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PC10 - South Africa
The Tory Party's has been so thoroughly rotten on the issue of Apartheid for decades - whether it's been refusing to take the Anti-Apartheid Movement seriously for years, tolerating obscenely racist comments from backbenchers about the hero Nelson Mandela, or the backroom promises that The Financial Times alleged one former Tory Prime Minister made to the husband of another that he would endeavor to protect the position of the racially privileged in that country while in office. A party that gives refuge to those who harbour racist views with regard to South Africa should be ashamed of itself and has no right to comment on the principled actions of those who've spent years fighting for justice and emancipation in South Africa. It's nice that some Tory ministers think that hastily applying last minute sanctions renders them champions of justice, but the reality is that these measures and more were needed years ago.
Tommy Dawson
Labour MP for Sheffield Brightside (1979-Present)
Socialist Campaign Group. 9 XP. 15 Marx Visits. Media Darling, Campaign Guru, Issue Champ (Econ Equality)
Deputy Leader (1990-1992), Shadow Chancellor (1990-1992), The Most Dangerous Man in Britain (1992)
The Opposition can talk about the past as much as they want to, but it is this Government that is taking the concrete action to put pressure on the South African government to return the former Prime Minister so that he can face the British justice system. We have been clear that no country which harbours potential suspects, that seeks to disrupt our justice system, and that violates our sovereignty will get away scot-free.  Yet we have no idea if Labour or the Liberal Democrats support such action: the former prefer to talk about the Financial Times and the latter just left the House of Commons. Despite the apparent lack of support from the Opposition, the Government will continue to take action to return the former PM to Britain.
The Chancellor just asserted that this Government has absolutely no preconditions on the removal of sanctions. Even if South Africa emerged from negotiations tomorrow as an equal society under the leadership of Nelson Mandela and returned the traitorous former Prime Minister to face trial in Britain there is no guarantee that sanctions will be lifted. It's clear that this Government is making up policy on South Africa as it goes with no underlying strategy toward ending Apartheid and promoting human rights. Myerscough, Westcott and the rest of them only want to seem tough in the press and mediate squabbles between the wealthy and powerful - I'm not surprised given their party's horrendous record on Apartheid and fundamental lack of interest in seeing its end.
Tommy Dawson
Labour MP for Sheffield Brightside (1979-Present)
Socialist Campaign Group. 9 XP. 15 Marx Visits. Media Darling, Campaign Guru, Issue Champ (Econ Equality)
Deputy Leader (1990-1992), Shadow Chancellor (1990-1992), The Most Dangerous Man in Britain (1992)
This Government's policy on South Africa is a dismal indictment as to the state of foreign relations under  the Conservatives. It is abundantly clear that the policy of the Conservatives over the last decade, to work with the racist South African regime rather than exerting pressure on them, continues.

This latest tiptoe into internationalism is a thinly veiled attempt to look strong on an unpopular regime; a regime that for the last decade the Government have supported. It is obvious to anyone paying attention that years of oppression of the black majority has not moved the upper echelons of the Tories half as much as their embarrassment over the former PM.

The Conservative policy in South Africa is a rudderless ship. The Foreign Secretary is allowing this country to bend and twist in the political wind to suit his cynical attempt to increase the popularity of the Government.

The British public and the Labour Party have called for tougher action on apartheid for a decade. The Tories ignored it. There is no strategy here. The Foreign Secretary has just stood in the House of Commons and admitted that there are no agreed outcomes for their sanctions policy; no conditions, no endgame. He said they have no direction at all for how this policy should go next, with the Government frequently having to decide on the day if sanctions should get stronger, weaker, stay or go. That isn’t a strategy, that's panic.

The Prime Minister has claimed that these sanctions will remain in place while it is in the British interest to do so. I consider it in the British interest to end apartheid.

It is in the British interest to promote freedom and justice and equality. It is in the British interest to challenge oppression, injustice and inequality. It is in the British interest to use our remaining stature, limited though it is under this failing Government, to be a positive influence on the world. It is in the British interest to save black lives, not just save face.

It is not in the British interest to conduct international espionage. It is not in the British interest to promote KGB agents into the upper echelons of power. It is not in the British interest to reduce Government to a culture of pettiness and leaks.

The British public will take no lectures from this Government on what is in the British interest.
Gruffydd Rhys Morrison MP
Leader of the Labour Party
Member for Easington
Biography  | XP: 7 | Traits: Safe pair of hands
Issue Champion: Britain’s place in the world
The government are taking clear and decisive action on South Africa, and the opposition has had the opportunity to come down on the side of right and firmly back us on these sanctions. Instead, the Labour and Liberal parties have chosen to engage in parliamentary stunts which contribute nothing and undermine us when we need to present a united front. We've been very clear in our demands with South Africa: you will obey the rule of law and return our fugitive ex Prime Minister, or we will respond with everything in our power to ensure the law and order is respected. It's up to South Africa whether they play ball or not. However, when it came to Parliamentary scrutiny over this, what did the opposition do? They responded with tantrums in Parliament, with Tommy Dawson deliberately getting himself kicked out of Parliament just to show his contempt for the place, with Alex Cardigan's Liberals taking the opportunity to abdicate their duty to represent their constituents to walk out in solidarity with this childish strop. We as a government have committed to undoing the mistakes of the past. Two former Home Secretaries are in prison, and a third was hung. Marcus Macbeath will join these lot, I am sure, but until South Africa hand him over, and the opposition stop this nonsense, we'll keep the pressure up.
Phoebe S. Lynch
Member of Parliament for Tynemouth (1987 - present)
Member of the Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee
Conservative and Unionist Party
When I began to study South African history in uni, one of the first things I noted was the similarities of the lives of the black working-class there to the British working-class. We say that there is "power in a union," and their history proves why we say that - without a union, without the democratic power afforded to white people, the black population of South Africa has been taken advantage of.

Marcus Drummond-MacBeath is a coward and should face justice in this country. But when that happens, we should not remove our sanctions. We are told that "no one is free until all are free" - the Apartheid system grew out of the oppressive work systems imposed on South Africans at the turn of the century. All people deserve equal treatment under the law and a law that protects them from being taken advantage of. The South African government has abused the human rights of their black citizens for too long. If we're going to protest Sadaam, we should protest de Klerk as well.
James McCrimmon
Leader of the Labour Party (1990-Present)
Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition (1990-Present)

Member of Parliament for Glasgow Pollok (1970-Present)
Traits: Campaigning Guru, 2XP

Formerly Shadow Solicitor General (1972-1974), Attorney General (1974-1979), Shadow Attorney General (1979-1980), Shadow Health Sec (1981-1983), Shadow Environment Sec (1984-1987), Shadow Employment Sec (1987-1989), Shadow Social Security Sec (1989-1990)
This was never going to be easy for the Government and therefore a clear Opposition win is no surprise.

The Government put up a fair fight but they’re on the defensive and struggle to get beyond the attacks from the Opposition about sanctions, previous statements from their MPs on South Africa and the reaction to the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party being ejected from the Commons in protest.

Of the many Opposition attacks, Tommy Dawson leads the way given his role at the centre of the story. His commentary appeals to his base and those sympathetic to him being ejected from the Commons, notably with his soundbite about the former Prime Minister. 

Additional lines that resonated and cut-through included Ruth Murphy's comment about Tory MPs viewing Mandela as a villain and Drummond-Macbeath as a hero, as well as the line from Alex Cardigan about Tory MPs being more interested in public school debates over the downfall of the South African regime.

1XP each for Murphy, Cardigan and Dawson.
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