But, on the contrary, I am an admirer of such a system.
The Magna Carta, the Petition of Rights, and the Bill of Rights are documents which are held in veneration by democrats throughout the world. I have great respect for British political institutions, and for the country's system of justice.
I regard the British Parliament as the most democratic institution in the world, and the independence and impartiality of its judiciary never fail to arouse my admiration.
Nelson Mandela, The Struggle Is My Life, 1986, p.177.
Every "Anglosphere" fantasist, South Africa is the standing contradiction of your delusions.
A Common Law jurisdiction with a Westminster parliamentary system complete with the monarchy, and with a large, in commercial and political terms initially dominant, British-descended population, became the apartheid state through the operation of those mechanisms, and indeed ostensibly in order to protect them.
By the time that South Africa became a republic, everything was in place. In any case, America became a republic a very long time ago. Is America not part of "The Anglosphere"? Britain, including under the greatest Labour Government in domestic policy terms but one with an extremely disappointing foreign policy record, did nothing much to help the resistance to apartheid.
The recognisably Commonwealth Tory United Party colluded in it, and did not exactly have the best record on these matters from its own time in power. The other Old Dominions were themselves constitutionally racist at the time; to an extent, they still are. The United States was the land of Jim Crow, and of Cold War hysteria in relations with the wider world.
So Mandela and his partisans had to look to the Communist Party at home and to the Soviet Union abroad, because they had not been given the slightest succour, but rather the very reverse, by those with whom they shared a common educational, legal and religious culture.
To his dying day, could Mandela speak Russian? I am open to correction, but I should not have thought so. His legal training would have been in no way transferable to the Soviet Union, which was also not noted for its Methodists. There are Methodists in Cuba, but her legal system has never borne any resemblance to that of South Africa, and I doubt that, to his dying day, Mandela could speak Spanish, although, again, I am open to correction.
There are those sad souls in Orania. Where will they be in a thousand years' time? I feel a Doctor Who coming on: Planet of the Boers. But apart from them, the only people who dispute that South Africa is better off now than before 1994 are in the British Conservative Party.
To their roster of shame, we may add Bob Blackman, who was elected to the House of Commons only in 2010, for a seat which will thankfully return to Labour in any Conservative defeat. He remains wholly unapologetic that he blocked the necessary two-thirds majority to confer the Freedom of the London Borough of Brent on Mandela during his landmark visit to Wembley Stadium in 1990 for a concert broadcast in 60 countries to celebrate his release from prison.
Blackman even obtained an injunction from the High Court to prevent any recognition of the simple majority that such a conferral had received. Mandela did eventually become a Freeman of Brent by a unanimous resolution. In June of this year. Blackman continues to receive the Conservative Whip in the House of Commons, signifying and effecting the approval of David Cameron.
Such were the people who drove Mandela into the arms of the SACP and of the USSR. Frankly, as with the adoption of the armed struggle, what else were they supposed to do? And whose fault was it that they had been left with no other option? Snapping at their heels were those who, not without cause, are now most vocal in decrying the failure of the new South Africa to deliver the promised goods with sufficient speed or in sufficient abundance, the only criticism that is advanced internally, and one the factual basis of which is undeniable.
Those are the Black Nationalists, the Africanists, the Pan-Africanists. As previously in the PAC and in the Black Consciousness Movement, and as currently in Zimbabwe, their philosophy has become mixed up with Maoism, the most un-Marxian political position apart from Juche.
(The standing rebuke to Marxism is the complete failure of the Revolution ever to happen in the advanced industrial economies that alone are supposed to be able to produce it. Whereas it is at least attempted over, and over, and over again in the most underdeveloped places on earth. Therefore, the whole system has to keep being rewritten in order to make possible the Revolution in the places where it is already happening. Although on the general principles of the rural working class and the peoples of the developing world as more radical forces than are to be found in first-world cities, the Great Helmsman was onto something. But of that, another time.)
It was in order to contain and overcome violent hatred of whites and Indians, and usually also of Coloureds, that Mandela sought alliances national and international. While he was in prison, the ANC also sought such against the reception of Mao Zedong Thought among those who were already defined by that racism. Largely, it must be said, due to the disappointments visited by the ANC in power, bulwarks against such forces are now as necessary as ever.
"The Anglosphere" proved worse than useless last time. But the Soviet Union no longer exists. Where would it be this time? China as she is now? Saudi Arabia and Qatar? They are where the money is. Not that South Africa is going to fall apart after today's funeral. That was supposed to happen in, or very soon after, 1994, but it never did. It is matter of what holds South Africa together against the forces neo-Mugabism, which most people do not want, but which are unlikely to ask their opinion.
This time, we could step up to the plate. Britain cannot do so while the Prime Minister who tolerates the likes of Bob Blackman in his party. But Cameron will be gone from Downing Street, and Blackman from the Palace of Westminster, sooner rather than later.
Both as bearers of a different vision and as links to the wider world, the churches will be crucial. The absence of Desmond Tutu from Mandela's funeral is a healthy sign. He was an outspoken critic of the ANC both after and, although this is often forgotten, before it came to power.
He advanced critiques of its Marxist and terrorist tendencies as anything other than one of the apartheid apologists who used such terms as cover in the British media during that period.
The fact of his criticisms demonstrated that such could be advanced within the liberation movement, and demonstrate that such can be advanced in what we are still calling the new South Africa. In less happy lands, the punishment for such outspokenness is a great deal worse than non-invitation to a funeral.
Tutu's prominence has long obscured the relative smallness of the Anglican Church across the ethnic groups in South Africa, and we have all managed to forget how fiercely much of the white fifth of it opposed his appointment, first as Bishop of Johannesburg, and then as Archbishop of Cape Town.
Among both black and white South Africans, there are more Catholics than Anglicans. The white ones are overwhelmingly of Irish descent, whereas the Anglicans' ancestors were mostly English. And those Catholics, too, have dark corners of their history. The activities of the valiant Archbishop Denis Hurley of Durban, and especially the attempted integration of Catholic schools, were bitterly contested by the self-styled South African Catholic Defence League.
Similar things can be said of Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Lutherans, Congregationalists and others. Obviously, that includes what was the Dutch Reformed Church and its Coloured and black "missions". But it also extends to the churches of black origin, which reworked the missionary teachings in terms that were always politically radical initially, but which at an institutional level could become very far removed from that heritage. Such bodies could sometimes make a point of insisting officially that they did not actively oppose the regime or those of the Bantustans, and at least occasionally of punishing ministers and members who did.
Across the board, there is a legacy, both of heroes whose example is to be emulated, and of villains whose example is to be eschewed. Nothing could be more important, both in the deployment of an alternative internal ideology, and in the inseparable cultivation of the necessary external ties, in order to prevent the descent of South Africa, even if only by default, into anything approaching a Greater Zimbabwe.