Citing “interventions in the media in recent days”, anti-Apartheid campaigner Peter Hain stuck it to revisionist Tories in the Commons this afternoon:
“I give credit to the prime minister for apologising for his party’s record of what I have to describe as craven indulgence towards Apartheid’s rulers.”
“But it really does stick in the craw when Lord Tebbit, Charles Moore and others similar tried over recent days to claim that their complicity with Apartheid — and that’s what I think it was — somehow brought about its end.”
Indeed, both Tebbit and Thatcher biographer Moore (above) have suggested that Mandela somehow owed his freedom to Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government. Moore — writing in the Telegraph — reasoned that the most appropriate way to mark Mandela’s passing was to elucidate the ways in which he was indebted to Britain.
And according to Moore, it’s okay to lie about the past as long as it makes you feel better. Reviewing Tea Party Tory Dan Hannan’s book ‘Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World’ two weeks ago, he says that “I do not, strictly speaking, agree with it as history … The way Hannan gets [our history] wrong works to the good”. He continued:
“Even if it is not always true that we have upheld liberty and the law, it helps us to do better if we believe that this is our special role in the world.”
This goes some way to explaining his theories on the Tories and Mandela.
Iain Duncan Smith faces a select committee grilling on Universal Credit from 4:30pm on the day it is revealed that his flagship welfare policy has fallen even further behind schedule. With the wheels coming off the wagon, this Telegraph leader column summarises the defence briefed by IDS’ team: that he was “kept in the dark” about what was going on:
Management was “alarmingly weak”; a “fortress” mentality developed, alongside a “good news” culture in which ministers were kept in the dark about mistakes. Things became so chaotic that secretaries were signing off million-pound contracts.
Very good. Except — as this blog pointed out last week — Iain Duncan Smith had personally brought in a director of the think tank he founded to work on the project. When writing or speaking at conferences, Stephen Brien is variously described as “Special Adviser to Iain Duncan Smith on Universal Credit” and “the architect of the Universal Credit policy”.
In addition to his point man ‘on the ground’ with the Universal Credit team, IDS has been chairing the ministerial oversight groups responsible for the policy since May 2011. These meetings take place ten times per year.
Scrapbook looks forward to the following quotes being put to the ‘quiet man’ this afternoon:
5 March 2013 – “What we are talking about will have no practical effect on the implementation of universal credit, which, by the way, is proceeding exactly in accordance with plans.”
10 July 2013 – “The pathfinder exercise has shown that the IT system works.”
18 November 2013 – ”because of the actions I took over a year ago to ensure that universal credit will roll out and deliver exactly as we said it would”
It seems to have gone virtually unreported that the latest stats give the Universal Credit caseload as just 2,013 claimants. Only another 997,987 people to bring online before April 2014 then.
With the objective of Small Business Saturday being to support small, independent businesses on our high streets, David Cameron tweeted a picture of himself buying lamb chops in Aylesbury yesterday:
So presumably he sought out a nice independent book shop in which to buy some Christmas prezzies. Either that or the, errr, second biggest book chain in the UK — which has 300 branches and has gobbled up Ottakar’s and Dillon’s.
A councillor has been ordered to undergo equality training following racist comments about school inner-city school children. With Michael Gove backing plans by a Brixton school to transport students to a site in West Sussex on weekdays, Cllr John Cherry hit the headlines back in April after suggesting black and Pakistani students were lazy — and that the “Eton-style” boarding arrangements would create a “sexual volcano” in the scenic South Downs.
Cherry, who was forced out of the Conservatives and lost his county council in the race row which followed, has also been banned from all committees and sub-committees on Chichester District Council following his comments about Durand Academy:
“Ninety-seven per cent of pupils will be black or Asian. It depends what type of Asian. If they’re Chinese they’ll rise to the top. If they’re Indian they’ll rise to the top. If they’re Pakistani they won’t.
“There are certain nationalities where hard work is highly valued. There are certain nationalities where they are uncertain what this hard work is all about.
“If the children are not allowed out of the site then it will make them want to escape into the forest – it will be a sexual volcano.
“Has anyone asked whether these children want to be plucked from their natural surroundings? They have never done boarding before, so they won’t know how it works.
Scrapbook wishes Cllr Cherry luck in his natural surroundings: a re-education camp for racists.
First up, high-profile UKIP activist Alexandra Swann, whose speech to their 2012 Spring conference was introduced by Nigel Farage. Supplementing her own crap with re-tweets calling Mandela a “terrorist”, Scrapbook supposes she would be happier in the 1980s Federation of Conservative Students wearing a “Hang Nelson Mandela” T-shirt:
This is how she reacted to Barack Obama’s tribute:
Meanwhile Rod Liddle looks to kills two birds with one stone:
“But for Christ’s sake BBC, give it a bloody break for five minutes, will you? It’s as if the poor bugger now has to bear your entire self-flagellating white post-colonial bien pensant guilt; look! Famous nice black man dies! Let’s re-run the entire history of South Africa. That’s better than watching the country we’re in being flattened by a storm.”
Doubtless we’ll have cause to update this post again tomorrow.
Read More »
Nelson Mandela’s words on the 90th birthday of his ANC colleague Walter Sisulu:
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”
Yesterday Scrapbook published figures which show that government funding for the Quilliam Foundation — the anti-extremism body linked to former EDL leader Tommy Robinson — has now fallen off a cliff. But they nevertheless received some £186,000 from the Home Office after April 2010.
So why did Quilliam chairman Maajid Nawaz claim on Twitter last month that their government funding “ceased back in 2010″ — while complaining that similar organisations still received support?
Something to bear in mind next time they put in a bid.
While Treasury ministers have seemed loathe to disclose details in parliament, Scrapbook can reveal that George Osborne finally visited a food bank on 25 October — just eight months after David Cameron and ten months after he was invited to do so by the chief executive of the UK’s largest food bank network.
During his visit to Bethel Food Bank, which helps to distribute up to one tonne of food aid each month, Osborne actually spoke to a user of the service — in marked contrast with David Cameron, who refused to meet any struggling families. If this was an attempt to the neutralise the issue he has failed, however, with a petition on UK hunger from ‘poverty cooking’ write Jack Monroe poised to cross the threshold for online petitions to be debated in parliament.
Trussell Trust boss Chris Mould told Scrapbook:
“We are pleased that George Osborne dropped in to his local foodbank. We encourage all our foodbanks to engage their constituency MPs because foodbanks are a vital part of civil society. It is very important that MPs understand how foodbanks work, and that they meet the people foodbanks help.”
It only took him 308 days.