tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 10, 2013 2:00am-4:01am EST
substantially reduce the risk and make a nice step in progress toward where we need to go. we made our aggressive recovering and resiliency efforts. groups developed a simulation you say patient to sure sure with 50ld be an attack organizations involved. it has developed a simulation called systemic strike which simulates a cyber attack in the payment area which is very effective as well. we have made really good clobbered last progress -- really good progress. we were the most engaged of the sectors to participate in its development of cybersecurity. we have also made some really nice progress in exposing the
ceos of the banking industry. the secretary of treasury was kind enough to hold a briefing in march that was an eye-opener for the ceos in terms of the risks. table -- the roundtable exposed the ceos in september. we are making a lot of progress in terms of pulling the industry together and making everyone aware and investing a lot of money on behalf of the industry to develop capabilities. help fromsk for some the council, we need to continue as the risks are becoming more substantial everyday. we need help in terms of ensuring the private sector and key government agencies are really cooperating.
we need to have more coordinated information coming from the intelligent -- intelligence toncies through treasury the industries to be able to effectively use and medicaid -- mitigate these efforts. when you help in declassifying information so that the information can be gotten to the banks. points a very important that one -- when carried out will reduce that risk. we need support from the telecommunication sector. what happens in these attacks is as all this information comes in from these attackers, it comes in through the internet and telecoms and the telecoms in many cases are the only ones who can really filter this malicious data and reduce the amount of data that is coming into the banks. the banks cannot shut down
because then they will be shutting down the support from all her clients. we need all their help. we need to work with government securityto expedite clearances. when he more people in the industry who a proper levels of clearance is so we can do a better job of protecting our clients and mitigating the risks. we suggest we continue and expand briefing to the industry. build a support and have a mechanism in place so that if a catastrophe occurs, we arty have the channels established to be able to take care of it. we need to work closely with the large banks but also the small banks out there. they really do not have the
capacity today that many of the large institutions have to be able to defend themselves and so we need to have a collaborative effort to work with intelligence and the telecoms and service providers to provide a protocol that can be developed that will allow us to standardize and make effective a way for the small banks to have defenses because we do not want to expose ourselves to the risks that a perpetrator could gain entry. that is very important. to continue to support effective cybersecurity legislation. we need to focus on information sharing that provides liability to protection. we have today some real limitations from illegals -- from a legal point of view. that needs to be clarified legislatively. i want to thank all of the council members and the
government agencies. everybody has been great in helping us a lot. we haven't had great support -- everybody is working really hard and has given us great support. i want to ask the council submitter -- consider making a task force that includes the city members and government help in that can really this copy has a battle -- comprehensive battle. we have made a lot of progress and have a long way to go. we are in this together and we have shared goals and i believe working together we can mitigate the risks and make this a safe place for our clients do business in the future. thank you. >> enqueue very much -- thank you very much. staff of thenk the regulatory agencies for the dedication to this issue and the work of the financial and
banking information and if the structure committee. i have been deeply involved in this since coming here. i was involved in cybersecurity before i got here. what is striking is when i meet with agencies or bankers, and that -- it doesn't matter if you are small or large, this is a issue on your radar. we have more progress to make. we need to work that the right people have the right clearances. that we have information flowing smoothly where it needs to. i think the point you make is remus the case -- is very much the case. at thetrying to work limit of what the executive order permits. i would like to invite for members of the council if there are questions or comments. >> thank you. consistsairman, which
of the federal reserve system and the state members of the state bas on committee, i thought it might be helpful to on what thete committee has been doing. the ff ice did establish a cybersecurity goal infrastructure working cruel and this primary goal is to comprehensively assess and analyze the security and resilience of financial institutions and technology service providers and to provide information to other entities. one of the primary objectives is to review current regulatory examinations to identify and address gaps.
one of the key issues that mr. king is highlighted. ffice has a long history and correlating policies related to information technology, business continuity landing and recovery, and has well-established programs for correlating the examination. it is particularly well-suited for this important task. other objectives of the working group include training, identifying the relevant skills and knowledge needed by examiners and gaps in examiner training. awareness to develop external outreach initiatives. information sharing -- augmenting maintaining relationships to enhance information sharing and calibration -- and collaboration. as a communication and coronation channel among our members in response to domestic
and international incidents capable of impacting the critical infrastructure security. these latter two areas i think of regarding information sharing are areas that i believe we can -- we canbenefit it. --- blatantly and if benefit. we are assisting smaller financial institutions in meeting cybersecurity challenges. this is why much of the initial focus of the working group will be geared tour at -- towards assessing how prepared committee banks, credit unions, and the critical service providers are to identify threats, protecting themselves and their customers, mitigating risks before attacks occur, and to respond to cyber attacks today in the future -- today and the future. the working group has already
developed plans for additional educational materials and training and conducting the aforementioned risks. i also want to recognize and thanks my colleagues and their staffs for the support they are providing on these initiatives which are in addition to their independent work that they do. finally, i want to underscore by mr. king that cybersecurity is an ongoing issue that demands" nation in partnership among all of the agencies including the critical role of the telik -- the telik communication sector and various financial market utilities. this is another area where treasury plays -- lays an important role. >> are there other comments?
if not, i would ask that we move to the next item on our agenda. thank you for those presentations information this an ongoing effort because it truly is an ongoing issue that we have to deal with and keep dealing with. thank you. item is to have a burner -- have dick burner give us analysis. >> i appreciate the opportunity to report to the council. today i will discuss three broad areas of our work. first i would ascribe tools we use to monitor threats to financial stability. a report on the assessment of those threats. i will report on financial data priorities and preliminary research we have done with data
and last i will report on data standard initiatives that are important. let me focus on the analysis and monitoring the financial stability. we developed a new tool to monitor threats. we have version 1.0 of that tool. risks.yzed functions of they are credit, funding, and contagion risks. we believe this functional breakdown is best suited to look at risks across the financial system. we quantify these risks with a mix of economic indicators, --ket indicative dax mark market indexes. limitations are the metrics we employ them on in this heat map are largely contemporaneous. we will put new indicators in this framework as a developed. for example, the connection between volatility and leverage
may offer insight. second, they do a loan may fail to capture emerging risks. we, lament the monitoring tools -- we complement the monitoring tools with development. some risks are hard to measure. operational risk is clearly one of those. we start by applying judgment what we will work to develop ways to better quantify these risks. informed by the sickening tool -- signaling tool will magnify the stability. three are familiar from that report. the threat of runs and fire sales in funding markets. the exposure of a sudden and unanticipated rise in interest rates given still high duration and high fixed income portfolio. third is exposure to shocks in a
low volatility environment. we discussed related forth risk which is a sudden shock to market liquidity. these are closely related in the occur together oftenly. it identifies her symptoms but also the cause. let me conclude this section by talking about our work. we delivered the work by the committee. it is aimed to inform the council's analysis of how that industries and activities can create risks and financial instability. i want to give you a brief update on how we are filling data gaps and mentioned some results on our data research. our process for addressing data gaps is three parts. first to identify data needs. second we catalog existing data to determine where the gas may be. prior tries those
gaps with council member organizations. probably reflects the needs to monitoring some of the risks i just described. repo markets and other transactions including security blending. mention the limoneira results -- preliminary results. these results confirm your intuition. first is an analysis of money fund investing which suggests the portfolio managing drove the decline in exposures over the past three years during the european crisis. in thes of activity market are banks arm marketmakers. more work is needed here to assess both sides of that market.
