Nelson Mandela has been honoured by a big statue in Parliament Square, alongside Abraham Lincoln, Jan Smutts and Churchill, a president who freed the slaves, a S.A. Prime Minister who championed slavery and a British Prime Minister who would have embraced Apartheid given the chance.
Mandela recalled a visit to Parliament Square as a young man with his great comrade Oliver Tambo when they laughingly joked that it would be wonderful to have a statue in Parliament Square some day of a black person, now it's come true and it's him.
From the dock as a young man before sentencing he said he was prepared to die for his beliefs, what followed was long years of brutal imprisonment which he of course survived and triumphed over.
He was instrumental in overthrowing the evil of Apartheid and he also inspired people all over the world to fight injustice.
For years we attended marches and demo's as well as boycotting S.A. goods, we wore little blue badges with the simple message 'Free Nelson Mandela' everywhere you went people would see others wearing these badges and exchange a greeting or sometimes just a nod or a smile, it was like some kind of international brotherhood a world wide movement for a great man against a great evil.
I remember that at the time of his imprisonment the Young Conservatives dressed up in 'T' shirts which bore the legend 'Hang Nelson Mandela' some of these braying morons became quite prominent and some still are.
I hope the great man, like me, was thinking about them today.
One of them was the awful Ian Hamilton Tory MP who had a crime named after him, a financial bribe contained in a brown envelope became known as a 'Hamilton' very fitting for the party inspired by Arthur Daly.
Mandela will now always be a part of Britain with this statue, I took my oldest daughter Clare to see him and hear him speak on a wet Glasgow day I held her on my shoulders in the large crowd, and now I'm so proud that I did, some day she might tell her Grandchildren that her father took her to see and hear one of the greatest men of the 20 Th. century.