Politicans and world leaders making news and in the news, and spouting hot air
NIKKI Finke says the man how inspired the film Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom has died. Yeah, that film based on an actual true story. He was 95. That’s older than the film. Who knew?
THIS might sound a little odd and I’ll almost certainly be the only person telling you this. But George Osborne’s shelving of the fuel duty escalator is the right thing for him to be doing. No, not because it’s a tax cut, or not a tax rise, but because it’s the correct green thing to be doing for the environment. Yes, this is going to sound a little odd, isn’t it?
We need to go back a few years, to the Stern Review. In it the main recommendation was that we have to have a carbon tax at $80 per tonne CO2 emissions in order to beat climate change. This is the scientific consensus now, that we should have this tax.
THE TRIALS of Nelson Mandela – in photos. The trials last 12 years…
The three ANC Youth Leaders, Nelson Mandela, centre, Walter Sisulu, left, and Harrison Motlana, pictured in 1952 during the Defiance Campaign trial at the Johannesburg Supreme Court, South Africa. The Defiance Campaign encourages blacks to defy apartheid laws. Date: 01/01/1952
* In December 1956 many key members of the Congress Alliance were arrested and charged with treason, including the almost entire executive committee of the ANC, as well as the SACP, SAIC, COD. 105 Africans, 21 Indians, 23 whites and 7 coloured leaders were arrested. Ten were women. Many arrestees, including Nelson Mandela, were detained in communal cells in Johannesburg Prison, known as the Fort, resulting in what Mandela described as “the largest and longest unbanned meeting of the Congress Alliance in years.” However, white men, white women, black were all held in a separate parts of the jail.
Initially, 156 defendants were charged with high treason. The number of defendants was later reduced to 92. In November 1957, the prosecution reworded the indictment and proceeded a separate trial against 30 accused. Their trial commenced in August 1959. The remaining 61 accused were tried separately before the case against them was dismissed in mid 1960.
Crowds cheer as a police van brings prisoners to the Drill Hall, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dec. 31, 1956, for the start of the ‘Treason Trial’. One man has climbed onto the step of the van top shout encouragement to the inmates. Nelson Mandela was among the people arrested and standing trial. Date: 31/12/1956
December 1956: 156 anti-apartheid leaders arrested
December 1956 – January 1958: Preparatory examination in a magistrates court to determine if there was sufficient evidence to warrant a trial.
November 1957: Prosecution rewords the indictment and proceeded a separate trial against 30 accused. The remaining 61 accused were to be tried separately before the case against them was dismissed in mid 1959.
August 1959: Trial against 30 defendants proceeds in the Supreme Court.
5 March 1960: Chief Luthuli’s testimony begins.
8 April 1960: ANC is declared banned in the wake of the State of Emergency declared after the Sharpeville massacre – 69 blacks are shot dead by the police. Defendants retained in custody for five months and trial resumes without lawyers for several months.
May 1960: Helen Joseph and 21 left-wing white women detained during the State of Emergence embark on an eight-day hunger strike. The children of detainees protest outside Johannesburg city hall.
3 August 1960: Mandela’s testimony begins.
7 October 1960: Defense closes.
23 March 1961: Trial adjourned for a week.
29 March 1961: Accused are found not guilty.
A picture taken by Jurgen Schadeberg in October 13, 1958, shows Nelson Mandela, right, and Moses Kotane, left, leaving the court after the State withdrawn the indictment during the Treason Trial, hanging is his room at the Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia, north of Johannesburg. Liliesleaf became a centre for anti-apartheid activists in the early 1960s, after the South African government heightened its brutal crackdown on anti-apartheid activists and forced the resistance movement underground. The regime banned the ANC in 1960, the same year its troops shot and killed 69 civilians protesting the government’s repressive restrictions on movement in Sharpeville. In 1962 the government imposed a state of emergency, one of several that would continue intermittently until 1989, when the apartheid regime began to founder.
Baton-wielding police break up the crowd outside the Drill Hall, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dec. 31, 1956, as the ‘Treason Trials’ opened. Nelson Mandela was among the people who were on trial.
The ANC was outlawed in 1960 and Mr Mandela went underground.
* Already facing treason charges, he went underground as a leader of the A.N.C.’s new guerrilla wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (“Spear of the Nation”). Dressed in different disguises—a gardener, a chef, a soldier—he popped up around the country, and then disappeared again. His exploits earned him a nickname: the Black Pimpernel.
A change had come.
* Sharpbille marked the end of peaceful resistance and Mr Mandela, already national vice-president of the ANC, launched a campaign of economic sabotage.