lastly we analyze hedge fund leverage and using those data collected under the forms. this work suggest that hedge funds were -- leverages are proportional to their assets. those are considered level three assets under accounting rules. that is a good thing under the limoneira basis -- preliminary basis. i know you all agree that data standards are important. we are making needed investments in the development and in their implementation. i focus on them today because work on development and implementation is needed and deserves roof -- deserves your support. it compares, hydrates, links data. they reduce collection costs and duplication. we do let -- developed a framework for promoting data standards. not surprisingly, key conclusion
standards should be adopted universally. we all need to use the same standards or translate one sat in -- one set uniquely to another. the global legal entity identifier initiative is a signature effort. identification of parties to financial transactions. collaboration from primary relators, some of who are members of the council. we are seeking broader implementation in u.s. financial reporting to sink efforts going on abroad. second, a universal mortgage identifier has long been needed. the collaboration is now paying off. from severalelp agencies here, we just published a concert paper. assesses characteristics it should have in the criteria for implementation.
cases, industry participants strongly favor the use of standards to help make your internal data and reporting activities coherent and efficient. our standards initiative covers a range of issues. dixon to collaboration of -- across council member organizations. first is the adoption of best dataices to like sensitive so that we can better assure them. collaboratep -- to to improve the standards of the quality of data collected and swap data suppositories. those are my remarks. i will be happy to take any questions. >> i would ask of other members have questions for him on the work. i think it is important work that you do.
that new body that was created out of dodd frank and the report that will be issued that we look for to -- we look forward to. i will ask one question. to the extent that you have now got a body of work behind you, does it give you a different view in terms of what the kinds of risks that we need to be analyzing are? it was designed to grade a mechanism to support this council's working kind of thinking a little bit outside the box -- looking ahead at the risks that may not come through each of the independent bodies independently. i ask you the question -- what are the things that you take away from the experiences you have had as being the most important takeaways? >> there are a lot of -- a lot of important work going on.
i think our job is to till in the gaps between the work that is going on among the agencies and to look across the financial system along with other council member organizations and agencies. some of the work that we're doing that relates to these granular data is really important. looking at the -- some of the risks in operational risk and the plumbing of the financial system are report and and we are starting to do some work on that along with others. looking at how the connections and liquidity and funding -- i talked a lot about those in what i just mentioned. i think that the connections between and among institutions and market participants are really important. it is the connections across the financial system that i think we need to focus on and that really enables us to look at the system as a whole. >> thank you.
if there are no further questions, i would just close with a matter of housekeeping business. look for a motion to improve the resolution of the minutes from the last council meeting on october 31. >> move. >> all in favor? >> aye. >> they are approved. unless there are other items that he won the like to raise, i would like to ask for motion to adjourn. second? i look forward to seeing everyone at the next meeting of this council. thank you. >> c-span -- we bring public a pair of events to -- from washington directly to you foring you in the room briefings and conferences and offering complete coverage of the u.s. house all as a public
service of private industry. we are c-span -- created by the cable tv industry and funded by your local cable or satellite provider. hd.you go watch is aus in >> president obama is reading a delegation to nelson mandela's memorial service that includes former presidents. the former president of south africa died last thursday. our coverage of the memorial will be on c-span2 tomorrow morning. we've also have live coverage of c-span radio and c-span.org. we will take your comments at #cspanchat and on facebook. british prime minister david cameron and other members of parliament celebrated the life of nelson mandela with a special tribute session.
join 100 worldl leaders in johannesburg at the memorial service. >> order. order. know how will wish to we intend to proceed today. the questions will be persona until -- postpone until next monday. the present list will be carried over. the table office will announce consequential changes shortly. this is a special day. a special tribute to a special statement -- nelson mandela. i hope that as many many -- as many members of possible can contribute. tributes may continue until 10 p.m.
there will be no end of day adjournment debate. the house will also wish to know that there will be an event to commemorate and celebrate the life and achievements of nelson mandela taking place in westminster hall at 2 p.m. on thursday. i called up prime minister. >> thank you, mr. speaker. nelson mandela was a towering feature -- figure in our lifetime. it is right that we meet in this parliament to pay tribute to his character, his achievements, and his legacy. the union and south african flags flew at half mast. they will do so again on the day of his funeral. condolence books have been organized by the south african high commission. this evening the deputy prime minister and i will fly to south africa to attend the memorial service in johannesburg and on
sunday, his royal highness, the prince of wales, will represent his country. everyone's thoughts are for the families of nelson mandela and the millions who were morning and today. when looking back over history, it can be easy to see victories over hatred as inevitable. receded, it seem as though a natural tide of as upwardsntinued away from brutality and darkness and toward something better. it is not so. progress is not handed down as a gift, it is one through struggle. the struggle of many women -- anmen and women who believe things can be better. nelson mandela was the embodiment of that struggle. he did not see himself as a helpless victim of history, he wrote it. we may never forget the evils of
apartheid. separate benches, separate buses, separate schools, even settled -- a separate pews in church. passed laws. all language of segregation that expressed inhumanity to man. nelson mandela struggle was made more active. his was a journey that spanned six decades from an activism in the 1940s and 50s through nearly four decades of incarceration. it led to the end of apartheid and his election to the highest office in south africa. it was a long walk to freedom. thererisoner in his cell, must've been times when nelson mandela felt that his fists were beating against the wall that would not be moved but he never wavered. as he famously said at his trial, he wanted to achieve the
ideal of a democratic and free society. it was also an ideal for which he was prepared to die for. even after long years of imprisonment, he rejected offers of freedom until he removed as they removed all the conditions. beliefas a believe in -- in human dignity, that no one was naturally superior than anyone else. as he said so powerfully when he came to speak in this parliament , in the end, the cries of the infant who died because of hunger or because a slid open it stomach will penetrate the noises of the city and it sealed windows and say, am i not human too? let me pay tribute to the members of this house who considered it a powerful part of their life's work not to rest
until the evil of apartheid was ended. mandela knew there was millions across the country who said no to apartheid in ways large and tall -- large and small. there can be no doubt that he had a real feeling of warmth for this country. he visited after his release from prison and the number times in the following years including a time when he spoke so memorably. mr. speaker, the character of nelson mandela will show not only in the determination which which he talked but in the grace in which he talked -- won. being in prison could've left him bitter. but perhaps the most remarkable chapter of his story is how we took the opposite path. he did choose innocence. jailerted his own former
to come to his presidential inauguration. he employed at his private sector a young woman who became his confidant. he rouses country behind a screen box in the most powerful gesture of reconsideration. his government pursued a policy of forgiveness. party officials were brought into his government of national unity. three conciliation -- the reconciliation committee were brave moves. his best -- is desperate hope was to have south africa at his heart. nos time of office showed less determination and stepping up the fight against aids. it has been one of the great honors of my life to go to south africa and meet mandela. i remember talking about this issue in his office and hearing his determination to ensure antiviral drugs reached all of those in need.
here is a man of 88 he would but imprisoned for decades you had the vision to see through the destructive attitudes towards aids in south africa. all these actions were marks of his and stored very -- of his extraordinary personal leadership. that country is on a former hopeful after that because of what nelson mandela did. there are signs of hope across the whole continent. mr. speaker, around the world there are already monuments existed of nelson and della. -- mandela. one part must be to radically -- rededicate ourselves to
eradicating poverty and conflict in africa and which are sore commitment -- hours or commitment make sure britain plays the whole part. it must be a lesson that he taught us that those -- there is dignity and work in every human being. an ounce of humility is worth more than a ton of might. lasting long-term change needs patience. that change can come with determination and sacrifice. it is with sadness that we meet here today to remember nelson mandela.
