Notes from underground

يارب يسوع المسيح ابن اللّه الحيّ إرحمني أنا الخاطئ

The honourable thing to do?

There have been several comments in the blogosphere, such as Peter Hain sets an example, giving kudos to Peter Hain for resigning over corruption allegations.

Some of the comments have pointed out that he was an anti-apartheid activist from a youthful age. At the age of 15 he gave the graveside oration at the funeral of John Harris, the executed Johannesburg station bomber, because his parents, Waller and Adele Hain, were banned and unable to do so.

Peter Hain

A couple of years ago many former members of the Liberal Party of South Africa (which was forced by the SA government to disband in 1968) wrote to Peter Hain deploring his failure to speak out against Tony Blair’s plans to introduce 90-day detention in Britain, plans which Gordon Brown has not abandoned.

If Peter Hain had resigned over that, it might have been some credit to him.

Pat McKenzie, the former secretary of the Liberal Party, told the story of Peter Hain being introduced at a political meeting in the UK as a radical activist, or words to that effect. A voice came from the back of the hall, “used to be.”

It was his mother.


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5 thoughts on “The honourable thing to do?

  1. Elliot on said:

    Ouch! His own mother!

  2. SamSly on said:

    Hain has much more to answer for than that. In spite of warnings of that SA did not need the arms and that the deal was opening the door to corruption, he was very helpful in brokering the arms deal for the ANC. The huge “black empowerment” spin-offs were ploughed into the ANC’s election fund and some private bank accounts.

    The whole nasty story can be tracked in, starting with:
    Economists Allied For Arms Reduction (ECAAR-SA), Nov 2002 – 01/04/2008
    Terry Crawford-Browne (chairman)
    British minister’s role in S.A. arms deal.

  3. 6000 on said:

    So he resigns over the corruption allegations. Damn right he should. But kudos? How about kudos for not doing it in the first place? Just another example of “new” Labour lurching from one disaster to another.

    Much like our very own ANC. Or are they?

  4. Malcolm on said:

    I think the truth is that he had no option, other than to resign. When I recall my admiration for his anti-apartheid activities, whilst involved in the Young Liberals (in the UK), I am quite disgusted with many of the actions he has supported as a member of the neo-Thatcherite Labour Party.

    I doubt he even knows the meaning of the word ‘principle’ these days!

  5. Steve Hayes on said:


    You knew the Hains, and I didn’t, so you’re probably in a better position to interpret Adelaine Hain’s behaviour than I am.

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