He was eventually arrested and charged with sabotage and attempting to violently overthrow the government.
Speaking from the dock in the Rivonia court room, Mr Mandela used the stand to convey his beliefs about democracy, freedom and equality.
“I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination.I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
In the winter of 1964 he was sentenced to life in prison.
In court, as elsewhere:
Three defendants in the first treason, Robert Resha, left, Patrick Molaoa, centre, and Nelson Mandela arrive in Pretoria from Johannesburg by special bus during the trial in August 1958. The trial lasted for four and a half years. Date: 01/08/1958
On 5 August 1962, police captured Mandela along with Cecil Williams near Howick. Jailed in Johannesburg’s Marshall Square prison, he was charged with inciting workers’ strikes and leaving the country without permission.
Winnie Mandela, wife of the African National Congress (ANC) leader Nelson Mandela, wears a traditional dress as she and two other women attend her husband’s trial in Pretoria, South Africa, Oct. 22, 1962. Nelson Mandela pleaded not guilty in a special regional court to charges of incitement and leaving South Africa illegally.
He told the court:
“I do not deny that I planned sabotage. I did not plan it in a spirit of recklessness nor because I have any love of violence. I planned it as a result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after many years of tyranny, exploitation and oppression of my people by the whites.”
His co-accused included: Walter Sisulu, Dennis Goldberg, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Elias Mosoaledi, Andrew Mlangeni – all ANC officials and Ahmed Kathrada, the former leader of the South African Indian Congress.
Winnie stood by him. But was he ever the family man?
The anti-apartheid movement of the 1950s and 1960s might have been built upon fighting injustice, but it was fuelled by alcohol and libido, and many of the white communists were just as keen as the black nationalists to use politics — as David James Smith relates — to get their hands into girls’ pants. Mandela’s behaviour was unusual only in his emotional neglect of his wives and children. He shunned even his own mother, whom he rarely saw before he went to prison, apparently because he was embarrassed by her lack of education. He drove his first wife, Evelyn, close to madness by his casual adultery, allowing one lover to walk into the marital bedroom while she was present in their cramped Soweto house. Evelyn threatened to throw boiling water over the woman if he brought her home again.
There were numerous other women apart from Evelyn and his second wife, Winnie; almost certainly an unacknowledged illegitimate child; and allegations by poor, bitter Evelyn in her divorce petition that he had beaten her. The mystery of Mandela lies in the jarring contrast between his behaviour towards his family, and his princely courtesy to everyone else
Winnie Mandela, wife of African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, escorts his mother Nosekeni Fanny through a police cordon outside the court in Pretoria, South Africa, June 11, 1964, where he was a defendant in the treason trial. Mandela was found guilty on all four counts and together with six others, was sentenced to life imprisonment.
* Towards noon on April 20, 1964, after four and a half hours on his feet, Nelson Mandela was nearing the end of his opening statement at his trial in South Africa’s Supreme Court in Pretoria. He faced charges of sabotage that were equivalent in law to treason. His lawyer had also been his typist for the 81-page speech and had implored him to leave out its last line, saying it would be an invitation to the court to impose the death penalty. Mandela made him type it anyway, and now, after describing his ideal of “a free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities”, he read it out. “If needs be,” he said, “it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
In his trial speech, Mandela explained carefully and at length that he was neither Communist nor Marxist. He was, he said, “an African patriot”, born into a chief’s family in the rolling hills of the Transkei and determined to borrow from both East and West to realise the potential of what should be “one of the richest countries in the world”. Thirty years later that patriotism was the theme of a presidential inauguration address crafted as an appeal to South Africans of every colour, each one “as intimately attached to the soil of this beautiful country” as the jacarandas of Pretoria and the mimosas of the Bushveld.
* Lawyer for the defendants, Harold Hansen QC said: “These accused represent the struggle of their people for equal rights. Their views represent the struggle of the African people for the attainment of equal rights for all races in this country.”
But the judge, President Quartus de Wet, said he was not convinced by their claim to have been motivated by a desire to alleviate the grievances of the African people in this country.
Judge de Wet said: “People who organise revolution usually plan to take over the government as well through personal ambition.”
Police clear away Africans from the area of the court in Pretoria, South Africa, after a verdict of guilty was pronounced on defendants in the South African treason trial on June 11, 1964. African nationalist leaders Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu were found guilty on all four counts, as were four other African defendants. Dennis Molberg, a white civil engineer, was found guilty on all counts, but the two other white defendants were found not guilty and discharged. The only Indian defendant was found guilty on the sabotage count only. All seven found guilty were sentenced to life imprisonment.