>> he is an enduring and unique symbol of courage, hope, and the fight against injustice. he teaches us the power of forgiveness showing no bitterness towards his captors that can be so much better if all of its people can be free. he demonstrates even to the most skeptical the power of people and politics to change our world . that is why we get here today. from a half of my party, i send my deepest condolences. the mandela family and all of the people of south africa, we mourn with them.
anay is not -- as opportunity to remember an extraordinary life. liberatedovement that a country. sacrifice of 27 years in prison. unable to attend his mother's funeral. a father unable to attend his son's. in the face of such oppression, his spirit never bent or broke. iner the chance of release 1985, after living 20 years in jail, on the condition that he give up the armed struggle, he refused. i cannot sell my birth weight -- birthright or sell the birthright of my people to be free, he said. person. remarkable
after he walked out of prison in 1990 in those scenes we all remember. his old comrade said, suffering can make it victims bitter but it can a noble to suffer. there can be nothing more noble than determining not to seek revenge but to seek reconciliation. negativity -- of magnimity. that is why he became not just a leader of a struggle, a truly could be described as a father of the nation. we honor him to because a struggle against injustice is a story that never ended. having been an activist who became president, he was a president who became an activist
once again. .ampaigning on causes we all knew somebody who wore his heroism with the utmost to nearly -- humility. as ancribed himself unemployed pensioner with a criminal record. tutumously said to desmond prettysed him, it is thick coming from a man who wears a dress in public. him to seek out not the most famous person in the room but the least. his warmth made every person he met walked taller. we honor a man who showed the true meaning of struggle, courage, and humanity. britain alsoe in to recognize the history of our
country is bound up with a struggle. in the spirit of true three conciliation, south africa was a british colony. becomeer, britain would the second headquarters of our movement in exile. the prime minister and i and thousands of other went to sign the condolence book on friday. it is easy for to forget now. the south africa house was not always such a welcoming place. you must also remember the hundreds of thousands of people who were part of the anti- apartheid movement. year after year, on the steps of that embassy when it seemed futile, the campaigners who marched in support of the struggle financially, culturally
him and in so many other ways. people people whose names we don't know for all the briton who were a part of that struggle. as well as those who will be etched in history including the leaders of the movement in britain and others. will allow me, those in my own party played such an important role like bob hughes, now in the house of lords. and so many, many more. speaker, it may seem onto a younger generation that apartheid survivors, all that it did now that it seems to be universally reviled all the world over. history is very different. because was highly unfashionable, often considered dangerous by those in authority and opposed by those in government.
the prime minister was right a few years ago and it's in the spirit of what nelson mandela talked up to acknowledge the truth about the past and to welcome the change that has come to pass. but also to honor his legacy by launching in every country including our own the battle against racial injustice that still needs to be one. we come here to honor the man, to acknowledge our history, and -- toor one final reason recognize and uphold the universal values which nelson mandela stood for. the dignity of every person a matter their color or creed value and respect for all and justice for all people the matter where they live and whatever oppression they may face. said, iandela himself am not a saint. i am a sinner who keeps on trying. his extraordinary life calls on
us all to keep trying. for nobler ideals, higher purposes, and for bigger and smaller politics. inspired by his example in the movement he led, we mourn his loss, we give thanks for his life, and we honor his legacy. >> here, here. >> mr. nick clegg. to bad our voice to the many tributes to nelson mandela, the father of modern south africa. our thoughts and condolences are with his loved ones, the people of south africa, and everyone around the world grieving his loss. mandela's message transcended the boundaries of andons, people, colors, creed. his character transcended boundaries, too. he was a politician but appeared to be free of politics.
he was a human being with a mischievous wit and yet seemed to rise above the normal human frailty. he was a man well aware of his place in history but he did not want to be placed on a pedestal and was humble at all times. with qualities like this, it is a wonder that millions of people who did not meet him in person nonetheless feel that they have lost a hero and friend. the privilege of meeting nelson mandela but like so many people, i almost feel as if i had. he clearly made a huge impact on all of those he did meet. wifeember he said his regularly said he was the funniest and most charming man he had never met. i was one of the thousands who flooded into wembley stadium for the free nelson mandela concert to mark his 70th birthday.
i remember thinking, how on earth could this one-man live up to everyone's expectations if and when he was finally released? as a free man, he not only met those expectations but surpassed them. challenge for south africa seemed almost impossible at the time. how could people who have spent so long divided in conflict and either perpetrated or suffered so much abuse find it within themselves to forgive, moveon, and build something together? mandela could and did under truly remarkable examples of forgiveness, he made possible for his country to be reborn as a rainbow nation. mr. speaker, given the in pharmacy of his achievements, we are all struggling to work out the best way to honor his legacy. i like to thank one of the things he would like us to do in
this house today is to pay tribute to and support individuals and the organizations around the world that fight for human rights and do not have a global name. right now over the world there are millions of women, men, and overcometrying to violence and discrimination. they do not have the same or standing of nelson mandela but i'm sure he would tell us that what they achieve and endure in their pursuit of a more unjust society shapes all our lives. work to andwho protect the women of afghanistan , the head of the afghan independent human rights commission, organization and thoseof the world like who were detained and disappeared in honduras which works under the threats and intimidation. are just three examples of the organizations who deserve our loyalty and support just as much as a british campaigners of
the anti-apartheid movement shown on favoring loyalty towards nelson mandela in his most bleak days and i would like all of hisute to fellow campaigners for what they did at the time. all of this will make the way we market tomorrow's international human rights day all the more significant and britain can pay no greater tribute to nelson mandela than by standing up around the world for the values of human rights and equality that he fought for. when nelson mandela took his first steps to freedom, he made no sense of vengeance, only forgiveness. he understood dismantling apartheid legacy was a more than removing the most explicit signs of segregation and you recognize that to build a brighter future, south africa must confront the darkness of its past. in doing so, nelson mandela laid
down a blueprint that has made it possible for other divided communities such as in northern ireland to reject violence, overcome differences, and make a fresh beginning. that is why i'm hoping in communities that are still struggling to replace this with peace and stability that the principles of forgiveness and reconciliation which mandela embodied are followed by others. recently, we have debated in this house the alleged human rights abuses. surely there can be no better way for the country to heal its follow his example and emulate south africa's truth and reconciliation process. it, this is nelson mandela's lasting legacy for all of us, to champion the defendants of human rights today and to know that wherever there is conflict and injustice, with
hope and courage peace is always possible. as the prime minister reminded thearlier, mandela told world that equality in south africa was an ideal for which he was prepared to die. no one who listened to those words can fail to be moved to hear a man so explicit and so courageously put his life on the line for freedom. as others have remarked, he famously liked to repeat the of theaying -- the art moral universe is long but it bends towards justice. for this years human rights day and beyond let us honor his memory to ensure the help you gave lives on in those whose rights and liberties are still denied. >> mr. gordon brown. >> 51 years ago, directly across from this house, in parliament square standing in front of the statues of gladstone, lincoln,
general smarts, with his friend oliver temple nelson mandela asked the question -- when, if ever, would a black man to be represented in that square? 1962, that was an important one. his first visit to london and possibly his last. edge of being arrested, imprisoned, put on trial twice, once for his life, and then itnt 27 years incarcerated, was a great privilege on behalf of the people of britain that i was able to unveil in 2007 a statue to the first black man to be represented in that square, nelson mandela, in the presence of him and his wife. it stands there now and forever.
