Sunday, August 27, 2006

Mumbly Grumbly Old Sots

When David Cameron, British Tory leader, repudiated the former policies under Thatcher that Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress were terrorists and that South Africa should not be sanctioned, several older grump buckets mumbled rude things about the young whippersnapper.

Commenting on his article last night, the Thatcher-era cabinet minister and former party chairman Lord Tebbit told The Observer: 'Because of his age, Mr Cameron is looking at these events as part of history. Others of us who lived through them and had input into the discussions at the time see things very differently. The policy of the Thatcher government was a success.
Another former minister, who did not wish to be named, said of the Cameron comments: 'They are ignorant.'

One wonders why they can't just acknowledge that, while they may have had a particular view of the world based on possibly false assumptions and limited information, Margaret Thatcher was simply wrong when "she described the ANC as 'terrorists'" and "said that anyone who believed the ANC would ever rule South Africa was 'living in cloud-cuckoo-land'." Those sentiments are just wrong on their face.

I am young myself, and not too familiar with the reasons for supporting, or at least not opposing apartheid in SA, but I hadn't been aware that the reason Reagan and Thatcher gave was "to urge reform on a government which they saw as a bulwark against Soviet-backed radicalism." Really? Everything came down to anti-Communism, did it? Just like today, every rationale for every irrational act is justified by WOT rhetoric.

Anyway, Atrios posted these clips of one Rowley Birkin Q.C. (Queen's Counsel, he's a barrister) drunkenly mumbling stories down at the club. Seems like a harmless old sot, but it reminded me of the images I had of unpleasant grumbly old sots grumbling about how right they are to look down on the troublesome wogs who are incapable of governing themselves, no matter that history has shown that they were wrong.

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