Police join hands to hold back demonstrators outside court in Pretoria, South Africa, June 12, 1964 after eight of the accused in the Rivonia Sabotage trial, including Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu, were sentenced to life imprisonment.
Anti-apartheid demonstrators gather outside the South African Embassy in Trafalgar Square, London, June 12, 1964, in protest against the sentence to life imprisonment of Nelson Mandela, former chief of the banned African National Congress. Mandela, 46, and seven other defendants were found guilty in the South African treason trial in Pretoria. They were sentenced today.
Showing her concern, a woman moves through the crowd to shake hands with Winnie Mandela, wife of African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, as she leaves court in Pretoria, South Africa, June 12, 1964, after her husband was sentenced to life imprisonment. Mandela was one of the eight men found guilty in the Rivonia sabotage trial. All received the same sentence.
Zindzi Mandela reads the refusal of her father, Nelson, to leave prison in Johannesburg, after South African President P.W. Botha offered him conditional release. Date: 10/02/1985
* On 31 January 1985 State President P W Botha offers Nelson Mandela, leader of the banned African National Congress (ANC), conditional release from the prison sentence he had been serving since the conclusion of the Rivonia Trial in 1964. The condition of his release is that he renounces violence, and violent protest, as a means to bring about change in South Africa.
Mandela communicates his refusal of the offer through his daughter, Zinzi Mandela, who reads his statement to this effect at a rally in Soweto on 10 February 1985. He states that the ANC’s only adopted violence as a means of protest ” when other forms of resistance were no longer open to us “. Mandela had refused previous offers of conditional release where the condition was that he be confined to the Transkei.
The rock quarry where prisoners of Robben Island were once forced to work is seen, Sunday, June 30, 2013. Former South African president Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his 27-year prison term on the island locked up by the former apartheid government.
Nelson Mandela was born in 1918. He was in prison from 1962 to 1990. He became President of South Africa in 1994, and retired in 1999.
NELSON Mandela is dead. From passive resistance against apartheid to charges of treason; to ANC violence; to life imprisonment on Robben Island; to international symbol of hope; to respected global statesman; to Nobel Laureate; to President of South Africa; to World Elder and a remaining lifetime dedicated to peace and reconciliation. It was as though his life had an appointment with destiny – to be a living incarnation of grace and forgiveness, writes Cranmer.
He made a famous walk to freedom after 27 years on Robben Island. Thousands greeted him in ecstasy. Now he has made his final walk to eternal freedom to be in the presence of Christ. And the Heavenly Host greeted him in raptures of Hallelujah!
GEORGE Osborne’s announced that he’s going to raise the state pension age and this makes damn good sense. No, not just because we’re all pig-faced Tories who love shafting the poor.
In potentially one of the most far-reaching reforms since the introduction of the state pension in 1908, Osborne will say the pension age for men and women will rise to 70 by the 2060s under a new formula linked to average life expectancy. This means that people born in the 1990s, who are now entering the workforce, will have to work until at least the Biblical life expectancy of three score and ten.
ASK not what Nelson Mandela did for humanity but what Nelson Mandela can do to promote your brand:
My Little Pony Fan Fiction salutes one of its own:
— Canterlot RadiHoHoHo (@CanterlotRadio) December 6, 2013
NELSON Mandela’s death was announced yesterday evenings. The newspapers had known the great leader was aged and in failing health. Obituaries had long been written. A simple press of ‘f5′ on the keyboard and the front pages were done. But what was on the covers before? What was the big story before Mandela died?
A storm has hit the British East coast. A huge tidal surge has left two dead. Thousands have been evacuated. Ports are closed. Many homes have been left without power. All day long the BBC and Sky news has been trailing the weather. And then Mandela died.
THE TIMES IS CLEVER – JUST CREATE A WRAPAROUND
IN 2005, former South African President Nelson Mandela starred in the Madiba Legacy Series comic books – a nine-part comic book series based on Nelson Mandela’s life freely distributed in schools and newspapers. It was created by the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
IS Nick Clegg a hypocrite or just weak? The Jewish Chronicle says he’s the former: “There is only one word for Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister: hypocrite.”
Anorak can think of many others. word for Clegg. But the JC is calling out the Deputy Prime Minister for his unwillingness to address his LibDem colleague, David Ward.
