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The Whisky Maneuver

December 6, 2013

Hi All,

A little under five years ago I was driving around Scotland after having attended a good friends wedding. Fanfest was a wee way away and I was taking sheer pleasure in being utterly free of demands, phones ,and I was driving where ever I damn well pleased. The best holiday I ever had tbh. 6 weeks of unadulterated freedom.

During my roaming hither and yon, I listened to the BBC occasionally, and I remember one utterly fascinating interview with the man who was once the head of the secret police during the apartheid era in South Africa. More to the point, during the transition of power from the white government of the day to the ANC. South Africa was a powder keg, and from what I remember of what was said, De Klerk and Mandela did not agree on quite a few things.

Now, this mans role, apart from getting both parties into the same room at the same time safely, his job was to ensure 24×7 availability of  Johnny Walker Black Label. And when negotiations became REALLY tense…? 24×7 Johnny Walker Blue…. The new South Africa was born in the old fashioned way, two men, a room, and a glass or two or three.

By now everyone will have heard that Nelson Mandela has passed away. I would certainly not presume to anything more than second hand knowledge gleaned from various sources over the years. History shows there have been few individuals as pivotal, and I can think of no one else with such a capacity for forbearance and forgiveness.

Mr Mandela, thank you. For your courage, for your wisdom, and above all, for your example.

H

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