his hands outstretched, as the prime minister says, but his finger pointing upwards as he always did, to the man roast responsible for the destruction of what people thought was indestructible, the apartheid system, the man who taught us that no injustice can last forever. nelson mandela, the greatest man of his generation but across the generations, one of the most courageous people you could ever hope to meet. winston churchill said that courage was the greatest hermione virtue at all -- greatest human virtue of all. nelson mandela had eloquence, determination, with and charm, but it was his courage that brought all of these things to life. assometimes think of courage bravado and taking risk and recklessness and it is all of these things that he had in admirable qualities but he was
the first to say that true courage depends not just on strength of will but in strength of belief. drove him forward and make him the architect of a free south africa, the one and first great achievement of nelson him thiswhat made great architect was this burning was equal. everyone everyone born to be free. everyone created not with the destiny to be in poverty but created to have dignity and life. intensity with which nelson mandela believed this and his determination that he would never be paralyzed by fear is something that is recorded forever in a book that was smuggled into the prison and the works of william shakespeare and alongside his signature, he has marked the words from julius
caesar. a coward dies 1000 times before his death but the valiant taste of death but once. it seems to me most strange that men should fear seeing death, that unnecessary and, will, when it will come. remarkably, that amazing courage to stand up to evil stood with of this lack of bitterness that has been described already today. the most amazing stories that he told me was on the night before they left prison, when all the prisoners together and saying, yes, they would be justified in active revenge but they could a strongn to be successful multiracial society and that was his second great achievement, change through reconciliation. you know there was a third achievement, defusing to relax when he gave up the presidency,
achievement tod his name. in the first part of his life, he had climbed one great mountain, to end apartheid, but in his later life he wanted to climb another great mountain summit to rid the world of poverty and especially the outreach of child poverty. i speak only of what i saw in andtimes i worked with him how quietly without fanfare he went with his work. i flew to south africa to meet him to persuade him to come to london so that he could then persuade the finance ministers to the need of debt relief ease poverty and this he did. in 2006 with his wife, a leader in her own right, someone who will now carry on his legacy into the future, they launched the british program for education for every child so that we could be the first generation in history where every child went to school and
when we had that press conference in mozambique, he said to get every child to school we would have to and child labor and we would have to marriage, child trafficking, and the discrimination against girls, a campaign that they have been involved in ever since. typically, nelson mandela, at the beginning of the conference said the cause was so urgent he had now come out of retirement to prosecute the cause and at the end he said it was now up to the younger generation and he was returning to retirement. i visited him in south africa the week that his son died of aids. while in the morning and shocked by the event, he insisted on coming out to the waiting press with me and he said that aids was not to be treated as a moral judgment. it was to be treated exactly like tuberculosis he had
suffered as a disease in need of curing. his greatness as fast as the continent he loved showing his greatness was a greatness of the human soul. my good fortune was to meet nelson mandela not so long after he left prison. i remember our first meeting. he said, a representative of the british empire and flashed that smile that could light up a room and the world. at the birth of my son john, there was nelson mandela on the phone. he lost a child in infancy and , we exchanged on telephone calls on the days of these birthdays with presence, letters, and cards, the last only this october. raising money for children's causes was the purpose of nelson mandela's 90th birthday party in london where president clinton and i were proud to pay tribute
to him in an auction where he gave the original copy of his .amous letter to a child then oprah winfrey and all and john. oprah winfrey went beyond that and she was then told she would have to pay in pounds and not dollars. [laughter] nelson mandela and i joked that it was time for another man to write another letter to sell to elton john. that event was in hyde park. again to raise funds for children and sitting next to him, my task was to explain who whatelebrity acts were and they were about. he was particularly intrigued by amy winehouse, sadly no longer with us and i remember going back to meet harry and joking that her husband dan mandella had a great deal in common, both of them spending a huge amount of time in prison and at that point he wanted a drink.
i can never forget this occasion with all of these great achievements and the celebration party for his 90th birthday should be entitled to a celebratory drink hiding from his wife's view the glass of champagne. very few people know that nelson mandela and loved not only to tell stories but to gossip about everyone from the spice girls, celebrities, sports, political leaders, and i will refrain from mentioning what he said about them -- [laughter] he told me that he wanted the queen to invite an african rain princess from his tried and he had gotten nowhere with the diplomatic channels. he decided to telephone her personally and the story goes of the conversation that only nelson mandela could use. hello, elizabeth. how's the duke?
