Africa, Countries, Europe

Olof Palme the Swedish moral pioneer

What Olof Palme the Swedish moral pioneer would think of Russia threatening his country over their choice of friends isn’t hard to work out.

It’s easy to think that neutrality amounts to diffidence and non-commitment.

When it allows a people to retain their independence from power blocs.

And question any and every human right violation wherever in the world they see it.

That independence of spirit and voice doesn’t comes though without sacrifice.

Citizen of the world

Table mountain of beer: The Red Location

And for former Prime Minister of Sweden, Olof Palme, that came at the ultimate personal cost with the Swede losing his life because of his opposition to Apartheid.

Thirty-six years ago today.

But apart from eliciting our admiration for his strong moral compass and bravery why does Palme matter to us globetrotters?

Because it’s in our DNA to care about what happens to our global fellow travellers on the journey of life.

And the gift of our giving we get back a hundred fold such as in Gqberha (and here’s how to pronounce it) in the Eastern Cape of South Africa .

You might know it from your old maps as Port Elizabeth.

Where in the Red Location in the New Brighton township they named the street of their heritage museum after the Swede.

Road to redemption

Siseko, Nelson and Bandanaman: The Voting Line in South Africa

Olof Palme has been rightly honoured across the world for his sacrifice with 20 countries naming thoroughfares after him.

We see it too on a bigger scale with Nelson Mandela remembered too across the globe.

Who will come out of the Ukraine crisis as the figures we will give street, square and building names to remains to be seen.

But South Africa has proved that every country and its people are redeemable.

And that moral pressure, economic sanctions and sporting boycotts can isolate bully boy regimes.

Be assured though we will all return to Russia and Ukraine.

Olof Palme the Swedish moral pioneer would want us to.



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