Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Death of Ian Smith

Although a relative unknown today, back in the sixties and seventies Ian Smith received a huge amount of press coverage following the then state of Rhodesia declaring independence unilaterally back in the sixties. This led to an on-going dispute over sanctions that lasted many years including many negotiations that collapsed

Like apartheid South Africa this caused a huge amount of strife within the country. Thankfully it was eventually resolved and that free elections took place(though unfortunately we now have the obnoxious Robert Mugabe). However the system of government practised by Rhodesia was unacceptable and treating people on the basis of the colour of their skin is abhorrent.

Thankfully the era of discrimination as practiced by Rhodesia and South Africa is over but it's also important to remember that many people were denied the vote on the basis of race, democracy should always be open to all and not just the few. The record of Ian Smith is denying that right for so long was unacceptable. Likewise the behaviour of Robert Mugabe today against white people in Zimbabwe is just as abhorrent.

4 Comments:

Anonymous kato said...

what you say is true, about both smith and mugabe.

5:23 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The people who suffer most from Mugabe are the black people of Zimbabwe - trade unionists, campaigners for civil liberties, churchmen and those outside Mugabe's tribal power base. Many of the whites have left - most of the blacks don't have the resources to do so.

1:23 pm  
Anonymous Anton Foljambe said...

Your comments indicate that, to some extent, you have bought into the negative propaganda against Mr. Smith. It is important to remember that, unlike the apartheid regime in Sth Africa, Smith's Rhodesian Front government never denied anyone the vote on the basis of race. Blacks participating in the official economy had the right to vote, and many of them did. There were Black opposition MPs in Parliament while Mr. Smith was Prime Minister. These facts are conveniently overlooked by his detractors. At the end of the day, the fact remains that what he was fighting to prevent was the very chaos inflicting Zimbabwe today. Dictatorships and corruption are not the exception in Africa, they are endemic. Full marks to Mr. Smith for trying to prevent that in Rhodesia, and shame on the British, Americans, and South Africans for bringing him down.

10:20 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ian Smith's tenure of power may have been sided mainly to the 250,000 whites though it did give many africans jobs,education and some health care-Mugabe's reign has concentrated on himself alone and the few thousand around him required to protect and serve him.Political views in the 60's and 70's differ a lot to today's thoughts and comments.The UK didnt have Race Discrimination Policy untill the mid 70's.RIP Ian Smith

12:05 am  

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