the official minutes save the queen was noncommittal. his way. mr. speaker, humbled by mandella on the bare walls of that breach prison cell was a facsimile of the british painting by the it is theist and haunting image that he had in his prison cell of a blinded girl sitting on top of a global the world than the painting girlled, hope, is about a believing even in blindness and with a broken heart and only one string, she could still play music. and mandella's believes that even in the most difficult and the most oblique of times, even when things seem hopeless, there could still be hope. i believe that explains these last few days. we have both mourned the death of mandella and celebrated his
life with equal intensity. who else could unite the whole world that unanimously and every continent of the world with applause? we are mourning because as long as he was alive, you knew in the worst of disasters and midst of the most tragedies and conflict amidst the evil, there was someone there standing between us and the elements that representative goodness and ability. we are celebrating today because the lessons that we have learned from him will live on. he teaches us that indeed no injustice can last forever and he teaches us that whenever good people of courage come together there is infinite hope. >> here, here. release inay of his 1990, i was waiting with many millions of people for him to emerge from prison and i
remember a particular thought at that time that although he was a global figure, no one had the faintest idea what he looked like. no photograph of him had appeared since he went in the prison 27 years earlier as a relatively young man of 46 and now he was emerging as a relatively old man of 73. for the first time when he came to 10 downing street, ira kroll that he entered downing street -- i recall he entered in the whole staff quite spontaneously had drawn themselves up in a line in order to applaud him as he walked to the cabinet room. for the first time that had never happened since he had become prime minister. saint, as we have heard. he was a politician. he believed in the struggle for the earlier part of his career
and in some degree to the rest unlike many, but in the end, he eventually decided that the way of peace was more likely to deliver them the armed struggle. i recall going to south africa four years after 1990 when he was president and having dinner with the then deputy defense minister, a weight south african educated who had been at the london school of economics. he was a strong believer in the armed struggle and i said to him , you are a member of the south african communist party and was often argued that you and your chained to the soviet union. was it true? he said yes, it was. we were trained in ukraine. nelson mandela decided on a political solution. they said that they believe the
white africans would never give up power peacefully and it would only be the arms struggle that would get them out of power. i asked if that is what they taught him and he grinned and said that is what they taught me at the lse. [laughter] i lived and worked in the south africa per two years in 1960 and i got to know south africa well and i have to confess that the wouldi also assumed there be no peaceful resolution of apartheid and whether one liked it or not it would only be by an armed struggle that would possibly change that political system and i was wrong. i was wrong because what happened was that there was no one hero in south africa but there was actually two and it's worth remembering this. it was not just nelson mandela who reserves a vast bulk of the credit but also the south african president swd clark.
it wouldoth of them not have been a peaceful resolution and in some ways it was more difficult for him. let me explain what i mean. this is a serious point. he was receiving power, which at that stage, most of the struggle had already been one. he was having to persuade his own people to give up the power before they had actually been defeated. this was a different situation which the world had not seen before and, to his credit, he realized he needed the legitimacy of the electorate is south africa who quite wrongly but in practice worldwide at the time and he called the sheriff -- by the leadership, they accepted the days of apartheid were over. t's to his credit, to go through long months of negotiation not always with the
support of his colleagues in the anc in order to deliver not just a transfer of power, but a transfer of power that offered the prospect of peace for all the people of south africa. and mandela once notably said this is not about moving from white domination to black domination. there must be no domination of either community, and he was an extraordinary man in not only believing that, but in practicing it with every fiber of his being. as we look today as to what are the lessons of mandela's extraordinary life and incredible achievements, if one looks not just at his contribution to south africa which, obviously, goes without saying, but his contribution to the wider world and why he's become such an icon cantic figure in the world -- iconic figure in the world as a whole, i think essentially there are two reasons for that. i think, first of all, he is perhaps the best example we've had in the last 100 years of how the force of personality, how
political leaders who transform themselves from politicians into statesmen can by their sheer personal effort change the world and make what was impossible into possible and then deliver it. he's not the only one who has done so. we shouldn't think of it as a unique example. gorbachev by the force of his personality helped end the cold war and deliver the liberation of eastern europe without a shot being fired, and few would have believed that possible. an obscure trade unionist at first builds up the solidarity organization and toppled the once-mighty polish communist party. anwar sadat, in ways a controversial figure, but by that extraordinary decision he took to fly from egypt to jerusalem and address the israeli denecessary set --
knesset and often sang suu kyi, we all know what he has done -- she has done in transforming burma. so being a charismatic figure itself is necessary, but it's not sufficient. it has to be combined with political skill and, of course, mandela was a politician to his finger points, finger points as well as being a man with all these other talents. the second lesson i think it tells us is that, of course, you need political leadership, but we should also as mandela did recognize the strength of diplomacy as a way of getting political change. because even after mandela had been released, it took months and months of negotiation which could have collapsed at any stage into internal civil war. and in a year when we have seen howdy proposal si which is not always fashionable has produced the agreement on syrian chemical
weapons, has produced an interim agreement on iran's nuclear program, it is worth taking comfort from that and seeing how mandela's example can deliver in an extraordinary way. so i conclude by simply saying this, when we pay tribute to nelson mandela as we rightly do, we should pay tribute the him for what he -- to him for what he himself stood for, we should acknowledge what he achieved in south africa, but we should also recognize what he taught the world in regard to the resolution of what seemed like intractable political problems by patience, by personality, by courage and birdie proposal si -- birdie proposal si. military solutions, armed struggle is sometimes unavoidable, but very often it is avoidable, and he demonstrated that better than anyone in our own time. >> here, here. >> mr. peter haine. >> i thank the prime minister,
deputy prime minister and the leader of the opposition for their perhaps overgenerous remarks about my role in simply to underline that there were many, many tens of thousands of activists in the anti-apartheid movement who deserve to be acknowledged as well. thank you, mr. speaker, for your personal leadership in insuring that there should be debate at such a special event, as you said, for such a special person. and i note that you're wearing the south african tie on this occasion. and specifically, and this is very important, for proposing thursday afternoon's westminster hall event for civil society along with the lord's speaker, including, importantly, veteran activists of the anti-apartheid movement who worked so tirelessly over many tough and bitter decades for both nelson mandela's release and for the sanctions against apartheid that he wanted and which ultimately triggered his freedom. mr. speaker, i've never really been into heroes, but nelson
mandela was mine b from when i was a young boy in pretoria, unique amongst my school friends, relatives as well in having parents who welcomed everybody to their house regardless of their color, activists in the anti-apartheid struggle. one fellow activist i remember remarked, this is the first time i've ever come through the front door of a white man's house. blacks acting as servants or gardeners might be allowed in the back door occasionally. my mother was often alone in the whites-only section of the public gallery at melson mandela's -- nelson mandela's 1962 trial in pretoria, and when he entered the dock, he would always acknowledge her with a clenched fist which she would return. his beautiful wife, winnie, attended the trial each day k often magnificent in tribal dress. once when my tiny younger sisters went with my mother on a
school holiday, winnie bent down and kissed the two little blond girls to the very evident horror of the onlooking white policemen. a black woman kissing two little white children disgusted them. forty years later, i was escorting nelson mandela to speak at the labour party annual conference, but before that he had an appointment with the prime minister which was very carefully scheduled. we were going down the lift in the hotel, and he said how's the family? and i mentioned that my mother had broken her leg is and can was in hospital. ah, he said, i must phone her. the prime minister was kept waiting. [laughter] while nelson mandela chatted to porters and cleaners and waiters and waitresses all lined up. as the minutes ticked by and i desperately tried to gather her phone number, eventually got the ward, put -- i was put through, and i said to her there's a very special person would like to speak to you, handed the phone to him.
