IAN SMITH WAS RIGHT AFTER ALL
Peter McKay, U.K.
Extracted from the Daily Mail 10th March 2007
Courtesy of 'The Daily Mail' (ThIs article was not written for the Ensign Message)
CABINET Minister Peter Hain says:
"It's high time the world united and told [Robert] Mugabe to go. To go now. And then, through sanction and support for the brave Zimbabwean resistance to his despotism, to make sure he does."
Bravo! Hain is said to have 'put his job on the line' by saying this. God knows why.
Meanwhile, Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague says:
"We must make it clear that the international community stands ready to support and assist Zimbabwe, if its leadership is prepared to make the dramatic change needed to give the country a truly democratically elected government - a government that is determined to provide hope and relief for its people, and is committed to economic and governance reform."
Blah, blah, blah. Hain's a hypocrite and Hague's a windbag.
Neither Labour nor the Tories have a clue what to do about Mugabe and Zimbabwe, other than make vaguely supportive noises to opposition politicians there.
They're hoping for a coup against Mugabe followed by the installation of a more reasonable democratic regime.
Is poor, beaten-up opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai the one? Perhaps so, but do remember that Robert Mugabe was once the poor, ill-treated political leader on whom we pinned our hopes in 1980 to replace Ian Smith and his white minority government.
SMITH'S Rhodesia (as it was then called) was a land of milk and honey compared with Mugabe's starving, destitute Zimbabwe. Blacks were better fed, better educated and enjoyed greater access to medical care.
Labour's Harold Wilson led the charge against Smith. It distracted his comrades in Britain from noticing the sheer uselessness of his government.
The Tories bottled out of their original policy - trying to encourage Smith to increase black participation in his government - in favour of finding an African leader they felt they could trust to set up a free and fair Zimbabwe.
Mugabe was their man. If he is swept aside in a military coup, will Zimbabwe finally get a reasonable leader who doesn't plunder the country's dwindling assets to prop up the luxurious lifestyle of his family and cohorts? Perhaps, perhaps not.
There's nothing much we can do about it. Regime change is not an option. Zimbabwe doesn't pose a military threat to the West, and South Africa's government wouldn't let us interfere anyway.
Zimbabweans, God help them, must sort out their own problems. They must find a way of removing Mugabe without filling the vacuum with someone who will turn out to be worse.
In the meantime, Messrs Hain and Hague - as well as Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett - should desist from pointless breast-beating. They merely feed the paranoia of Mugabe and South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki about 'colonial interference' .
Perhaps Smith's Zimbabwe could never have worked. Whites might never have given enough concessions. But it was never really tried. Black majority rule was the answer. The result was an outright disaster for all except Mugabe and his cohorts.
So it's better if our politicians -Labour and Tory - keep quiet about Zimbabwe. They screwed it up last time. It's quite likely they'd do so again.
Hain made his name fighting white rule in Africa. He's proud of his anti-apartheid activism. But the world has moved on.
Government by the majority isn't always benign. The white minority rule of Ian Smith was infinitely better than the black majority rule of Robert Mugabe.
Hain could never see that. That's why he's now part of the problem and not the solution. §
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