How Britain ended apartheid (updated)

by | Mar 4, 2010

More disgraceful drivel from Con Coughlin, who is still employed by the Telegraph as its “executive foreign editor” (yep, there’s a story behind that job title).

Coughlin – last noted on Global Dashboard cheerleading for torture – hopes that the Queen gave South African president, Jacob Zuma, “a lesson in etiquette.”

About the only good thing that can be said about South African President Jacob Zuma’s State visit to Britain is that he might learn some lessons about how to conduct himself in public.

Just why the Labour government thought it a good idea to extend an invitation to the legendary philanderer, who loves nothing more than to prance around a stage in tribal dress waving a machine-gun, is something of a mystery…

Having been exposed to the brilliant pageantry that Britain puts on for visiting heads of state, and the quiet dignity with which the Queen conducts herself on such occasions, one sincerely hopes that the experience will give Mr Zuma pause for thought. Mr Zuma is, after all, the head of state of a country with a rich and proud history, something that should be reflected in the dignity of his office.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Coughlin goes on to accuse Zuma of a lack of gratitude to the UK. And what should be thank us for? Nothing more than the end of white majority rule in South Africa.

Yes – according to Coughlin – “It was Britain’s opposition to South Africa’s apartheid regime that eventually allowed his ANC freedom movement to seize power.”

Update: A good time to recall Coughlin’s track record helping MI6 plant stories in the press, and his work fuelling the rumour that Saddam was behind 9/11.


  • David Steven is a senior fellow at New York University, where he founded the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children and the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, a multi-stakeholder partnership to deliver the SDG targets for preventing all forms of violence, strengthening governance, and promoting justice and inclusion. He was lead author for the ministerial Task Force on Justice for All and senior external adviser for the UN-World Bank flagship study on prevention, Pathways for Peace. He is a former senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-author of The Risk Pivot: Great Powers, International Security, and the Energy Revolution (Brookings Institution Press, 2014). In 2001, he helped develop and launch the UK’s network of climate diplomats. David lives in and works from Pisa, Italy.

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