With all eyes on the VP speakers at the front, few attending the LCID Members Reception would have noticed the gentleman at the back who popped in, listened and then slipped away. It was Bob Hughes (Lord Hughes of Woodside). Bob Hughes was a Labour MP for Aberdeen North from 1970 till 1997 and served as Under Secretary of State for Scotland in Harold Wilson’s Government in 1974 before resigning over Labour’s incomes policy. However Bob’s main political legacy is as a great internationalist. He was Chair of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM) from 1976 until it was dissolved in 1995 after the ending of apartheid in South Africa.
Under his energetic chairmanship the Anti-Apartheid Movement campaigned against the Thatcher government’s refusal to impose sanctions against South Africa in the 1980s and helped organise the 1988 ‘Free Mandela’ 70th birthday concert at Wembley stadium which was televised by the BBC and broadcast around the world (read all about it at http://tonyhollingsworth.com/?q=content/nelson-mandela-70th-birthday-tribute). Eighteen months later Mandela was freed.
Lord Hughes attended the independence celebrations in Namibia in 1990 and acted as an observer at South Africa’s first democratic elections in April 1994. After the dissolution of the AAM he became the first Chairperson of its successor organisation, Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA).
We are proud to have him as a member of LCID.
Alastair Osborne is the Scottish Officer for LCID