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How To Steal A Country describes the vertiginous decline in political leadership in South Africa from Mandela to Zuma and its terrible consequences. Robin Renwick’s account reads in parts like a novel – a crime novel – for Sherlock Holmes old adversary, Professor Moriarty, the erstwhile Napoleon of Crime, would have been impressed by the ingenuity, audacity and sheer scale of the looting of the public purse, let alone the impunity with which it has been accomplished.
Based on Renwick’s personal experiences of the main protagonists, it describes the extraordinary influence achieved by the Gupta family for those seeking to do business with state-owned enterprises in South Africa, and the massive amounts earned by Gupta related companies from their associations with them. The ensuing scandals have engulfed Bell Pottinger, KPMG, McKinsey and other multinationals. The primary responsibility for this looting of the state however, rests squarely with President Zuma and key members of his government. But South Africa has succeeded in establishing a genuinely non-racial society full of determined and enterprising people, offering genuine hope for the future. These include independent journalists, black and white, who refuse to be silenced, and the judges, who have acted with courage and independence.
The book concludes that change will come, either by the ruling party reverting to the values of Mandela and Archbishop Tutu, or by the reckoning it otherwise will face one day.
Described as Mrs Thatcher's favourite diplomat, Robin Renwick was at the centre of events in the negotiations to end the Rhodesian War. As Ambassador in South Africa, he played a bridging role between the government and the ANC, having become a trusted personal friend of Nelson Mandela and of F. W. de Klerk. In the Foreign Office, he played an integral part in forging the agreement that returned two thirds of our contribution to the European budget back to Britain. In Washington, where he became a confidant of George Bush Sr, then of Bill Clinton, he was deemed an exceptionally influential British Ambassador whose efforts were devoted to getting the US and its allies to take the actions needed to end the Bosnian War. Not Quite A Diplomat looks back over an illustrious career in the foreign service and paints vivid and revealing first-hand portraits of some of the giants of international politics over the past forty years, from Mandela and Mugabe to George Bush Sr, the Clintons and Margaret Thatcher. In this entertaining memoir, Renwick examines why diplomacy too often consists of ineffective posturing, and explores the likely effects of Brexit, Trump and, potentially, Jeremy Corbyn on Britain's standing in the world.
On 2 February 1990, FW de Klerk made a speech that changed the history of South Africa. Nine days later, the world watched as Nelson Mandela walked free from the Victor Verster prison. In the midst of these events was Lord Renwick, Margaret Thatcher's envoy to South Africa, who became a personal friend of Nelson Mandela, FW de Klerk and Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, acting as a trusted intermediary between them.
He warned PW Botha against military attacks on neighbouring countries, in meetings he likens to 'calling on the fuhrer in his bunker'. He invited Mandela to his first meal in a restaurant for twenty-seven years, rehearsing him for his meeting with Margaret Thatcher - and told Thatcher that she must not interrupt him. Their discussion went on so long that the British press in Downing Street started chanting 'Free Nelson Mandela'. In this extraordinary insider's account, Renwick draws on his diaries of the time, as well as previously unpublished material from the Foreign Office and Downing Street files.
He paints a vivid, affectionate, real-life portrait of Mandela as a wily and resourceful political leader bent on out-manoeuvring both adversaries and some of his own colleagues in pursuit of a peaceful outcome.
'The task of all who believe in multiracialism in this country is to survive. Quite inevitably time is on our side...' Helen Suzman was the voice of South Africa's conscience during the darkest days of apartheid. She stood alone in parliament, confronted by a legion of highly chauvinist male politicians. Armed with the relentless determination and biting wit for which she became renowned, Suzman battled the racist regime and earned her reputation as a legendary anti-apartheid campaigner. Despite constant antagonism and the threat of violence, she forced into the global spotlight the injustices of the country's minority rule. Access to Suzman's papers, including her unpublished correspondence with Nelson Mandela, was granted by her family to the author, former British ambassador to South Africa Robin Renwick, who has penned a book rich with examples of her humour and political brilliance. This first full biography goes beyond her famous struggle against apartheid into her criticisms of the post-apartheid government. It is a fascinating insight into the life of a truly great South African and her role in one of the most important struggles in modern history.
Hillary Rodham Clinton was the first First Lady to have her own office in the West Wing of the White House and the only First Lady ever to be subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury. Upon leaving the White House, she was elected as the first female Senator for New York, then served as one of America's most popular Secretaries of State. Will she now become the first female President of the United States? Hillary is poised to decide whether she will launch a fresh attempt to take the highest office in the world and make history in doing so. But what is Hillary really like? Will she run? Can she win? What can the world expect from Hillary if she does get back to the White House? What sort of President would she be? Robin Renwick, who was the British ambassador in Washington when the Clintons arrived in the White House, seeks to answer these questions and more in this vivid portrait of one of the most polarising and central figures in recent US political history.
In this new and forward-looking edition of Fighting with Allies, former British Ambassador to the US Robin Renwick describes the roller-coaster history of the 'special relationship' between Britain and the United States first established by Churchill and Roosevelt in the desperate summer of 1940, exploring the profound changes it has undergone, especially in the past two decades, the increasing disparity of power and the extent to which it remains relevant in a very different world today.Through the eyes of successive presidents and prime ministers, he describes in vivid detail how each side viewed the other during successive crises, both in the world at large and in the relationship itself - most recently over the Falklands, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan - and outlines some lessons to be learned from those interventions.Through its extraordinary history, full of outsized characters, the alliance has shown remarkable endurance, based on a solid foundation of common interest.With the ground shifting on both sides of the Atlantic, and Britain's role in the world about to be changed radically by Brexit, the special relationship nevertheless is far from having outlived its usefulness today.
A Journey with Margaret Thatcher is an extraordinary insider's account of British foreign policy under Margaret Thatcher by one of her key advisers. Providing a closeup view of the Iron Lady in action, former high-ranking diplomat Robin Renwick examines her diplomatic successes - including the defeat of aggression in the Falklands, what the Americans felt to be the excessive influence she exerted on Ronald Reagan, her special relationship with Mikhail Gorbachev and contribution to the ending of the Cold War, the Anglo-Irish agreement, her influence with de Klerk in South Africa and relationship with Nelson Mandela - and what she herself acknowledged as her spectacular failure in resisting German reunification. He describes at first hand her often turbulent relationship with other European leaders and her arguments with her Cabinet colleagues about European monetary union (in which regard, he contends, her arguments have stood the test of time better and are highly relevant to the crisis in the eurozone today). Finally, the book tells of her bravura performance in the run up to the Gulf War, her calls for intervention in Bosnia and the difficulties she created for her successor. While her faults were on the same scale as her virtues, Margaret Thatcher succeeded in her mission to restore Britain's standing and influence, in the process becoming a cult figure in many other parts of the world.
An insider's account of the negotiations which ended the Rhodesia conflict and of the British role in South Africa in the period leading up to the release of Nelson Mandela.
It was Winston Churchill who, in his speech at Fulton, Missouri, advocated a 'special relationship between the British Commonwealth...and the United States...the continuance of intimate relationships between our military advisers, leading to the common study of potential dangers'. Through the eyes of Churchill, Roosevelt and their successors, Sir Robin Renwick traces the development of the Anglo-American relationship since the desperate summer of 1940 and the part it played in the shaping of the post-war world. Detecting once again a whiff of the 1930s in the air, Sir Robin concludes that, as one of the ties that bind Europe and North America, the relationship remains an important one, and not only to Britain and the United States. There are many on both sides of the Atlantic who will think that the world would have been poorer without it. Nor has the world yet assumed so secure and predictable a form as to render it redundant.
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