UK Prime Minister David Cameron recently paid tribute to former South African President Nelson Mandela, who died this week at age 95.
Cameron said that “A great light has gone out in the world. Nelson Mandela was a hero of our time.” The flag above Downing Street was even lowered to fly at half-mast as a mark of respect.
This all sounds very nice were it not for the inconvenient fact that as a college student, David Cameron took part in the “Hang Mandela” campaign by the Federation of Conservative Students, the student wing of the Conservative Party. This group, which Cameron was a leading member of, distributed posters and leaflets reading “Hang Nelson Mandela and all ANC terrorists: they are butchers”.
Cameron has tried to suggest he was not involved, and has spoken of “the mistakes my party made in the past” while never owning up to his bigoted comments. But a recently updated biography reveals he visited South Africa as the guest of an anti-sanctions lobbying firm in 1989. It was then that Cameron worked in the Tory Policy Unit at Central Office which went on a anti-sanctions “fact-finding” mission to South Africa with pro-apartheid Lobby Firm that was sponsored by Pieter Willem Botha, the former Prime Minister of South Africa.
But now Cameron has changed his tune like so many other right-wingers. Now, Mandela is a “great light” and a “hero.”
(Article and image by Isa Abu Jamal)