Wednesday’s Piece

Sometime these ‘Pieces’ are, for one reason or another, rejected and do not appear for your amusement, benefit or discomfort! One day, perhaps, I shall publish them in a little booklet entitled “UNPUBLISHED PIECES” – or something like that!

John Lentell

November 15th, 1968

Tuesday’s Piece (original)

A sense of humour is slowly returning to the Rhodesian scene so may I be permitted to relate the following true story:

Driving one afternoon last year along Salisbury’s Sir James McDonald Avenue I found myself uncontrollably and most inappropriately (perhaps excusably?) laughing, alone and aloud, for I was behind a car with a sticker – “You are behind me, I am behind Ian Smith, let us go forward together” – In front of the car in front of was a loaded hearse on its way to the Pioneer Cemetery!

John Lentell

November 14th, 1968

(Submitted to the Rhodesia Herald but not printed due to censorship)

Tuesday’s P.S.

A ‘gremlin’ got in to Monday’s ‘long-winded’ Piece and distorted the whole meaning and purpose of it. In the fifth sentence the word “respect” wrongly displaced the word “reject” – i.e. it would have read:-

“We believe that to be well governed is not as important as to be self-governed. Hence, we reject all manner of millenniums proffered to us at the spearpoint of dictatorship.”

…………………………etc. etc. (Rabbi Abbe Hillel Silver).

Some gremlin! Sorry.

John Lentell

November 14th, 1968

Tuesday’s Piece

Whew! It’s all very confusing!

Firstly, the RNAA is “hounded from pillar to post” because certain Salisbury buildings are not permitted to hold the numbers who sometimes turn up for their meetings and Tuesday’s ‘front page’ we see at least 30 people (inc. a woman and children!) perched on the roof of a Government building presumably not authorised to hold anything or anybody at all?

Secondly – the Emergency Regulations recently fully debated in the House, and republished in full, state, to the best of my knowledge and belief, that the names of Restrictees must not be published and last week the names of two prominent persons in Restriction were coming at us from all directions!

I suppose the answer is that all things done in the heat of the moment or by popular consent are excusable?

John Lentell

November 14th 1968

Notes:

1. The RNAA (Rhodesia National Affairs Association) was formed in 1946 by Hardwicke Holderness and a few other like-minded Rhodesians back from the war “to hold weekly lectures and monthly debates leading up to the formation of long-term principles of policy for Rhodesia”. It set out to be non-party and, looking back, it represented the high-water mark of political thinking in the country’s history. One lecture, by Gideon Mhlanga, was the first occasion that white Rhodesians – and there were 400 of them in the audience – listened attentively to a black fellow-countryman.

2. Restrictees refers to African nationalist political leaders and activists detained in post UDI Rhodesia.

Saturday’s Piece

THE CREED OF A LIBERAL

We believe in man, in his slow, ascendant progress, in the autonomy of his spirit and in the primacy of his claims over the claims of all forms of human organisation.

We believe in freedom – the fullest measure of freedom compatible with the fullest measure of responsibility.

We believe in authority – but only in authority sanctioned by reason and consent.

We believe that the only tools of social progress are education, experimentation and cooperation.

We believe that to be well governed is not as important as to be self-governed. Hence, we reject all manner of millenniums proffered to us at the spearpoint of dictatorship.

We believe that all truth is made manifest through the contact and clash of diverse opinions and that the very motive power of progress is the free exchange of ideas and the exercised privilege of non-conformity.

We believe in tolerance but not in indifference, in enthusiasm but not in fanaticism, in independence but not in isolation, in conflict but not in hate.

(Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver, 1893 – 1963)

John Lentell

November 11th, 1968