Monthly Archives: December 2022

No festival of lights here. And forget about a miracle

On Wednesday I bumped into a veteran journalist just back from the ANC's 55th national conference at Nasrec, Johannesburg. He described his five days at the event as “hellish” — everything endlessly delayed, impenetrable ANC jargon in place of plain speech, zero attention to crucial policymaking and pervasive chaos and unruliness. Happily, spared such a [...]

Shades of Waterkloof: let’s talk about that Russian ship on Cape shores

Back in 1973, the New York Times master columnist and resident conservative flag bearer in a hyper-liberal establishment newspaper popularised the acronym “MEGO”. It derives from the first letters of the editor’s phrase, “My Eyes Glaze Over”. It was, he advised, an editorial put-down of a worthy but crushingly dull article. But he noted it [...]

With Ramaphosa’s zugzwang, it’s goodbye to the new dawn

Goodbye To All That was the title of the 1929 autobiography of war-traumatised Robert Graves, the acclaimed writer and poet, which he described as his “bitter leave-taking of England”. It is a useful obituary note for the presidency of Cyril Ramaphosa. Technically, like Mark Twain’s reported death, this might seem greatly exaggerated. But only in the [...]

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