Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Dead Mandela Theme Park

Kennedy's death in '63 didn't register with me. By '65, however, and Churchill's passing, I was fully engaged in the national sense of shock and loss, alive to the ending of an era. We sat quietly and respectfully watching the funeral on a small monochrome TV. The front pages of the newspapers - the Daily Express in our house - were in mourning. By the time Konrad Adenauer turned up his toes in '67 I was an old hand at public remembrance. When Diana was killed by a drunk driver I saw the Blairite version of national loss - tacky, maudlin, cheap, and vulgar vulgar vulgar.

The BBC tried its best to whip up a national sense of public loss with Mandela's death, but lacking a true depth of public grief just made itself look very silly. There was no sea of flowers overflowing Trafalgar Square, no silent crowds of tens of thousands and not a single construction crane in London stopped work, let alone bowed its head. Some silly arses in the papers demonstrated their foolishness; "Few people can be compared to Jesus Christ" wrote one in the Telegraph, "Nelson Mandela was one". May his strapline follow him in derision for the rest of his journalistic career.

Yesterday's debacle could have been a Blair creation. In remembrance for the 'People's President' the dominant images are Blairite; Cameron and a blond woman posing for a selfie, Clinton (for whom the term 'selfie' will always mean something singular) sitting two seats from Hillary, a half-deserted Dome Stadium, and a jeering, probably inebriated, crowd. And now Mandela's body will be interred in what will become a dead Mandela theme park, exploited by his descendants and widows, with all the taste of a Texan bordello designed by Posh and Becks. 

How different from the resting place of another great African, though of a different skin colour. In the Matopos, in a simple rock tomb, lies a man under a stone inscribed with just the words "Here lie the remains of Cecil John Rhodes".



formertory said...

Hear, hear.

Anonymous said...

Mandela who?

john miller said...

I have trouble with the modern world, I'll admit.

But I really thought the picture of the Danish PM, the British PM and the President of the USA taking a photo of themselves, laughing fit to bust, was a fake, a stitch up.

It was only when I saw the wider angle version at Guido's place, that I saw Mrs Obama's look of repressed fury and realised it was true.

Had such a merry threesome pulled that stunt at my father's funeral, there would have been a queue of men and women to sort them out with a knuckle sandwich and I would have been at the front of it.

It is only when you realise that our "leaders" see everything in life as a silly game, because they have a mental age of 11, that you can understand the insane decisions they make.

Cuffleyburgers said...

Hear hear.

Whilst Mandela is probably the highest calibre leader to emerge form black Africa, lets not forget he was imprisoned for terrorism, the group he formed and led was responsible for a series of bombings including women and children, he married the horrendous Winnie (the burning necklace specialist) and on becoming president nationalised the mines and the banks and heaven knows what else with the entirely predictable result that economically the country has been going backwards ever since.

Laudably he left office at the end of his term, but any CEO is judged by his succession and he handed oover to a bunch of increasingly corrupt and incompetent thugs.

So when the left grudgingly admit he wasnt a saint, well that is understating it somewhat.

So, absolutely kudos for preventing a civil war and noble efforts to build a rainbow state could could have done better in many respects.

Richard said...

And the heart of David Livingstone rests beneath a Baobab tree.

Sceptical Steve said...

"the dominant images are Blairite; Cameron and a blond woman posing for a selfie". It's even more telling when you give the blond woman her correct married name, Mrs Helle Kinnock, i.e. the daughter in law of Neil and Glenys.
These are professional career politicians who are simply taking advantage of an old man's death to provide themselves with some career-enhancing photo opportunities. I'm go glad it's all backfired on them.

Anonymous said...

Can the basement bar at Leicester Uni now revert to being called 'The Lambert Room' after Daniel Lambert of Leicester?

Anonymous said...

Oborne is a wanker.


Cascadian said...

A trashy sordid affair, which nevertheless showcased Africa for what it is, poorly managed, never on time, and decidedly not integrated (take a look at the crowd).

In future people will be glad to note-I was NOT at Nelson Mandela's funeral-as a signal of taste.

camoron was at his chavtastic best though.

Nick Drew said...

I remember Kennedy's

Mum and sister & I were listening to the supper-time radio when the Solemn Music struck

Dad came home and said: If the Russians have done this, it'll be war

which (even as a youngster) didn't sound at all good

Anonymous said...

And when the hype and dust have settled, people will go back to looking at African countries and thinking "this lot were better when they were managed by us".

Coney Island

john in cheshire said...

The age of great people has passed for the time being. We seem to be living through a period of great hype. But as someone almost famous once said 'all things must pass'. And for me that's the consolation - this mud-slide of publicity-seeking nonentities, throughout the world, will eventually come to an end. The brain-dead will forget them in an instant and those with half an ounce of intelligence will breathe a sigh of relief that the torment of banality is over for a little while.

G. Tingey said...

Mandela was imprisoned (cuffleyburgers) on a faked-up charge, don't forget.
I could not possibly have done what he did _ & let the voortrekker nazis go free - & thus ensure a peaceful renewal of SA.
He did ensure that.
That Zuma is throwing it away with both hands, is another story