10/12/2013 Newsnight


10/12/2013

In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Jeremy Paxman.


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Transcript


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Ffi Nelson Mandela won't be buried for a while yet, but today the world

:00:10.:00:17.

said goodbye to him. Was the spirit of reconciliation all too strong to

:00:18.:00:22.

prevent old enemies making up? President Obama and the Cuban leader

:00:23.:00:27.

shook hands. We discuss the significance of that handshake with

:00:28.:00:31.

the former Foreign Secretary Lord Owen. It will come to more and more

:00:32.:00:39.

of us, and there is no cure. He said on one occasion this is actually

:00:40.:00:45.

happening to me isn't it? And he used to describe feeling as if he

:00:46.:00:51.

only had half a head. We talk among others to Sir Terry Prachett as he

:00:52.:00:59.

feels dementia taken a ever-stronger grip on him. And is a super-max

:01:00.:01:06.

prison any place for a person who is mentally ill. We report from

:01:07.:01:11.

California. They know that this is inconsistent with mental health

:01:12.:01:22.

care, it will make people worse. It wasn't the final farewell but it was

:01:23.:01:29.

perhaps the last hurrah, the Johannesburg rain late, and apart

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from the boos that greeted the current South African President were

:01:34.:01:38.

good-natured and even joyous, the attendance of dozens of world

:01:39.:01:43.

leaders saw the memorial celebration for Nelson Mandela bounce around the

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world. We were there. It is high summer in Johannesburg, though you

:01:52.:01:54.

wouldn't know it. But they came even so, not to mourn but to celebrate

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Mandela's life. In that life the private and the public were

:02:00.:02:04.

interwoven. Winnie Mandela has led her whole life in the public gaze,

:02:05.:02:10.

she took her place alongside 100 foreign political leaders. Four

:02:11.:02:13.

British prime ministers came, past and present. And celebrities from

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showbiz, such was the breadth of Mandela's reach. Long live the

:02:19.:02:29.

spirit of Nelson Mandela, long live! Long live. Viva Nelson Mandela,

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viva. It was easy to forget in this atmosphere that there was family at

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the heart of this, the eyes of the world intruding on their private

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grief. Mandela's widow, Graca Machel, rarely left his side in the

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last months, she seemed utterly striken. The two women who loved

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Mandela not as a leader but a husband, were united in their loss.

:02:55.:03:01.

I apologise for the rain, in our African tradition, when it rains and

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you are buried it means that the gates of heaven are most probably

:03:06.:03:14.

open as well. Mandela liberated his people and gave them their voice. Mr

:03:15.:03:23.

Robert Mugabe. They cheered Robert Mugabe. But George W Bush whose Iraq

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War Mandela condemned was briefly booed. Tony Blair sat quietly at a

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distance. Barack Obama's sudden appearance lifted the mood

:03:42.:03:51.

dramatically. He stopped to shake the hand of Raul Castro of Cuba.

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This apparently friendly exchange after 50 years of enmity. He seemed

:03:58.:04:02.

to identify personally with the experience of many black people here

:04:03.:04:07.

and he quoted Mandela liberally. And we know he shared with millions of

:04:08.:04:13.

black and coloured South Africans the anger bourne of a thousand

:04:14.:04:18.

sleights, a thousand inat thissingties, a thousand

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unremembered moments, a desire to fight the system that imprisoned my

:04:22.:04:27.

people, he said. In strong uncompromising language he laid down

:04:28.:04:31.

this challenge to political leaders both at home and assembled here

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today. There are too many people who happily embrace Madiba's legacy of

:04:37.:04:41.

reconciliation but passionately resist even modest reforms that

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would challenge poverty and growing inequality. There are too many

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leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba's struggle for

:04:54.:04:55.

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