Was Obote the ogre he has so often been represented as having been? Certainly there were some British civil servants who saw him in that light before independence. During his first period in office most Baganda regarded him as the villain who at first threatened and then overthrew their kingdom, and there were some expatriates who looked upon the closing years of his first presidency as a time, if not of tyranny, at least of oppression. It was, however, Obote's second tenn as president which brought more widespread obloquy upon his head. Yet, responding to Amnesty International's condemnatory report in June 1985, Malcolm Rifkind, Britain's minister of state at the foreign office, was more cautious, commenting that there had undoubtedly been atrocities and abuse of power during the Obote years, but that to compare them unfavourably with the excesses of Idi Amin was unreasonable. It was not exactly an encomium, but it at least suggested that the more outlandish accusations levelled against Obote might be looked at more carefully.