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email@example.com [With apologies from the editorial team for this not having been posted earlier: it was originally sent December 20 in response to Neil Parson's post but disappeared in the confusions that attend the end-of-year break] Actually, BBC-TV interviewed me at 3am for 3 minutes and rather oddly all the questions were rather negative (as was the gruffness and the nearly futile attempts of their technicians to make a simple skype connection), which I parried by reference to the fact that yes, according to his close friends Mabida at times could be stubborn, but in politics stubbornness can be a strength; and yes, some also pointed to his rashness, but in politics rashness can also be boldness (as in founding MK); and yes, his ways with women were commented upon, but he was in the 1950s an early proponent of women's equality.... Anyway, I had a nice chat offline with the BBC producer and told her that when Madiba addressed the joint UK Houses of Parliament in 1996 he reminded them that it was British imperialism that had sowed the seed of white supremacy in South Africa, and that his ANC 'ancestors' had been sent away empty handed in 1914 by that same parliament; but he was there to now close that circle, and went on to charm the Queen. On British imperialism: Mandela was quite consistent in his anti-imperialism, from his opposition to contemporary imperialisms in the invasion of Iraq to his earlier vigorous condemnation of UK-French-US imperialism; this is the Fighting Mandela that some mass media would really like us to forget: "In China, India, Indonesia, and Korea, American, British, Dutch, and French imperialism, based on the concept of the supremacy of Europeans over Asians, has been completely and perfectly exploded. In Malaya and Indo-China, British and French imperialisms are being shaken to the foundations by powerful and revolutionary national liberation movements. In Africa there are approximately 190,000,000 Africans as against 4,000,000 Europeans." ... and he went on to state: "We are exiled from our own people for we uncompromisingly resisted the efforts of imperialist America and her satellites to drag the world into the rule of violence and brutal force, into the rule of the napalm, hydrogen, and cobalt bombs where millions of people will be wiped out to satisfy the criminal and greedy appetites of the imperialist powers. We have been gagged because we emphatically and openly condemned the criminal attacks by the imperialists against the people of Malaya, Vietnam, Indonesia, Tunisia, and Tanganyika and called upon our people to identify themselves unreservedly with the cause of world peace...." 'NO EASY WALK TO FREEDOM' (1953) 1963 edition edited by Ruth First. That's fiery stuff, even more so today... --