As Mandela lies in State and the world reflects. I too was reflecting.
As a relatively young Dewsbury councillor, and chair of the Peace Committee I recall very vividly our attempts to re-name a small Dewsbury street ‘Mandela Way’. We were met with much finger pointing and accusations of being terrorist supporters from the Tory ranks.
Now of course, these same Tories, some of whom are still around, (Robert Light may well recall this), are bowing their heads and telling the world what a great leader he was and how he will be missed.
In the spirit of Madiba, I should of course forgive what they attempted to do to those of us who insisted on supporting the freedom fighters, but I cannot and will not forget that in Dewsbury as we speak these same Tories are inflicting torture of a different kind on the poor, the elderly, the disabled and the young. This is apartheid of a different order but still apartheid nonetheless. A whole class of people being treated as outcasts whilst the Government and their supporters encourage their separation as scroungers and fraudsters.
Ring any bells?
If the Tories really have any respect for Mandela and what he has achieved they should now be dismantling the Bedroom Tax and Benefit Cuts they have laid out as punishments to the poor and least fortunate in our society.
If they had any respect at all for Mandela’s memory, then they should remember that his last days were spent fighting for starving young children and to change their lot. If David Cameron really meant his words on Mandela then he should be scrapping the Bedroom Tax which is dividing families and wrecking lives and scrap the benefit cuts which are leaving vast numbers of people starving this Christmas.
Yes, in this day and age, in our country people are starving. For the Tories to do any other than the above is simply pure hypocracy.
We salute you Madiba as we saluted your ANC supporters in Huddersfield so many years ago.
Now we are again freedom fighters. Freedom from poverty. Freedom from slavery (yes in Britain today!) Amandla! Amandla! Freedom comes.