Friday, July 1, 2011


Alright, who compared me - unfavourably - to Nelson Mandela? Shame on you.

I mean, kudos to him for his taste in shirts, but for anything else? Nah, never a man I'd ever be happy to be compared with.

Having read a vast amount by, and about, the man, I am still lacking a coherent explanation as to why he chose to adopt a path of violent as opposed to non-violent struggle.  Mandela doesn't appear to place a high value on human life.

And in prison, he plotted and schemed, yet all the while failing to resist his jailers.  200 years after slavery was abolished and he happily consented to be marched to the quarry every day.

Pah! Mandela... now, Mitchnik on the other hand...


  1. Perhaps because sitting down saying "Please stop oppressing me" wasn't doing the job?

  2. Yeah, all very well Ben, but what a fantastic song "Free Nelson Mandela" was by Special AKA. Who knows what the future holds, we might all be singing your song one day Ben :D xx

  3. '..failing to resist his jailors' LOL

    In this risibly unbalanced contest ---I'm with Mandela

    (1) Great humility
    (2) Empathy for his captors
    (3) Political prisoner
    (n) Wouldn't have stayed in just for fun

  4. Mandela showed that prison and reabilitation works, since his release he has been an asset to SA society and not reoffended

  5. Anon 12.42, Mandela was a political prisoner, society offended against him and he changed society (apartheid South Africa), not the other way around.

  6. Anon July 1, 2011 7:18 PM: you say Mandela wouldn't have stayed in just for fun, but he was offered his freedom in 1985 if he 'unconditionally rejected violence as a political weapon'' He refused to do so and stayed in jail 'just for fun' till 1990.

    As a terrorist he was responsible indirectly for countless deaths and human rights abuses.

    He also presided over the transition of South Afica from a 1st world country to a third world country.

    Makes Bens childhood crime and refusal to follow a few petty rules pretty insignificant.

  7. As I see it, Mandela was doing what he could to oppose a deeply corrupt regime that ruled only to the extent that it was able to divide. It maintained and administered this by lies and sheer brutality. When it could no longer do so, it collapsed and Mandela’s deeply impressive human qualities saved the country when it could so easily have gone completely pear-shaped.

    I see no parallel with prisoner Ben. None at all.

    As for Ben’s crime ----that was long ago, committed when he was nothing but a kid, and should be allowed to have no further stigmatic impact on his life once he’s out.

    But that’s not how life works, in or out ….especially in these days of rampant & unrestrained lowest common denominator yellow press. (Owned by, and serving the interests of, the very folks most likely to see Mandela as the above poster’s ‘terrorist’).


    I don’t understand that. So whether he liked it and saw it as fun or not ----he’s still there.

    I suspect this blog of his is not helping his cause ---encouraging as it does an attitude to prison authority that seems devoid of any empathy for the folks administering it, and also positively unkind to them when they have to cope with his remarkably immature posturing ‘revolts’.

    In prĂ©cis ----Mandela’s a hero. Ben’s an ordinary fella just like me. I absolutely fail to see why some posters here think there’s more to him than that.

    What would I do??? ---I’d grow up, man up, and allow myself to be released.

    In fact I’d have done that donkeys years ago (like most everyone else in that predicament).

  8. "Allow myself to be released"? What on this blog has given you the idea that he actually wants to stay in? Methinks you are misreading him.

  9. I'm going by what he's done while clinked not by what he's apparently saying now


    So he doesn't at some instrumental level want to stay in?????

    ----Then how on earth has he got to be still incarcerated!)

    I just absolutely do not get that. Do you?

  10. Anonymous 11.24 please try to be more understanding, it is complicated I don't deny that, but have you ever met anyone whose life story isn't complicated?

    What happens in the future will not be the same as what happened in the past, so give Ben a break.

    We all deserve and need support from one another and it costs nothing to give

  11. Anon, 11.24 please read

  12. In the end Mandela's actions lead to a relatively peacefull (by African standards anyway) transition to a country without the obsenity called aparteid and domocratic majority rule.

    All you have achieved if getting yourself a longer sentence. I am not saying that the length of your sentence is justified, but my point still stands.

  13. RE:::::
    Anon, 11.24 please read

    Thank you, I have done as you suggested and read that post.

    I hope you get out and continue with normal life soon...I just wish you'd play the game a bit more than you have in the past. I'm intrigued by PhD and wonder what area it is to be in. My youngest kid has just finished his A levels and is holding an offer for BSc criminology at uni. Are you perhaps in the same field? I did a law degree an age ago, but changed to medicine.

    I wish you well.

    Best of luck to both of you. (Remember though, that life on the outside is routinely quite awful for very many folks ---the ref to depression got me thinking a bit.)

    Be good!


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