Sunday morning and there is a great deal of snivelling guff being spouted by politicians on both sides of the world. Let’s take the funeral of Robert Mugabe first. It took place in Harare yesterday amid much pomp and ceremony and was attended by most African leaders but few ordinary Zimbabweans. The politicians spouted the usual arrant nonsense about the man, but their words did not reflect reality.
Firstly, Mugabe did not initiate the armed struggle. The first small batch of would-be ‘freedom fighters’ sent for training from Rhodesia were sent to Ghana in 1959. This was a group of six led by Mark Nziramasanga. J.Z. Moyo came for the passing out ceremony. When Moyo reached Accra, he discovered that a Zimbabwean was teaching at the Teachers’ Training College there. He recruited him and that of course was our Bob. The first steps towards armed struggle, then, were made before Mugabe even joined the movement.
Secondly, Mugabe did not found ZANU. He joined it many months after its formation. ZANU was founded by Sithole, Chitepo, Nkala, Takawira and others. ZANU was a dissident organisation set up with the aid of the CIA and MI6. The liberation struggle could have been conducted very well without ZANU because the first genuine liberation movement was in fact, Joshua Nkomo’s ZAPU. They were trained in conventional warfare so had they been left alone the course of the war could have been completely different.
Nor was Mugabe ever an ally of the ANC. Quite the opposite in fact. In 1982, well after Independence, ZANU made an agreement with the apartheid government in South Africa not to allow Zimbabwe to be used as a rear base for Mkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC. Thereafter ZAPU, the Soviet-backed ally of the ANC was crushed through the genocidal operation known as Gukurahundi, which was overseen by the current president of Zimbabwe, E.D. Mnangagwa. So the reality is that Mugabe and Mnangagwa actually collaborated with the apartheid government.
Mugabe only became an anti-imperialist in 1998 when he sent troops to defend the Democratic Republic of Congo against the US-backed invasion by Uganda and Rwanda. Prior to that he was given an honorary knighthood by the British government which sickened Zimbabweans all over the world and even told us all how much he liked watching cricket.
Mugabe did not even send the so called War Veterans on to the land in the year 2000. That was their own decision and once it started the displaced youth and criminal fraternities already running amok in Zimbabwe were allowed to join in. Admittedly Comrade Bob gave them his full support but he didn’t start the carnage.
Nor was Mugabe a true-blue Marxist as he claimed. He was a Jesuit-trained Catholic.
I could go on but suffice it to say that Mugabe was a hypocritical tyrant who looted a proud little country and those equally hypocritical leaders such as Ramaphosa and Mnangagwa who shed crocodile tears about his passing yesterday were lying through their teeth.
In this country, we have the Liberal Democrats partying in Bournemouth at their annual conference. After all the noise they have been making about not being able to discuss matters politic – particularly Brexit – in Parliament, what are they doing there damnit?
Yesterday a lady called Christine Jardine initiated a debate on prison reform. The motion was that ‘The provision of healthcare, education, training, work opportunities in prisons must improve, as must access to sport, art and music. Prisoners should also have access to IT, subject to appropriate content controls.’
Miss Jardine said: “How can you get a job, how do you sort your life out without being online? It’s the key to everything. You have to think about what the purpose is of having people in prison. Do you put them in there just to punish them, or to help them rehabilitate? Too often in the past in this country we’ve actually made things worse with prison.”
She also said it was important for prisoners to be able to apply for Universal Credit ahead of their return to society. I don’t receive universal credit despite being permanently broke and having committed no crime. I would remind this worthy lady that there are not only criminals who are suffering – as indeed they should – but there are victims and it is the victims who should be thought about first.
To make matters infinitely worse, Miss Jardine’s remarks come in the wake of a dramatic fall in the proportion of suspects being brought before the courts.
Home Office figures reveal that only 7.8 per cent of crimes end up with a charge or summons. This is down from 17.2 per cent five years ago. Almost half of crimes are written off with ‘no suspect identified.’
This is a sad reflection on the criminal justice system as a whole and the police in particular.
But Miss Jardine bless her, also demands that women should not go to prison at all except for the gravest of offences. “If a woman hasn’t committed a really serious crime, is there a better way of dealing with her, is there a better way of supporting her and her family – why is she in prison?”
In this rabidly feminist society that should surely lead to protest but I don’t suppose it will. Women want to be seen as completely equal to men and that is as it should be but why then should they not be punished – and prison should be punishment – on equal terms as their male counterparts?
Or am I being hopelessly naïve?
In much the same vein as the spoutings of the hapless Miss Jardine, the Probation Service defends the release of Britain’s most prolific female paedophile after just ten years, by telling us that it has banned Vanessa George from three counties where her victims and their families live. What utter madness is that? Since George has refused to name thirty of the infants she abused, there’s no knowing in which counties they and their loved ones have ended up.
As one of George’s own family said: ‘It’s probably safer in prison for her.”
And for children too but then they are merely victims.
How can anyone take the rantings of the Lib Dems and their strident leader Jo Swinson seriously. She talks earnestly about democracy but now wants her party to be the ‘anti Brexit party.’
That is not what the majority of people voted for so they are being totally undemocratic. But that is the way of modern politicians I’m afraid. It is no longer what the people want but what they want.
I know which party I won’t be voting for when and if we finally get the general election that Corbyn, Swinson and all the other opposition parties have been calling for and now don’t want.
But the sun is shining and the Moor looks spectacular when that happens, so I must get on with my day – chained to my desk I’m afraid. Perhaps I should commit a serious crime or become a politician.
Life would definitely be easier.
I really do not understand why one particular paragraph up there should be twice the size of the rest but I am too much of a technological dodo to correct it. Sorry.