RIP Ian Smith; but does anyone care these days?

I certainly shed a tear but nobody where I live seems to know even who he was- obviously this isn't unusual for 21st Century Britain and I was expecting no different but as an old Rhodie I found his passing a little emotional.

Does anyone else feel the same- have MacMillan's winds of change blown over with Smith's passing in your opinion? Is my old Africa important in this modern world?

Any thoughts welcome- thank you.

14 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer


    I remember Ian Smith very well. Here in Canada I took an African history course and had to do an oration and paper on him and Rhodesia. I took his point of view and stuck up for him for arguments sake and the East Indian South African prof spent the rest of the whole lecture cutting me down and criticizing my references. All ended well though because he still gave me a B+ for kick starting the sleepy class that day.

    In that time I remember people did not look at the situation carefully. Decolonization in Africa was very ugly and the horrors that occured were too numerous to write here.

    White people who lived in these countries had a lot of investments and it is human nature that you want to prevent them from going down the tubes. I know that when 280,000 people tell 4 million where and what to do it seems ludicrous at times but then again our native people in Canada have many claims against white colonials and want things given back but there are only about 600,000 vs 31 million.

    Ian Smith saw Britain was going to do nothing as the other colonial powers did and foresaw a great deal of trouble and tribulation. Had England not been dragging her feet so much the UDI would not have been necessary. What irked me at that time was Britain's hypocracy. Here they were ranting about Ian Smith and the second class status of the blacks while at the same time, ignoring and not coming down on their own province of Northern Ireland where Roman Catholics were treated as second class citizens and discriminated against.

    Like they say, the proof is in the pudding. It turns out that Ian Smith was right on the mark in his predictions of what would happen. I know Africans like the tribal sysytem with one boss figure but anyway they got their one man one vote. One man Mugabe; one vote, Mugabe. This country had the second or third strongest ecomomy in Africa and now it is third from the bottom. I warned a friend of mine to not invest with a Zimbabwen there for now but he through the race card at me.

    He got taken to the cleaners and lost 5k worth of computer equipment.

    Anyway Ian Smith left me with a positive feeling as a person.

    Many forgot he served England as a fighter pilot in WWII and even when his country went over to his former enemy he had the conviction and courage to stay on and remain a citizen and opposition leader (until expelled). He could have faced "war crime" trials under Mugabe's dictatorship but he remained steadfast and held the course. My only criticism of Mr. Smith was in presnting his arguments to the rest of the worls, he did seem quite paternalistic in his speeches at times and gave one the impression that he was a reincarnation of Cecil Rhodes. That was an OK approach for the 19th century world but it did make him seem out of step, especially with the big social changes of the late 60's and early 70's.


    Michael Kelly

  • 6 years ago

    Ian Smith was a racist, but he was a good man who genuinely wanted the best for Rhodesia. Zimbabweans, both black and white, admired him later in life for his resistance to Mugabe. Smith may have had his faults, but he was not the mass-murderer that Mugabe has become. As many Zimbabweans will say, 'under Smith we were the bread basket of Africa, and now we are the basket case'

  • 1 decade ago

    Ian Smith had a genuine love of Rhodesia, as it was then and genuinely feared what would become of it if the likes of Mugabe took over. He was proved to be 100% correct in his misgivings but nobody would listen to him and he was pilloried by the liberal left.

    Not much liberal about Zimbabwe now is there?

    Lots of starvation though, brutality and rampant inflation. It's not just the white Zimbabweans that have lost everything it's also the black ones. Nobody has benefited at all except Mugabe and his cronies. And the UK has just stood back and watched. RIP Ian Smith.

  • 1 decade ago

    Now that all the whites have been taken out of the administration commerce and politics of Zimbabwe, they can be free to develop their economy and achieve their rightful position as a flourishing exporter of food to their neighbours. Like they were when they got rid of white control.

    Sorry just joking! It's like watching the children being given the keys to the liquor cabinet while parents are away for a month.

    Well you've got your freedom from white rule, and maybe now you'll realise, you were better off then than you'll ever be under your petty tyrant chiefs.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I CARE!!! Ian Smith was a brilliant man and sadly the last honest politician!

    He gave both the whites and the blacks a peaceful and prosperous life and anyone who tries to pull the race card on his politics and call him a white supremacist just need to shut up and actually read up on him, instead of regurgitating the the liberal crap that has been showed down your throats! Then you will see what an amazing man he really was!!!

    May he RIP... he deserves only the best!!!

  • 1 decade ago

    Im afraid there is a new Africa now- im not saying better or worse but new nontheless. And do you really expect British youth of today to give a damn?

  • Scouse
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    I think many who opposed him in Rhodesia at the time wish he was back. White supremest or not and i include black people in that because they have lost much more than they have gained

  • 1 decade ago

    i was a little girl but knew about him and his white supremacy rule in south africa. im sure his family are grieving, im not as i didnt know him personally

  • Indeed r i p Ian.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I most certainly don't.

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