Cameron: Thatcher was wrong about Mandela

by Richard on August 28, 2006

Conservative Party leader David Cameron has admitted what many of us have been saying for years: Margaret Thatcher was wrong to call Nelson Mandela a terrorist.

David Cameron has made another decisive break with the Conservative Party’s past by admitting that Margaret Thatcher had been wrong to brand Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress (ANC) “terrorists” during the struggle against apartheid.

The Tory leader, who met Mr Mandela during a visit to South Africa last week, said: “The mistakes my party made in the past with respect to relations with the ANC and sanctions on South Africa make it all the more important to listen now. The fact that there is so much to celebrate in the new South Africa is not in spite of Mandela and the ANC, it is because of them - and we Conservatives should say so clearly today.”

About time.



DH 08.30.06 at 8:10 pm

I would love to hear the quote because it is my understanding that she labeled Mandella a Communist not a terrorist and to be honest Mandella was a Communist. Now looking now it appears he is extreme Socialist but at the time it was understandable to label him a Communist. However, the right decision was made once Mandella made it clearer in his responses his intentions because at the time it appeared he supported a Zimbabwe type initiative rather than the one currently in place in SA.


Richard 08.30.06 at 11:42 pm

On this your understanding is simply wrong, DH. Mrs T consistently referred to Nelson mandela as a terrorist and the ANC as a terrorist organisation. I don’t have time to go trawling for the quote, but you can take my word for it. The fact that David Cameron has said she was wrong should be ample confirmation.


DH 08.31.06 at 7:59 pm

I think the point David was trying to make was that Thatcher was “overly harsh” toward Mandella. Looking back on it, for me personally hindsight 20/20 and for others all along, I think we can all agree with that Thatcher and even to a lighter extent Reagan were overly critical of Mandella. I would like to think that Mandella was positivly influenced away from his overly Socialist position to one more democratic. From my observation it appears to be the case.


DH 08.31.06 at 8:00 pm

aka refering to his original support at the time for the existing Zimbabwe government to currently one in mild opposition to the Zimbabwe government. (one which has reverse discrimination).


Richard 08.31.06 at 11:28 pm

It isn’t hindsight, DH. I was disagreeing with Thatcher’s (and reagan’s) approach to apartheid in South Africa back when they were giving comfort to that racist regime. Thatcher was wrong. End of story.


DH 09.01.06 at 4:48 pm

Well I feel any rejection of Communism is a good one. The fact is Mandella showed support for the Zimbabwe rebels who came to power who had reverse discrimination under their regime. Mandella at one time supported it and then rejected the regime. This support of Zimbabwe was the reason Reagan and Thatcher were against him. Once he rejected and showed his disagreement with the Zimbabwe rebels who ultimately came to power did Reagan (I don’t know about Thatcher she may as well did this) embrace Mandella. I don’t think, based on what Mandella said in relation to Zimbabwe that we should be harsh with Reagan and Thatcher. In the end once Mandella changed they changed.

I just don’t buy that Thatcher andReagan should support Communism and atthe time the concern was legitimate especially in light of the current Zimbabwe government and the reverse discrimination they have.


Richard 09.01.06 at 6:09 pm

Sorry DH, but there’s no other way to put this. You’re talking nonsense. Let’s not pursue this conversation.

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