19 June 2010
Opening Pandora’s Apartheid box – Part 19- The Role of the Commonwealth
By Mike Smith
19 June 2010
As we have seen most of the hatred of South Africa came from hypocritical nations at the communist platform known as the UN, but the UN was only one such an assembly for the hypocrites of the world where they could spew their Nelson-eyed poison against South Africa. The British Commonwealth was another.
Today there are many who claim victory over Apartheid. The former Anti Apartheid Movement (AAM) is one of them. They also claimed that one of their biggest achievements was to get South Africa kicked out of the Commonwealth. Their role was important but if we have to single out a person to be credited for this, then it has to be John Diefenbaker of Canada.
Separating myths and truths, we have to get a few things strait first. South Africa was not kicked out of the Commonwealth, she forcibly withdrew, but let us look at the historical events that led to it.
On October 5, 1960, South Africa's white voters decided to make the country a republic and replace the British monarchial constitution with a Republican one. It was expected of Commonwealth members to re-apply for membership whenever they changed their form of government. Many people feared that the Afro-Asian countries in the Commonwealth would vote against South Africa and vote for her expulsion.
There is nothing wrong with rejecting the British Monarchial system and adopting a Republican constitution. India did it as well and was admitted again into the Commonwealth despite the discriminatory caste system of the country, but as could be expected, nobody ever lets a chance go by without taking a few swipes at South Africa.
The Commonwealth is suppose to be a family of nations, where the focus should be on points of agreement rather than disagreement.
The history of the Commonwealth goes back to about 1880 when the South African statesman John X. Merriman first used the term “Commonwealth” to refer to a future group of former colonies of the British Empire in their relationship with Britain. In 1905 He wrote to Jan Smuts describing his idea of a “Commonwealth of Nations” of which South Africa would be a member along with countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
Smuts with his personal philosophy of “Holism” immediately liked the idea. Ultimately Smuts would have many pet projects such as the unification of the two Boer Republics and the British colonies of Natal and the Cape into a unified South Africa, the Commonwealth, the charter and formation of the League of Nations and ultimately the charter for the United Nations that the Boer general and later Prime minister of South Africa almost single handedly wrote himself. The only alterations were basically the removal of “God” from his original draft.
I have no doubt that Smuts meant well and that he had sincere and good intentions, unfortunately he was what Vladimir Lenin called, a “Useful Idiot”. He found out quickly in 1946 at the very first UN assembly how his baby would be used against him and his country, South Africa.
Nevertheless, the Balfour declaration of 1926 as well as the Statute of Westminster in 1934 ensured equality for South Africa at the Commonwealth along with Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
Before, during and for some time after WW2, the Commonwealth functioned well. These founding members and independent nations retained deep seated family ties with Britain and mutual interests with each other.
Then came along, Pakistan, India, and Jamaica (and all the ex British Caribbean islands), Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Malaysia, Singapore, Uganda, Gambia, etc…and a new club of hypocrites, intolerant to views differing with their own emerged.
At about this time, the conservative Prime minister of Canada, John Diefenbaker was quite adamant against any ousting of South Africa from the Commonwealth until the largely anti-Apartheid Canadian press started working him into a tight corner and intimidating him.
In his book, “A skunk amongst Nations”, Les de Villiers describe what happened on page 47,48.
It was going to be the tenth Commonwealth Prime Ministers’ conference in London…
“On the day of Diefenbaker`s departure from Ottawa to attend that fateful Commonwealth meeting in March 1961 a three column photograph of the doyen of the press corps in Canada, Charles Lynch, appeared in the local press. In his hand he held a black ball. The caption read: “Black Ball ends Crystal Balling”. Students planned to hand the black ball to Diefenbaker at Ottawa airport, it was stated, so that he could drop it in the lap of the South African delegation at the Commonwealth conference. They were prevented from doing so by Royal Canadian Air Force guards, and Charles Lynch took over the mission.” – Les de Villiers, “A skunk amongst nations”.
