Monday’s Piece

An “Anatomy of Rhodesia’ really would be a ‘best-seller’. One important question it might attempt to answer is that of the location and division of political and economic power – and/or decide if they are one and the same? Upon the answers to these questions depends the retention or otherwise of our very precious Rhodesian identity and a future in or out of the Republic of South Africa. That is what it really is all about and as someone said the other day in the Rhodesia Herald – “in about 1973 a sadder and wiser Rhodesia will go to the referendum polls with no option, for economic and security reasons, but to reverse the 1923 decision”.

John Lentell

1st July, 1969

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Wednesday’s Piece

(REJECTED BY CENSORS AND NOT PUBLISHED)

It si apparent that the Rhodesian Front have absolute confidence in the their ability to secure a ‘Yes’ vote because the Constitutional Proposals are of such an awful, revolutionary and un-Rhodesian nature that they would not wish to entrust them to the care of any other party. This confidence, this arrogance, can only stem from the unscrupulous use of the enormous power they already have – not least the control of radio and television.

John Lentell

19th June, 1969

Tuesday’s Piece

I hardly know what to say. I am exhausted by the soul-destroying effort to convey to a wide intelligent readership a second-to-none love of Rhodesia. A love underwritten by costly practical and material acts.  I urge the rejection of this ghastly piece of white paper and its Constitutional Proposals. They are immoral, impractical and, above all, un-Rhodesian. It seems like a nightmare from which one hopes to wake and yet there is this black despair and I, for one, know that if Rhodesia should choose to follow this awful path, then, for me and my family and for thousands of ordinary men and women like us, there is no future here. The astounding features of the exercise are the extent to which good men remain silent and the extent to which one single man appears to hold sway over party and passions – seemingly deaf to all but his voice.

John Lentell

17th June, 1969

Monday’s Piece

Various shades of opinion are thinking, as I am, that Ian Smith, for one reason or another, wants a Yes vote for the Republic question but a No vote for the Constitutional Proposals. This is the attitude, though possibly for different reasons, of the Conservative Association. I am reluctant to credit the Prime Minister and his colleagues with the intelligence or ability to ‘master mind’ such a dangerously delicate operation but the Proposals themselves are fickle and remote from Rhodesian concepts. As regards the awful consequences of acceptance – it is the ‘man in the street’ who will suffer – black and white – it is always that way. We must stop and think again.

John Lentell

16th June, 1969

Saturday’s Piece

The number and variety of ‘Red Herrings’ now being used by the Rhodesian Front to divert attention from the Constitutional issues at stake gives some cause for grave concern. What the hell has Zambia and its internal problems and policies go to do with the referendum. Nobody in his right mind now living in Rhodesia wants majority rule. Kenneth Kaunda once exchanged with me private unpublished telephone numbers but I wouldn’t visit or live in Zambia for all the tea in China. Nor would I personally make money there as many of my friends of differing views unashamedly do.

John Lentell

14th June, 1969

Friday’s Piece

We all know there will be an overwhelming ‘Yes’ vote for the Republican issue but the stated unwillingness of Government to resign in the face of a ‘No’ vote on the Constitutional Proposals clearly indicates that it is not the ‘be and end all’ solution that the Rhodesian Front would have us believe. I will vote against the Proposals because I find them gravely disturbing, inadequate and far removed from ‘true-blue’ Rhodesian concepts. But neither am I satisfied with the 1961/65 Constitution. The need for something in keeping with Rhodesian standards is desperately urgent and a ‘No’ vote will at least precipitate the preliminary political reshuffle and dislodge from their perches some very important mugwumps. Logic dictates that it would also dislodge Mr. Smith but there is very little logic left in that quarter.

John Lentell

(Friday) 13th June, 1969

Thursday’s Piece

If the Prime Minister was able to foresee the conditions today prevailing in Rhodesia he did not dare to tell us for had he done so, he would not have gained support for UDI. Likewise, if he is able to foresee the consequences of the proposed Constitution he does not dare to disclose the truth for the answer from the electorate would, at this stage, be a categorical NO to the eventual loss of our identity to South Africa. At the end of the ‘long haul’ we shall have no choice. That is what it is all about but few, if any, dare to say so. Mayne it is what the mugwumps want anyway, hence their awful silence.

John Lentell

12th June, 1969

Wednesday’s Piece

‘THE MAN YOU CAN TRUST’

The man you can trust is the man who is simple, direct and sincere. When he undertakes a responsible task, he is fully and deeply conscious of his responsibility. He is intent on fairness and justice to all, even to those who oppose him. To him, the insincerity of the demagogue is as dishonest as the trickery of the con man or the embezzler. To him, honour is dearer than power, and a clear conscience more precious that wealth or fame. He is suspicious of mere brilliance and he is not easily fascinated by the plausibility of quacks, or misled by the enthusiasm of cranks, for good judgment, good character and ripe experience are what he most respects. He does not waver like a leaf in the winds of popular approval or disapproval. When he makes a pledge he can be relied upon to keep it, at whatever cost to himself, for he acts on principles of right or wrong, not on the inconvenience or expediency of the moment. He is not all things to all men. When he says yes, he means yes and when he says no, he means no. In short, the man you can trust, in the long run, is not necessarily the clever man or the charming man, but the man who keeps his word.

(Source unknown)

John Lentell

11th June, 1969

Tuesday’s Piece

I am not a member of any political party and I do not know the source of Centre Party or Rhodesian Front funds but should either be obtaining cash from England or South Africa I imagine the Treasury and the Reserve Bank, at least, would be grateful. There would be further cause for gratitude if loyal Rhodesians brought back to Rhodesia, in cash or kind, their external assets. Weighty facts rock the boat, not hot air!

John Lentell

10th June, 1969

Sunday’s Piece

“If all mankind, minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.”

(John Stuart Mill, 1806 – 1873)

John Lentell

8th June, 1969