Liberal Democrats pay tribute to Nelson Mandela

My social media timeline is full of tributes to Nelson Mandela. The interesting thing is that they come not from the usual political suspects, but from so many of my friends, from all generations, from all over the world. Everyone knows that he taught us how to bring harmony to a country that could have descended into a horrendously bloody civil war. He could have taken his revenge on the brutal regime who had kept him locked up for so long, but, thankfully, he showed us a better way. Think how much the world would improve if more people followed his example.

You can read our Mary Reid’s tribute here.

This post contains as many tributes to Nelson Mandela as I can find from Liberal Democrat parliamentarians. It will probably grow during the day. We start with two people who were very involved with the  Anti Apartheid movement and who went to South Africa House last night to pay their respects:



Paddy Ashdown

Tim Farron

Nick Clegg

His full statement is here:

Our thoughts tonight are with the people of S. Africa. Nelson Mandela’s legacy will continue to burn brightly around the globe.

Our thoughts go out to the people of South Africa who will be left heartbroken by this sad news.  

Every so often history produces an individual whose message is universal, and Nelson Mandela will be mourned and missed on every continent around the globe. The hope he offered was enough to unite races; it bridged cultures and transcended generations; and it could heal the deepest divides.

That hope must now live on. Nelson Mandela’s legacy will continue to burn brightly, there is little doubt about that. But our greatest tribute to him will be our commitment to equality, humanity and peace – the values for which he very literally put his life on the line.

Jo Swinson

Steve Webb

Mike Crockart


Meral Hussein-Ece

Malcolm Bruce


Matthew Oakeshott


Sarah Teather (via Facebook)

Finding the news about the life of Nelson Mandela hugely moving and inspiring. What an extraordinary gift his life has been.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Eddie Sammon 6th Dec '13 - 6:21pm

    The best tribute I can say is that I found the news reports hard to watch last night. Even the BBC news presenter looked like he was struggling to hold back the tears.

  • Liberals such as David Steel and a generation YLs have a proud record of campaigning against apartheid.

    This piece in The Guardian is well worth reading –

    “How on earth did apartheid endure so long, younger viewers may be wondering, considering everyone who was anyone seems to have been on Mandela’s side?”

  • A News report on Mandela that will probably not be covered by the BBC or mainstream UK media –

    ” Though considerably less harsh on Israel than his successors in the African National Congress, Mandela was a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause and its leaders. He dubbed Yasser Arafat “one of the outstanding freedom fighters of this generation” following the death of the Palestinian leader in 2004.

    On Sunday, PLO Executive Committee members Hanan Ashrawi and Hanna Amireh attended a special service in memory of Mandela, who died Thursday, at the Holy Family Church in Ramallah. Special services and masses commemorating the South African leader were held across the West Bank, Ashrawi’s office said in a statement.

    For Mandela, Ashrawi said following the service, “Palestine was not a question of solidarity or advocacy, but was [a cause] that he internalized and participated in as one of us. The linkage between South Africa and Palestine that Mandela spelled out was one of shared principles and struggles, primarily for self-determination, freedom, and human dignity.” ”

    To read the full piece go to –

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