ernie_lynch: Was because Mugabe was black ?
Dunno. Possibly. Why do you ask?
Just wondered.......thought it might be. I was particularly struck with how your father-in-law liked Ian Smith. Now of course it's always nice to receive a pair of cufflinks as a present, and Mugabe clearly missed a trick there, but as we all know Ian Smith was a committed racist who staunchly believed that the white minority in Rhodesia should have full democratic rights whilst the black majority should have no democratic rights at all.
Furthermore he was in open rebellion against the British Crown, a treasonous offense which at that time carried the death plenty. No country in the world recognised his illegal racist regime. And he was only reluctantly dragged to the negotiating table after years of UN imposed sanctions and the armed struggle.
So on the face of it, one could describe him as a "not a very nice person". Although I am delighted to hear that he had an another rather more pleasant side to his personalty, and that he generously rewarded his drivers with a pair of cufflinks - I take it your father-in-law wasn't black ? However as a general rule most people require a little more than a pair of cufflinks to describe someone more racist than the BNP as a "delightful chap". So I just wondered whether the fact that Ian Smith was white, and Mugabe was black, also came into it. I now see that according to you "possibly". Cool