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.