White mischief

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The Independent Online

It makes for an ironic contrast. Gordon Brown's visit to Africa has coincided with the sentencing of another famous Briton for helping to finance a coup there. Sir Mark Thatcher's guilty plea yesterday is a victory for the South African intelligence services, and ought to serve as a warning to mercenaries everywhere. And if the Chancellor is looking for an example of the sort of "foreign intervention" that has done such harm to Africa over the years, he need look no further than this botched coup attempt. Thankfully, Sir Mark's fate has shown that the days when Westerners could plunder Africa for riches and glory are well and truly over.

It makes for an ironic contrast. Gordon Brown's visit to Africa has coincided with the sentencing of another famous Briton for helping to finance a coup there. Sir Mark Thatcher's guilty plea yesterday is a victory for the South African intelligence services, and ought to serve as a warning to mercenaries everywhere. And if the Chancellor is looking for an example of the sort of "foreign intervention" that has done such harm to Africa over the years, he need look no further than this botched coup attempt. Thankfully, Sir Mark's fate has shown that the days when Westerners could plunder Africa for riches and glory are well and truly over.

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