But it is quite another thing for Mr Clegg to have the gall to turn up at a Board of Deputies reception, speak about the importance of countering “expressions of intolerance, of extremism, of hatred”, demand that society “stand up for the values of unity and respect”, stress the need for “sticking to the values you believe in through thick and thin” — and then refuse to answer a single question or utter a word of condemnation of a LibDem MP who plainly believes that Jews buy their way to power which they then exercise unduly.
Marketing manager Nicola Baker explains: “The Culture Guide has proven to be enormously popular with cultural organisations and the public. It has also been an excellent form of promotion of the Hull City of Culture bid and was used extensively as a backdrop on the day when Hull was announced as the winner, being featured on national and international media reports.
“A large number of groups and individuals contributed suggestions of people, places and events for inclusion. Poppy Morgan is an acclaimed actress – albeit in the adult film industry. She won Best Female Actress of the Year at the 2006 UK Adult Film and Television Awards in London. This guide is clearly not about condoning porn but it is about celebrating Hull’s diversity of culture and entertainment.”
The Gaffer Tapes
THIS week Sports Minister Helen Grant became the latest politician to execute the self-destructive manoeuvre we shall refer to as ‘live quiz fail’ – the embarrassing failure to correctly answer questions pertaining to one’s own specialist field. Ms Grant, who claims that sport is in her DNA, was asked a series of simple quotations such as ‘Who is the current female Wimbledon champion?’ and ‘Which team won the FA Cup this year?’ A seemingly harder question concerning Maidstone United FC was put to her because the club resides in her parliamentary constituency – although ‘Manchester United because it’s my favourite club’ as she declared in the interview.
TORY MP Nadine Dorries tweeted a Sunday Mirror reporter who had doorstepped her daughter, as reported by the Mirror:
“Be seen within a mile of my daughters and I will nail your balls to the floor… using your own front teeth. Do you get that?”
Whoaah! So much for freedom.
ERIC Pickles. It’s nominative determinism, no? Pickles. What odds the top Tory would share a name with a mainstay of the chip shop?
The story is that the MP’s Department for Communities and Local Government splurged £40,000 on serving biscuits at meetings.
“The figure was for part of our hospitality budget. When we have meetings, if people come from a long distance we’ll give them tea and biscuits. The rise comes down to one of my fine civil servants putting the wrong thing in the wrong column. It is still a 94 per cent reduction though compared to Labour’s spending in the department. I’m not playing a jammie dodger here. I even bring in my own tea bags to work. I wouldn’t accept anything from another person.”
What about advice, would you accept that?
JOHNNY Cash made a list of “Things To Do Today”.
Do to-do lists work?
Benjamin Franklin made a list. He tried too hard, say John Tierney and psychologist Roy F. Baumeister in Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength. (Via.)
Franklin tried a divide-and-conquer approach. He drew up a list of virtues and wrote a brief goal for each one, like this one for Order: ‘Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.’
When, as a young journeyman printer, he tried to practice Order by drawing up a rigid daily work schedule, he kept getting interrupted by unexpected demands from his clients — and Industry required him to ignore the schedule and meet with them. If he practiced Frugality (‘Waste nothing’) by always mending his own clothes and preparing all his own meals, there’d be less time available for Industry at his job — or for side projects like flying a kite in a thunderstorm or editing the Declaration of Independence. If he promised to spend an evening with his friends but then fell behind his schedule for work, he’d have to make a choice that would violate his virtue of Resolution: ‘Perform without fail what you resolve.’
Franklin wrote his list in 1726, at the age of 20. It’s more of a set of rules than a list. (Source: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin; Image: Benjamin Franklin, via.)
TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
MODERATION. Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.
TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
Woody Guthrie made lists:
“Wake Up And Fight”
Jonathan Swift made this list in 1699:
Not to marry a young Woman.
Not to keep young Company unless they reely desire it.
Not to be peevish or morose, or suspicious.
Not to scorn present Ways, or Wits, or Fashions, or Men, or War, &c.
Not to be fond of Children, or let them come near me hardly.
Not to tell the same story over and over to the same People.
Not to be covetous.
Not to neglect decency, or cleenlyness, for fear of falling into Nastyness.
Not to be over severe with young People, but give Allowances for their youthfull follyes and weaknesses.
Not to be influenced by, or give ear to knavish tatling servants, or others.
Not to be too free of advise, nor trouble any but those that desire it.
To desire some good Friends to inform me wch of these Resolutions I break, or neglect, and wherein; and reform accordingly.
Not to talk much, nor of my self.
Not to boast of my former beauty, or strength, or favor with Ladyes, &c.
Not to hearken to Flatteryes, nor conceive I can be beloved by a young woman, et eos qui hereditatem captant, odisse ac vitare.