At the Prime Ministers' Conference in 1961, Verwoerd formally applied for South Africa to remain in the Commonwealth. The prime ministers were divided. Diefenbaker broke the deadlock by proposing that the conference not reject South Africa's application, but instead states in a communiqué that racial equality was a principle of the Commonwealth. This was adopted, although Britain and New Zealand disagreed with Diefenbaker's proposal. South Africa could not accept the communiqué. At that conference, the Afro Asians commanded six of the eleven votes, but it was not necessary for Nigeria, Malaya, Ceylon, India and Pakistan to cast their votes. South Africa withdrew its application and exits the Commonwealth.
According to Peter Newman, this was "Diefenbaker's most important contribution to international politics ... Diefenbaker flew home, a hero."
The “Vancouver Sun” praised Diefenbaker, “The Telegram” exclaimed, “The Commonwealth has been saved”…
This is the same Diefenbaker who a few months before steadfastly refused to be a party to South Africa’s expulsion.
At this same time hypocritical Canada had severe restrictions on immigrants of colour other than “White” and treated their Indian and Eskimo (Inuit) people as second class citizens worse than South Africa ever treated her indigenous blacks…But it did not stop this hypocrite Diefenbaker to issue a Declaration of Human rights and distribute it freely to schools.
As so many true believers and so called experts in this field, Diefenbaker’s, doctrine of human rights was, however, an abstract one…the condition of underprivileged Eskimos and Indians in Canada remained unchanged,
The same can be said for the way Australia treated their Aborigines and New Zealand treated their Maoris…Any of these nations could equally have been vilified and kicked out of the Commonwealth for the very same reasons they had against South Africa, but it was just South Africa’s time... The time of the other nations will still come.
And what about those nations that opposed South Africa? How did they fare? India had millions of “Untouchables” in her rigid caste system. Ceylon had the stateless Tamils, Ghana was a dictatorship and Nigeria was on the verge of a bloody clash between her major tribes called the Biafran war.
Dr Vervoerd said to the Indian Prime Minister during the deliberations, “Within ten years we will stamp out illiteracy on the part of our blacks, but you won’t do so in fifty years”.
Verwoerd was obviously speaking about the now hated “Bantu Education” system that saw the blacks of Africa propelled to the highest literacy standards on the entire African continent.
But Karma is a bitch and she came to visit the ones who ganged up on the pious Boers of South Africa.
Two years later, Diefenbaker lost the general election in Canada and was reduced to an opposition back bencher. In a night of terror, the Nigerian Prime Minister Tafewa Balewa, and his trusted aides ended up in shallow graves near Lagos. The Biafran war followed in Nigeria and claimed more than two million lives. Kenya and Uganda expelled tens of thousands of Indians. India and Pakistan fought over borders…and in Bangladesh another few hundred thousand victims were claimed.
Back in Canada in 1966, the new Prime Minister Lester Pearson was already loading and setting up the guns against the latest problem namely Rhodesia and he wanted to “Crush White Supremacy” there.
It is not often that a staunch liberal comes up for South Africa, but after the Ottowa summit an American liberal journal asked Professor John Hutchinson (John Hopkins University) to write an article about the 12 day Commonwealth parley…said he…
“You asked for my observations on the proposal, made at the last Commonwealth summit, for a Commonwealth Force to be stationed in Rhodesia for ten years to keep the peace and, presumably, to usher in a democratic age…The mind expands at the idea. General Amin of Uganda could administer massacres. Prime Minister Forbes Burnham of Guyana might give a course on inter-racial affection. Prime Minister Errol Barrow of Barbados, who apparently is not afraid of bloodshed in Rhodesia, could advise on the maffia consessions, a major perk in the Carribean. I do not quite know what Prime Minister Gough Whitlam of Australia might do, since he is busy analyzing other governments, but perhaps he could squeeze in a lecture on “Apects of Aboriginal Freedom”: it would not take long, since there are only aspects to deal with…”
Yes dear reader…This is what we call “Politics of the absurd” as we have seen at the UN and the Commonwealth as well with the Canadian press, but such is the power of the press and so called democracy of the UN and its Mini-Me, the Commonwealth. Today we hold “Democracy” as the highest value of the Western World, but thanks to “Democracy” we have Hamas, a Fundamentalist Islamic Terrorist organization in charge of the Palestinians. Thanks to democracy Hitler was voted into power. Thanks to democracy we have a Black Marxist terrorist government in South Africa…The will of the majority rules the world they say…
Let me remind you that it was the overwhelming majority that cried: “Release, Barabbas!”…