Mandela is dead.
Throughout my childhood, youth, and to the present day I have lived on the same planet as this man. This hero. This is all I need to say.
I have nothing personal to add. I did not know him. I never met him, nor knew anyone who did.
I have no meaningful tribute to add, and so many have done so better than I ever could.
I can be honest about this because I am a nonentity.
I am no-one. I am not a leader, statesman, politician or historian. And am therefore not obliged, for “form’s sake” if nothing else, to issue any statement of grief at this great man’s life, or his passing.
But those who are such, ARE obliged to.
And this forces them to mark themselves, in the eyes of the commentariat, the twitterati et al, as hypocrites.
Do you think David Cameron has forgotten his trip to South Africa, still under apartheid , many years ago?
Do you think he’s forgotten his party’s opinion of Mandela?
Do you think he’s forgotten the t-shirt his contemporaries had printed, stating that Mandela should be hung?
Does any of us truly expect a world leader, which Cameron is by default of being PM, to stay silent on the world stage?
Do you really expect him to issue anything other than a suitably worded , if somewhat anodyne, obituary?
Did you expect anything other than the forced hypocrisy that world events foist upon such as Cameron?
I’m no fan of Cameron, and I make no apology or defence on his behalf.
But if you want better from your politicians, then vote.
If you don’t feel as though any of the current crop fit the bill, then get involved. Join a party. CHOOSE YOUR OWN.
Apathy is not only lazy, it’s self destructive – it leads us to the same destinations, time and time again.
So if you’ve never voted, if you sit in self satisfied intellectual superiority above those you despise as the “political classes”*, whilst you advocate the self disenfranchisement of the masses – may I offer this thought….that your comments on Mandela, on Cameron, make you no less the hypocrite.
And that’s not what Mandela spent the best part of his life in prison for. To be a figurehead for your lazy “sixth form common room”, sniping.
I have no tribute worthy, for I am not worthy.
And I am glad that I am allowed to admit this.
* I am member of the British Labour Party. If this qualifies me as a member of your despised “political classes”, then so be it.
But I cannot be held a hypocrite, for I vote.
And I’m trying, in my small way, to appoint better politicians.