Conservative Morality? - Jonathan Aitken, Jeffrey Archer and now Cecil Parkinson
Last week Channel 4 showed a documentary about Parkinson's ex-mistress Sarah Keays, and their daughter Flora, a young lady who suffers from a number of medical problems, quite apart from the circumstances of her birth and life until she reached her 18th birthday recently.
If there was ever any doubt (and in my mind there never was), it is now brutally clear how outrageous was, and is, the behaviour of Cecil Parkinson, a sad excuse for a human being. It appears that not only did he behave like 'a cad and a bounder' (I've wanted to use that phrase for a long time, here's a perfect opportunity) prior to Flora's birth, but he used every legal resource open to him to almost literally excise the young Flora's existence, even to the extent of having an injunction taken out which forbade her from, amongst many other things, even appearing in group photographs at her school.
After a relatively brief period in the political wilderness, this person was brought back into the inner fold of Conservative politics by an [apparently] adoring Margaret Thatcher - her judgement must now be regarded as seriously flawed.
The cases of Jonathan Aitken and Jeffrey Archer are equally blatant cases of turning a blind eye to the moral shortcomings of senior people, provided they seem capable of bringing advantage to the Party. It would be slightly less sickening, perhaps, if the Conservative party did not seem so often to set itself up as a moral arbiter for things which it finds objectionable. Hypocrisy! Hypocrisy! Hypocrisy!
The Commonwealth and Zimbabwe (14 January 2002)
Why hasn't Zimbabwe been suspended from the Commonwealth?
Other countries in their time have not had such a lenient attitude taken in their cases; Nigeria's membership was suspended for a number of years, whereas South Africa (the old South Africa) was expelled, but gladly welcomed back when the discriminatory policies followed under the 'apartheid' regime were superseded by a democratically-elected government. Could it be because the tyrant who runs Zimbabwe started out a Marxist and that, as a "socialist brother", our own dear Government is unable to face up to the fact that he must be forced to comply with the agreement he made last year to halt the activities of the so-called 'veterans' who can more accurately be described as 'thugs' - and which he has quite simply ignored?
In his latest attempts to thwart the efforts of those who oppose him politically, a tame parliament in Harare has passed legislation outlawing all dissent. The foreign media is likely to be next. The army has stated that if Mr Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change wins the upcoming election they will refuse to accept the result and maintain Mr Mugabe in power.
The Commonwealth has vaccilated for far too long with regard to Zimbabwe and our own Government has been lamentably lacking in the will to exert pressure upon it. It appears that the threat of sanctions by the European Union, and a ban on travel to member countries by members of the Zimbabwe government, may finally have caused the Zimbabwe authorities to reconsider - although it is by no means clear that they will comply with the terms of any undertakings they may give, if the belligerent stance taken by Mr Mudenge (Foreign Minister of Zimbabwe) at an EU meeting in Brussels last week is any guide.
Whatever the other problems Zimbabwe may have had in recent years, nobody there, however disadvantaged, has been short of the basic food necessary for survival. The country has traditionally been the food-basket of many southern African nations - no longer, as the political and economic mismanagement which has been accelerating in recent years has severely disrupted the agricultural production of the country and pauperised many people who are now too poor to purchase what remains available.
(You can read my comments just after the announcement of the election results in mid-March 2002 by clicking here.)
Copyright © 2002 William Cameron