Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Nelson's victory

I've just been over to Parliament Square for the unveiling of the Long-awaited statue of Nelson Mandela, a worthy initiative to which I donated money years ago. Londoners will probably be familiar with the history of legal wranglings over whether it should be placed in Trafalgar Square or not. Personally I think the actual site chosen in Parliament Square opposite the Houses of Parliament is more prestigious and fitting. Trafalgar Square honours Lord Nelson and other military victories. But In his new setting, Mandela now stands proudly alongside other world political statesmen whose victories have been more profound- Abraham Lincoln, the American President who freed the slaves; and Winston Churchill, who led Britain in standing alone against fascism. Mandela himself made a moving speech after the unveiling recalling how he had visited Westminster Abbey in the 60s and wondered if there would ever be a statue of a black person nearby. Well, he's got his answer now. London salutes you, sir.

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