin never renounced violence even after he took office, and The Stern Gang simply melted into society without ever expressing any regret for all the bombings and assassinations carried out during the formation of Israel at the expense of Palestine.
I was lucky enough to be out of the country when the Queen Mother's funeral took place, and - I have to say it - I am not looking forward to the biggest State Funeral the world has ever seen, next week.
Should I feel guilty about this?
Mushrooms - By Silvia Plath Overnight, very Whitely, discreetly, Very quietly Our toes, our noses Take hold on the loam, Acquire the air. Nobody sees us, Stops us, be...
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