he said this is mandela from south africa, do you know who i am? [laughter] having been sentenced to five years on robin island after that pretoria trial that my mother attended, he was then brought back over a year later as has been mentioned to be accused number one in trial. when facing the death penalty and against the strong advice of his lawyer, he famously said during my lifetime i've dedicated myself to the struggle of the african people. i fought against white domination, and i've fought against black domination. i've cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. it is an ideal for which i hope to live and to achieve, but if need be, it is an ideal for which i'm prepared to die. i remember reading these powerful words at age 14, trying to take in their full significance and aware they were
a great inspiration to my parents and all involved in the anti-apartheid struggle as he faced the death penalty. in fact, after worldwide pleas for clemency, he was sentenced to live imprisonment -- life impressment, and in july 1964 mandela return today the island not to be seen or heard in public again for nearly 26 years. two years later in 1966, my parents, having previously been jailed, deprived of earning a living, our family sailed past robin island into exile here in britain, and we'll always be grateful for the welcome we were given in this country. i remember looking out over the cape rollers and imagining how mandela and his come raids were surviving in that -- comrades were survive anything that cold, bleak cell. as an african, he was permitted five ounces of meat daily where coloreds were allowed six
ounces. he was permitted half an ounce of fat, coloreds, one ounce. the evil precision of apartheid penetrated every nook and cranny of life. banning interracial sex, park benches, sport, jobs, schools and hospitals and much, much more. the apartheid-stated hopes that on the former leper colony of robin island with its freezing cold waters, he would be out of mind. but the longer he was imprisoned, the bigger a global leader he became. by july 1988, his 70th birthday became a global celebration with a pulsating free mandela anti-apartheid rock concert attended by 100,000 people at wembley stadium and watched on live television by 600 million worldwide. despite, i say for the record, mr. speaker, not out of any
recrimination some conservative members pressing for the bbc to pull the plug on its coverage. and then almost miraculously was something we had never dreamed. we'd dreamed of, but deep down doubted would ever, ever happen. that historic day in february 1990 when he walked out of prison to freedom, an image forever imprinted on me and on millions, perhaps even billions across the world. i say almost miraculously because history gets compressed and rewritten over time, and we take change more granted. for granted. the reality was very different. nelson mandela's struggle for flee.com and that of his national african congress was long, and and it was bitter taking nearly 100 years from the days that under british colonial rule the roots of apartheid were established. under britain, under britain in 1900 50 years before apartheid was formally institutionalized in south africa, most of apartheid's features were
already in place in the bustling gold rush city of johannesburg. by then africans were already prevented there walking on the pavements, they were to walk in the streets, had to carry passes to work in the city, could not use buses and and trains designated for whites, were dreadfully exploited in the mines and had no political rights. we all say in britain we were against apartheid, and doubtless we were. but some did things about it, others didn't. the anti-apartheid struggle was for most of its life engaged in a big fight here in britain too. its executive secretaries, first ethel kaiser, its chairman, lord bob hughes and treasurer, richard cayborn, former members of this house, were real stalwarts and neil kin nick along with -- [inaudible] as well. protests to stop whites-only
tours provoked fierce anger. i remember it well. [laughter] pain to payne, as i recall. some people might still feel that. [laughter] yet nelson mandela confirmed to me that the isolation was a key factor in making whites realize that they had to change so that today that wonderful black rugby star, brian, can be a spring -- [inaudible] when his predecessors under apartheid at the time we were demonstrating never could. demands for trade and economic sanctions were also relisted, yet their partial implementation progressively not by london, but by washington, eventually helped to pell the white business -- propel the white business community in the late 1980s to demand change from the very same apartheid government from which they had so long benefited. mr. speaker, forgive me if for a brief moment i strike what i hope won't be seen as too
discordant a note on this occasion which sees the house at its very best coming together to salute a great man. were it not for the interventions in the media in recent days, i'd have let pass the historical record. i dui credit especially to you -- give credit to you especially, mr. speaker, that you were on the wrong side of the anti- apartheid struggle as a young conservative. i give credit to the prime minister for apologizing for his party's record of what i have to describe as craven indulgence towards apartheid's rulers. and if nelson mandela can forgive his oppressors without forgetting their crimes, who am i not to do the same for our opponents in the long decades of the anti-apartheid struggle? when it really does stick in the craw when charles moore and others still tried over recent days to say their complicity somehow brought about its end. [laughter] even to my utter incredulity
when the lord told bbc world this a debate with me that they had brought about mandela's freedom. [laughter] i know for a fact that nelson mandela did not think so. [laughter] on every possible opportunity, he went out of his way to thank anti-apartheid activists across the world for freeing him and his people. it's, therefore, especially welcome that nelson mandela always retained an almost touching faith in british parliamentary democracy. even though, and i disagree with the interpretation by the right honorable member for kensington, even though by force of circumstances over most of his life he was a believer in nonviolent legal, peaceful trades. by force of circumstance, the suppression of his african national congress was a nonviolent campaign for over 60 years. he had to become a freedom fighter to lead an underground campaign of guerrilla activity similar to the french resistance against the nazis. and even when the majority in
this parliament and the government was not on his side, he still cherished our parliamentary democracy. i mention this because mandela's old foes became his new friends, his former adversaries, his admirers. that was part, as others have said, of his greatness. but that was mandela, the political leader. there was another, as by right honorable friend in his marvelous speech, has remarked. another equally engaging side to his greatness. he had an infectious capacity for mischief. in london a few weeks after our marriage in 2003, i introduced my wife elizabeth to him. is this your girlfriend, he asked. [laughter] when i replied, no, she's my wife, he chuckled, so she caught you then. [laughter] and when elizabeth, who can be somewhat feisty at times, exclaimed indignantly that she'd taken a lot of persuading, he laughed. that's what they all say.
[laughter] but they trap you in the end. [laughter] by then she realized that he was teasing her, and we all ended up of laughing together. he had apologized earlier for not coming to our wedding. instead, sending a message which contained these impish words to us newlyweds: but perhaps i'll be able to come next time. [laughter] it was not just his towering stature, his courage and capacity to inspire that endeared nelson mandela to so many. despite being one of the world's most prominent statesmen, perhaps the most revered, he retaped his extraordinary humanity. when he was with you, you had all his attention. when he greeted you, his eyes never wandered even though he was surrounded by far more important people. whether you were a child, a hotel porter, a cleaner, a waiter or a junior staff member, he was interested in you, and he never forgot a friend. on the same occasion elizabeth
met him in 2003, my parents were also present enjoying a' reunion. the conversation somehow turned to my ministerial driver whom he promptly summoned up. i was once a driver too, mandela told him, as they shook hands referring to the time in 1961-'62 when he was on the run underground, dubbed the black -- [inaudible] often moving about the country and in order to invite no attention, dressed as a chauffer, his wife in the back stereotypical in those days and a good form of disguise, that chauffer's uniform. an ordinarily combined with extraordinariness is not mandela's sole uniqueness. his capacity for forgiveness is what made him the absolutely critical figure first during secret negotiations in the late 1980s from prison with the afrikaner nationalist government and then after his release both in the transition and in healing
a bitterly divided nation. which then brings me to his -- [inaudible] gandhi, kennedy, churchill, all iconic figures. the last for his inspirational wartime leadership, the first more so for being assassinated. yet today ask almost anybody anywhere which global statesmen they admire most, and nelson mandela will likely as not be the answer. other world figures are usually famous within their own professional disciplines, sections of society, interest groups or age groups. many attract cynicism or play at indifference. nelson mandela's achievement was to combine fame, affection and admiration from virtually anyone anywhere in the world. so if, i believe, he is more iconic than anybody else, then why? his life story of sacrifice, courage, endowns and suffering in the great and noble cause of
democracy, liberty and justice, places him alongside a very select few; suffragists, gandhi himself, anti-colonial african leader, che get around rah, often sang suu kyi to name just some. but mandela towers above all of them in popular imagination. perhaps in part because he was the first such figure to be projected to the world's peoples through the powerful media of the modern global television and the internet. he was quite simply far better known than any comparable figure. but equally, he survived -- and this is the lesson i draw -- he survived and, indeed, prospered even under the 24-hour news overhype and spin where uniquely he remained untarnished and diminished. that unrivaled capacity for building up, then knocking down leaving him serenely above all
its insatiable -- [inaudible] an obsession for triviality and instant novelty. where most political careers end in failure, nelson mandela's continued to soar long after he'd stepped down as president. mandela's greatness derive t not just from an extraordinary biography that dwarfs the rest of human kind, it came from the warm glow of humanity, his common touch, humbleness, self-depracation, humor and decency. prison could have 'em bittered. egotism could have triumphed. the clutching of the crowd and the intrusive pressures could have seen him retreat behind the barriers which most leaders and celebrities today not necessarily through any fault of their own erect around themselves partly to retain some personal space. but the consequence of which all too often east becomes aloofness or insincerity and its companion, cynicism. but none of this happened.
