Tag Archives: nelson mandela

Willie Rennie’s tribute to Nelson Mandela

This week, the Scottish Parliament paid tribute to Nelson Mandela. Here is Willie Rennie’s speech in full.

Like so many others, I saw today’s remarkable scenes from Johannesburg, with presidents and prime ministers, archbishops and cardinals, and village choirs and children from Soweto gathered in one place.

Nelson Mandela’s death was a moment that we all knew would come but, for most of our lives, we could only have dreamed that he would be able to pass on peacefully, in freedom and with the thanks of the world around him.

The vocation of politics to play a part in a changing world grew

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Nick Clegg’s Commons tribute to Mandela: “let us honour his memory by ensuring that the hope he gave lives on”

clegg on leveson 2Nick Clegg offered his tribute on behalf of the Lib Dems today to Nelson Mandela’s immense contribution to leading South Africa away from apartheid and towards democracy. Here’s what he had to say:

The Deputy Prime Minister (Mr Nick Clegg):
On behalf of the Liberal Democrats, let me add my voice to the many tributes to Nelson Mandela, the father of modern South Africa. Our thoughts and condolences are with his loved ones, the people of South Africa, and everyone around the world who is grieving his loss.

Nelson Mandela’s message

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Opinion: Mandela’s moral greatness

Nelson Mandela’s political legacy is too great, too various, to summarise in a single post. But for me he represents a core insight.

For a revolutionary political idea to thrive, it must not be consumed by the very zeal it ignites.

This is not to underestimate the importance of Mandela’s cause. And it is sobering to think that, two hundred years after the Enlightenment’s high watermark, the rightness of that cause was not at all self-evident to the greater part of white South African opinion, any more than Rosa Parks’s validity as a person with rights was self-evident to George Wallace.

Rather, it …

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Opinion: Nelson Mandela: A personal tribute

Nelson Mandela commanded an enormous degree of respect from leaders across the world and will be a great loss to us all. He truly was one of the great souls of the last century along with Mahatma Gandhi who he credited with being a major source of inspiration in his life, especially with his philosophy of non-violence. Both Gandhi and Mandela were leaders who were imprisoned for years by oppressive regimes and now their statues share a place on Constitution Hill in Johannesburg, South Africa.

While Gandhi influenced Mandela, a young Gandhi himself was mentored by Dadabhai Naoroji who was the …

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Opinion: The inspiration of Nelson Mandela

The passing of Nelson Mandela is a moment in history which has touched almost everyone as we reflect on the momentous achievements of the great man and compare them to his engagingly humble personality.

His belief in peace, non-violence and reconciliation mark him out in the same bracket as Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jnr and Mahatma Gandhi. His role as a freedom fighter and international symbol of resistance of Apartheid show an uncompromising spirit.

Mandela was a hero to most and his fight inspired many to get involved in the political process, perhaps more in the Liberals than any other British …

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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 …

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Nelson Mandela – the long walk is over

nelson-mandelaBarack Obama described Nelson Mandela as ‘a hero for the world’ and it is difficult to think of another politician who was as admired globally as he was. Perhaps the only comparable figure is Mahatma Gandhi, who also began his public life as a lawyer working for the civil rights of South Africans.

However, while Gandhi practised non-violent civil disobediance throughout his life, Mandela moved towards militant opposition to apartheid. His transition in public perception from terrorist to saint has been unique.

In 1996 Mandela was granted the Freedom of the City of London. I was very privileged to be present at the event in London’s Guildhall.

Posted in Obituaries and Op-eds | Also tagged | 15 Comments

Lembit Opik on the London Mayor selection result

Lembit Opik had a piece in today’s Evening Standard ahead of the results declaration in the London Mayor selection. In it he said he expected to lose and went on to say:

Ever since I was first enticed into entering the fray as a potential candidate, I’ve experienced a remarkable degree of antagonism and aggression from certain Lib Dems.

Most of it has occurred in the strange and self-styled environment of the ‘blogosphere’ – a parallel universe where some people who’ve never been elected to public office feel qualified to pronounce on those who have.

When one meets these people for real, their courage

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Daily View 2×2: 2 February 2010

Today is Groundhog Day, but I’ve resisted the temptation to simply give you yesterday’s Daily View again. It’s also the ancient Celtic festival of Imbolc, which symbolises the turning point of winter towards spring.

Twenty years ago today President FW de Klerk began to dismantle apartheid in South Africa, announcing that he had lifted the 30-year ban on the African National Congress, the Pan African Congress and the South African Communist Party. De Klerk also committed to release jailed ANC leader Nelson Mandela, who was freed nine days later. Commenting on the news, Nobel Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu said: “He has taken …

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