Sunday, August 27, 2006

Cameron & Apartheid

David Cameron apologised for the Tory support for apartheid in a piece in the Guardian today.

The reaction from the non political people I know was, "I didn't know the Tories had supported apartheid!" said with various degrees of surprise and concern.

And of course twenty-something Brits wouldn't know about it, and Brits older than that will have forgotton, especially if they arn't particularly political and hadn't followed the events in South Africa closely. And everyone likes Mandela, recall the Spice Girls being photographed with him, well everyone being photographed with him, and the pictures of Live8 etc. So it's all come as a total shock to be reminded that things weren't always thus.

Which begs the question, why remind people? Why has David Cameron decided to drag up the past? Is he afraid of charges of "hypocrite" following on from his own photo-opportunity with Mandela? Is he afraid photos will come out with Tory front benchers in "Hang Mandela" T-shirts? Or did he genuinely think that this apology would help his rehabilitation?

3 comments:

fairdealphil said...

This was part of the Cameron agenda to distance the Tories from Thatcherism, which is the stick we've been able to beat them with for three general elections.

You may be interested in my post on the subject as another view...

tyger said...

Personally, I think you may have a point. Maybe a major newspaper does have the said picture. I imagine David would hate to lose his squeaky voiced sidekick...

Political Umpire said...

I already blogged about this, which indeed you were kind enough to respond to: http://cricketandcivilisation.blogspot.com/2006/08/david-cameron-ordinary-populist.html

I have a link in there for anyone who's interested about what Thatcher's position actually was - she would be incensed at any statement that she was supporting apatheid; she would have it that sanctions weren't the way to get rid of it.

Finally as I'm a boring pedant I might give you a mild chastisement for incorrectly using the phrase "begs the question". I am sad enough to have blogged about this recently: http://cricketandcivilisation.blogspot.com/2006/09/trial-by-jury-media-or-public.html