throughout everything, nelson mandela remained his own man, not seduced by the trappings of office nor deluded by the admiration of -- adulation of admirers. that was why he was for me the icon of icons and maybe always will be. president bill clinton, who has such a wonderful with words, said this: every time nelson mandela walks into a room, we all feel a little bigger. we all want to stand up, we all want to cheer, because we'd like to be him, like him on our best day. sadly, nelson mandela won't with walking into our rooms ever again, but we can all still strive to be like him on our best days. for as he said in one of his memorable proverbs, what counters in life is not -- counts in life is not the mere fact that we've lived, it is the difference we've made to the lives of others. >> here, here. >> mr. alistair byrd. >> thank you, mr. speaker. it's a real privilege to to
follow the right honorable gentleman. he speaks with an authenticity that few others could have in these circumstances. and it must be the case the vindication of history sits comfortably on his shoulders and all those in the anti-apartheid movement, and he is entitled to his day today, and he's spoken so well of the things that matter so much to him and to so many of us. i remember as a small boy writing -- [inaudible] when he was excluded from the test team. i remember cheering when a test series was canceled. my parents were convinced i'd become a communist. [laughter] they are now like one or two others of my colleagues, merely uncertain. [laughter] in the year 2000, nelson mandela visited bedford to pay tribute to the archbishop in the town of
his birth. he gave so much to the anti-apartheid movement. and it says that a photograph taken that day was used as the model for the statue in parliament square. and mr. mandela's host on that day was the mayor. sadly, he is seriously ill at present, but i know that she is so proud of her own and of bedford's part in mr. mandela's story. mr. speaker, between 1986 and 1990 the right honorable gentleman, myself and peter pike, the former member for burnly, made three visits to south africa at the invitation of the followers of christ working for a peaceful resolution of the situation there. on our return from our first visit, we made joint speech speeches in a debate here in the house of commons on june the 17th referring to each other as our honorable friends, a point
dually note -- duly noted by -- [inaudible] we had gone together, safety in numbers, at a time when the anc was still banned, the political situation deteriorating, violence abroad and where the isolation of south africa was impacting on the flow of anything. we found and were able to report back to our respective party leaders, and i had half an hour with an anxious, worried and very uncertain margaret thatcher. we reported back on the tragic success of apartheid in separating one person from another, on the urgency of the need for change to avoid a looming catastrophe and how the united kingdom's public position also needed to change. but we also and apparently rather unusually reported some hope. i said in the house there is a large group of people in south africa who many have ignored. they are those of all races who are working patiently for
fellowship and reconciliation in pure human terms by meeting each other and sharing their lives and experiences. some of those with whom we stayed were white opponents of apartheid and have been so for decades, but all -- white and black finish were people who realized that the abolition of the legislative structure of apartheid is almost secondary to the struggle to change hearts and minds. they should not be ignored, for if any group epitomizes hope if south africa, it is that group. we had met op our visit even in 1986 south african government figures who worried about the impact of the release of nelson mandela but who knew that his death in prison would be a tragedy beyond comprehension. like many others, we knew that only a miracle could save south africa from violent confrontation, but unlike others perhaps we saw some of the groundwork being patiently prepared. south africa was a land in which jesus christ was the person
around who so many could meet together, especially if they were those who were allowed to meet in no other circumstances, a task which became easier after the reform church publicly recounted their misplaced biblical support for apartheid. south africa was a people readying themselves for a different future, but uncertain if the miracle of leadership would be there. in the end, of course, the miracle was nelson mandela. with a passion for reconciliation and forgiveness which astonished the world and builds upon a base which had been prayed for and actively worked for in south africa for years before his release, it was nelson mandela who was the pivotal figure around whom all this work became based, whose attitudes overcame the fear and negativetivity from people who knew intellectually what needed to be done but could simply not see how it could happen. it is impossible to predict what would have happened without such leadership.
