Obituary: Nelson Mandela, by George Galloway

by philapilus
George Galloway

‘It’s not all about me, you know’

English: Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, Gaute...


Like everyone else I was shocked and saddened this morning to learn of the death of Nelson Mandela, a man whom I can honestly say I admired almost as much as he admired me.

The passing of a titan from the world’s stage leaves us all the poorer, especially those of us titans remaining, and I want to take a moment to reflect on Mandela’s amazing life and incredible achievements.

“A man whose entire being was devoted to struggling for fairness and equality, a man who suffered for others, and bore his suffering in silence, a man who has fought and lived – whilst being willing to die – for an ideal” was how Nelson described me, in what must be one of the greatest judgements of character ever pronounced.

But he was not just a great judge of greater men. His is a name which, like ‘Galloway’ – or even just ‘George’ – will forever live amongst us as one associated with change, with peace, with a resounding ‘NO’ to illegitimate authority, and with an indefatigibility worthy of saluting.

Whilst the political world was held in the grip of cruel and crude racial segregation, people like Nelson Mandela were utterly crucial in assisting with the works of change that I was busy bringing about.

The ending of apartheid was one of the greatest achievements in 20th century history. It is something of which its author must be justly proud, and it is not only the entire African continent, but the whole of humanity- those alive now, and those who are yet to come – that owes a huge debt to Nelson, for helping me to achieve it.

In a way, his story is a by-no-means-negligible footnote to my own.

I am, above all, a humble man, but I like to feel that, in his martyrlike way, Mandela mirrored much of my own character. My cause was his cause, and I want to ensure that he gets a little bit of the glory too, and that his funeral on Sunday 15th is not all just about me me me.

Above all I just want to say, on this, the day a truly superhuman spirit  wrote an obituary for another who departed this life; Thank You, Nelson Mandela. I could have done it without you, but you were really quite helpful.

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