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Is Nick Clegg clairvoyant? So am I

28 June 2016

Someone shared this article on Facebook this morning, Nick Clegg predicted the future with stunning accuracy. I thought it was a pity that his clairvoyance developed only after his disastrous coalition with the Tories.

But when I read my diary of 50 years ago, perhaps I had a bit of clairvoyance of my own. I was far from home, in London, sitting in Brixton bus garage in a break between driving buses between Croydon and the Embankment, under western eyes, and I was reading Joseph Conrad’s Under Western Eyes. And when I finished my shift at 8 pm I stopped at the “Horse and Groom” in Streatham High Street for a sandwich on my way back to my gloomy bed-sit and read this:

In real revolution, not a simple dynastic change or reform of institutions — in a real revolution the best characters do not come to the front. A violent revolution falls into the hands of narrow-minded fanatics and tyrannical hypocrites at first. Afterwards comes the turn of all the pretentious intellectual failures of the time. Such are the chiefs and the leaders. You will notice that I have left out the mere rogues. The scrupulous and the just, the noble, humane and devoted natures; the unselfish and intelligent may begin a movement, but it passes away from them. They are not the leaders of the revolution. They are its victims. The victims of disgust, of disenchantment, often of remorse. Hopes grotesquely betrayed, ideals caricatured, that is the definition of revolutionary success. There have been in every revolution hearts broken by such
successes.

And when I got home I wrote in my diary:

And I think that will be the same in the South African revolution. The great men: Albert Luthuli, Bram Fischer, J.H. Hofmeyer, Alan Paton, Nelson Mandela, Robert Sobukwe, Peter Brown and many others the champions of freedom and justice, they, like Moses, will not live to enter the promised land. And when the promised land is entered at last, the promises will be betrayed, hopes destroyed, ideals caricatured. This is almost inevitable, but we carry on just the same. The Lord will provide.

And so it has turned out.

Under Western Eyes (Penguin Classics)Under Western Eyes by Joseph Conrad

I finished reading the book the following day and read the old man’s description of Natalia Haldin, “It is hard to think I shall never look any more into the trustful eyes of that girl, wedded to an invincible belief in the advent of loving concord, springing like a heavenly flower from the soil of men’s earth, soaked in blood, torn by struggles, watered with tears.”

And that put me in mind of the Ascension Day hymn:

He shall come down like showers upon the fruitful earth;
Love, joy, and hope, like flowers, spring in His path to birth.
Before Him, on the mountains, shall peace, the herald, go,
And righteousness, in fountains, from hill to valley flow.

And so every revolution betrays its children. While we live in this world, this secular age, we can never rest and think that because we have won our freedom we will remain free. The struggle continues. A luta continua. Die stryd duur voort.

 

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Edson Siwella permalink
    28 June 2016 11:32 am

    I have just read the article. About clairvoyance.

    Two comments: first beside the unquestionable fact that the practice clairvoyance finds no positive support in the Christian Bible the trouble with this kind of communication is with is vague mon-specific references to chance events. . .very vague. Then something happens and (boom!) the clairvoyant claims prio knowledge. Haibo. Second the parrale to Moses. . Mandela etc is just a bit unfit. Moses did enter the Promised land. . .oh yes(Matthew 17). Mandela had a turn in the first government post ’94. The thing that may be drawn from all this is the issue of sin. . ..sin that manifests itself as polygamy and hides under culture excuses, wears occult clothes and says its is traditional religion, steals thousands of rands and calls it helping the diaspora sport development, spreads condoms and encourages Love Life programmes and ignores the seventh commandment. . ..on and on.

    The Lord had raised good AICs. But the enemy has sown tares ) the Bushiris, the Zondos, the Shembes, the Likganyanes. . . False prophets and false teachers galore. The answer: Back to the Bible revival. . .the likes of Nicholas Bhengu, Duma and others.. .may the Lord be gracious and raise us such revivals.Amen. Shalom Edson

    • Gordon permalink
      28 June 2016 12:36 pm

      Edson, I think you are a true prophet by stating that the future is only to be found in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (Heaven), as expounded by such faithful men as Nicholas Bhengu , William Duma and , may I add, Elijah Mkwanazi and Benford Latyeba.

      Politicians are but tinkering with the essential problem of mankind and coming up with vain and temporary solutions in their crises management.

      ” The tumult and the shouting dies;
      The captains and the kings depart:
      Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice-
      An humble and a contrite heart.
      Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
      Lest we forget–lest we forget.” ( Rudyard Kipling )

    • 3 July 2016 7:17 am

      “Clairvoyance” is not a “practice”. What it means depends on the context. In a Christian context, it is to be found in John 4:17-18; 39. See also 1 Cor 12:8.

      However, in this instance I don’t think either Nick Clegg nor I were granted special knowledge by the Holy Spirit. All it takes is an elementary knowledge of history to know that every revolution betrays the ideals of its instigators. A knowledge of theology helps too. Human sinfulness is such (Rom 3:23) that we can expect the same thing. It’s just that Jacob Zuma managed to destroy it more quickly and thoroughly than most people expected. But the hymn that I quoted reminds us of John 16:33.

  2. Gordon permalink
    3 July 2016 12:02 pm

    Akukho mathandabuzo that Edson had sorcery in mind.

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