i regret i did so little for the struggle here in the united kingdom, but my friend, peter pike, with 26 years in the anti-apartheid movement before he even set foot in south africa, deserves his voice heard today. i asked him over the weekend what he would say if he were here, and he told me of his memories of a visit. he told me, he reminded me of that -- [inaudible] who believed that god created reptiles, birds, animals, black people, brown people and white people and that they should all keep their place as a species, and he thumped his bible as he told us. he undermined his argument later by declaring he had prove that mrs. thatcher was a marxist infiltrator. [laughter] peter reminded us of the time on our next visit that we were going through the airport in johannesburg, and he asked why the security was building up as we approached the security gate. i said it might be the large free nelson mandela badge he was
wearing on his lapel. he said to one of the security guards, is it illegal for me to wear the badge? and he was told very brusquely, it's not illegal, but it's extremely inadvisable. [laughter] but peter wanted to say this in particular, and he says this: i believe one thing so typical of nelson mandela was when he addressed a large meeting in -- [inaudible] at the end he had young white dukes asking him what their future would be in a black south africa. he put his arms around their shoulders and said he was not removing the domination of south africa by the white minority to allow it to be dominated by another race. the new south africa would be for all south africans and that they were the south africans of the future. he ended by saying it was a pity they had wasted 27 years and could not have talked like this before. i wanted peter pike's words, a true anti-apartheid supporter,
to be heard in this house today. >> here, here. >> mr. speaker, in conclusion, world leaders have on their plate a series of conflicts which i know only too well from the past three and a half years. a better tribute to nelson mandela than all the fine words we're going to hear at the funeral would be the leaders involved in just one of those conflicts echoing reconciliation and forgiveness, the nag anymorety of power and leading their people in humility and peace rather than grandeur and war. >> here, here. >> mrs. margaret -- [inaudible] >> mr. speaker, for me as for so many of my generation, the story of nelson mandela and of his comrades and colleagues has been inextricably interwoven with political life and campaigning, events like can -- [inaudible] helped awaken and shape political awareness. campaigns against the evils of
apartheid have run throughout the years of my political and trade union life and, of course, i think it's right to recognize today that the whole trade union movement, including my own union unite -- of which i'm proud to have been a member for almost 50 years -- were resolute in their support and solidarity throughout -- [inaudible] >> here, here. >> as those years drew to a close, like the honorable member from kensington and chelsea, i recall a conversation with president declerk who asked me quite anxiously, i was surprised how anxious he seemed, if i thought reaching an agreement would, in fact, transform south africa's standing in the world and end his country's status as some kind of international pariah. and he seemed both relieved and almost grateful when i assured him that i thought south africa free or its people free would be welcomed everywhere with open arms. there's going to be much emphasis, i think, today on what we can learn from nelson
mandela. it has been said already he was in no way a saint, as he acknowledged. but what he was and what is not always mentioned although it has already been in this house is that he was a politician, and he was a party politician and a party leader at that. born into a community that lacked -- [inaudible] he understood it was both honorable and desirable to band together with others of a like mind to fight to change things for the better. that, after all, is what every political party in its own way is. and it was as the leader of the anc that he took part in those historic negotiations. i say that, mr. speaker, particularly because i think it's important to recognize it when some of the tone of what has been said for all the best and most well meaning of reasons not so much here today, but in comments about him is almost as
if he was somehow i above politics. of course, he became admired and revered, quite rightly. but he wasn't above be politics. he was practicing politics. he was engaged in politics. and it was through politics that the transformation of south africa was secured. like many here, i had the opportunity to meet him on a number of occasions, and one i particularly recall in the these days was when in 1998 i attended the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the gap. seated in the hall, i heard this tremendous commotion at the rear. the delegates from south africa had arrived, and a kind of wave passed through the hall as delegates from every country in the world rose spontaneously to applaud him. and i was both honored and humbled when he took his place
beside me. we all honor him as a hero of the arms struggle. unlike so many others who were also honored in that vein, particularly during my student years, he became also a hero of the peace. that's why we remember him in this way. >> here, here. >> mr. charles kennedy. >> thank you, mr. speaker. um, i follow on exactly from the comments of the right honorable lady and her both -- [inaudible] which i think is absolutely well placed that that we're talking here about a politician. and certainly in the several encounters with president mandela in one capacity, with mr. mandela post-presidency and other capacities, it was very telling not only his own sense of humor, but the use to which he put that humor in a
self-depracating way, lest there was any thought that a political heel could be bestowed upon him. he certainly didn't want that, and he wouldn't want that to be part of his legacy today. and, indeed, i mention humor because my own first introduction to him was far from fortuitous. it was one of those occasions in south africa, he was then president, and enormous numbers of parliamentarians had somehow all descended in south africa at the same time. they'd come from new zealand, australia, here, ireland, france. all on fact-finding missions. and it was very interesting that these fact-finding missions all coincided with the rugby world cup that was taking place in south africa. [laughter] and given that there were more visiting foreign politicians in the country than even visiting foreign rugby players, the
president held a great gallery section. and the leader of our delegation, pri friend rupert -- my friend rupert was doing the introductions to the president of the british delegation, and he was pretty apprehensive in the presence of the great man. and he came to me, and he said, mr. president, one of my colleagues from the house of commons in london, this is nigel kennedy. [laughter] well, mr. speaker, characteristically firm handshake and jovial welcome confirmed two things for me there and then. first of all, he'd never heard of nigel kennedy, but far more distressingly, he sure as hell hadn't heard of me either. [laughter]
on that visit the honorable gentleman, whom i'm glad is in his place today -- looking back, i wasn't so glad he was in the place he was in on that occasion that evening -- he and myself were photographed with president mandela. what a wonderful momento keep saning to have. a few months later i was passing through glasgow, my favorite city, and as i always do, i pick up a copy of the glasgow evening times. and front page photo and lead story was that the south african government had confirmed that thing -- [inaudible] would be very much on the preferred list for the latest warship that they were seeking interest in globally. and there was a photo of the honorable gentleman and the president himself with the caption, "local mp ian davidson lobbying president mandela -- [laughter]
on a recent visit to south africa." but the funny thing was when i looked at this photo, i had been airbrushed out -- [laughter] and perhaps that's been the story of my life ever since. [laughter] but i think that president mandela would admire the gilens of the honorable -- the guile of the honorable gentleman and the way he sought his opportunity. albeit, it wasn't in a mendacious way, but it wasn't in a particularly helpful way towards me. [laughter] the other occasion that i recall was when he was back to plain mr. mandela, post-presidency. and the years were beginning to show, and it was the night of the concert in pa fall garre -- trafalgar square. as we say at home, it was --
[inaudible] mr. speaker. it was cold, it was wet, horizontal rain, and it was windy. and he was tired. and he was in an overcoat. and he insisted, first of all, working the room inside south africa house and speaking to everybody. then he went out and enthralled the young, if very soaked audience of music goers. and by that point his minders were pretty keen to move him along and get him to his bed which he clearly needed. no, coat came off, he came back upstairs in south africa house, and he worked the room again. and and we came face to face a second time. he looked at me, and he said we talked earlier. and i said, yes, mr. mandela, we did. it was a very nice chat, very nice honor to meet you on this occasion. oh, good, he said. i will move on, but i did not want you to think i had been rude.
that's the difference, isn't it? that's the difference. this is a man who when he did -- [inaudible] could weigh them in quantities that we could only have dreams of as practicing politicians. but when he was beyond meeting folks, he was still conducting himself with that extra something special magic ingredient that really separates them out from the wheat and the chaff of day-to-day jobbing politics the world over. glasgow university today in my capacity, my role there as rector of that university, glasgow, a city that gave mandela when it was unfashionable to do so the freedom of the city of glasgow, something that he came and celebrated on another bleak day in glasgow as it so happened in the years following his release. a week ago this afternoon
exactly, we were in this place paying tribute to glasgow because of the terrible helicopter crash. a week is a long time in politics because many of the international tributes, many of the most heartfelt came from south africa themselves. last night as rector i had the privilege in the chapel at the university of glasgow in contributing along with others to the annual carol service that's held there, a very beautiful one. and they changed the format at the end. at the end instead of the anthem of the university itself, they sang a beautiful version, the university choir, of that rainbow nation's wonderful national anthem. and, therefore, the thoughts that went from south africa to glasgow last week in this time e very much being reflected and returned with great generosity and goodwill this week.
mandela was in so many ways simply the best, but when president obama said we shall not see his like again, i guess he was right on one level. but when you look at what he did, the fact that his words and his deeds moved mountains, actually, let's hope we do see his like again. and let's hope we see them in some parts of the world like the middle east or in the vicinity of the koreas or elsewhere where we're crying out for a quality of politician that can move mountains and move minds the way that he did. he does remind us that our -- [inaudible] isn't as bad and needn't be with as awful as often depicted, and he