Not to be positive or opiniative.
Not to sett up for observing all these Rules; for fear I should observe none.
The Zeigarnik Effect is the tendency to experience intrusive thoughts about an objective that was once pursued and left incomplete (Baumeister & Bushman, 2008, pg. 122). The automatic system signals the conscious mind, which may be focused on new goals, that a previous activity was left incomplete. It seems to be human nature to finish what we start and, if it is not finished, we experience dissonance.
A study done by Greist-Bousquet and Schiffman (1992) provided evidence for the Zeigarnik Effect. In this paper, the authors stated that there is a tendency or “need” to complete a task once it has been initiated and the lack of closure that stems from an unfinished task promotes some continued task related cognitive effort. The cognitive effort that comes with these intrusive thoughts of the unfinished task is terminated only once the person returns to complete the task.
Tierney and Baumeister address that anew:
[It] turns out that the Zeigarnik effect is not, as was assumed for decades, a reminder that continues unabated until the task gets done. The persistence of distracting thoughts is not an indication that the unconscious is working to finish the task. Nor is it the unconscious nagging the conscious mind to finish the task right away. Instead, the unconscious is asking the conscious mind to make a plan. The unconscious mind apparently can’t do this on its own, so it nags the conscious mind to make a plan with specifics like time, place, and opportunity. Once the plan is formed, the unconscious can stop nagging the conscious mind with reminders.”
BACK in 20076, David Cameron was all for “green crap”, and we’re not talking about that unusual pile of poo on the rug.
Before he was PM, the leader of the Conservative Party led a team of huskies on the Scott-Turner glacier on the island of Svalbard, Norway. Cameron was visiting the Norwegian glacier to see the effects of climate change.
He went there by plane.
A year later, Dave got a wind tubine on his London pad:
Dave was green. Make no doubt about it. He started to be seen riding a bike.
His chauffeur chugged along behind. In the car: Dave’s shoes.
And he told us:
Can it be – and let’s stretch your minds – that Dave never did give a toss for the Greenies, that he was just using the trending topic to look in touch with public opinion? It wasn’t about detoxifying the planet; it was about detoxifying the Tories…
WHEN JFK died, the Dallas County Hospital sent out a letter to all staff. It had been a momentous time:
AUSTRALIAN MP and Opposition spokesman for resources – get this – Gary Gray (the man’s name is a master of efficiency both in government and Scrabble) has been eating his own hair. Or maybe he’s been eating something found on his hair, like grubs or jam?
IN 1988. Democrat Michael Dukakis rode an M1A1 tank in 1988. He wanted to be President. He looked like a fool.
Vice President George H.W. Bush laughed his socks off. And his team went to work.
Roger Ailes, now at Fox News, ran Bush’s media team. The Boston Globe wrote on The Brains Of The Bush Offensive Strategist Roger Ailes Remade The Candidate:
The idea came to Roger Ailes in the middle of the night, an apt moment of inspiration for a media Prince of Darkness. Why not use footage from one of Gov. Michael S. Dukakis’ most maligned campaign photo opportunities in an advertisement for Vice President George Bush?
Thus, the most recent negative television commercial produced by the Bush campaign shows a helmeted Dukakis riding in a tank, looking like Snoopy, as Elizabeth Drew of the New Yorker put it. The ad ends with a tight shot of Dukakis, wearing the helmet and a silly grin, and the words: “Now he wants to be our commander in chief. America can’t afford that risk.”
Ailes laughs with pride when told the ad is brutal in its contempt for Dukakis.
He knew and his son knew, too:
HOW’S David Cameron getting along on Twitter. Well, you dip your toe in the effluent and it comes up yellow…
THE Gettysburg Address happened 150 years ago. On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln made his speech at a dedication to the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, where thousands of Union soldiers were laid to rest. The Gettysburg battle saw federal forces fighting back a Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania.
MARTIN Bashir apologises for his comment on Sarah Palin. Bashir works for MSNBC. He’s not a journalist. He’s an opinion massager blessed with all the circumspection of a dog eyeing a lamppost. Bashjir said Palin has the “well-established reputation as a world class idiot”.
PRESIDENT John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on November 22, 1963.
Close to the shooting was a man carrying an open umbrella.
OPRAH Winfrey tells the BBC that President Barack Obama attracts “disrespect” because he’s black.
“There’s a level of disrespect for the office that occurs. And that occurs in some cases and maybe even many cases because he’s African American. There’s no question about that and it’s the kind of thing nobody ever says but everybody’s thinking it.”