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About Tony Leon

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So far Tony Leon has created 250 blog entries.

It would have been a false ‘New Dawn’ in Davos for Cyril

Imagine a pow wow in London this week, featuring the heir to the throne Prince William and his self-dethroning brother, Harry, and a cast of international and African worthies. The title of this gathering, “UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020”, of the great and the good, including a clutch of continental leaders, is both virtuous and self-evidently [...]

By |2020-01-22T06:37:41+00:00January 22nd, 2020|African National Congress (ANC), Cyril Ramaphosa|0 Comments

The good news first: SA isn’t as doomed as you think

As we end the first week of the year and enter the brave new world of the third decade of the century (not true for the pedants, as the last decade strictly ends on December 31 2020), note one big thing. According to the 2011 SA census, more than 40% of our 57 million population [...]

Well-intentioned men of zeal and the harm they do

In his famous 1928 dissenting opinion in Olmstead vs United States, US Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis offered a warning to freedom-lovers everywhere. He wrote: “Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their [...]

Don’t even bother, Mmusi. Your ‘people’s dialogue’ will be a flop

Away from the Eskom horror show, far be it for me to rain on the “People’s Dialogue” to be launched soon by Herman Mashaba and Mmusi Maimane. However, a weather check may be in order to see whether a shaft of light may yet appear in our current darkness. There is an elephant’s graveyard in [...]

With left and right in flux, UK poll is bound to be a shake-up

A terror attack on London Bridge before polling day; opinion polls showing the governing Conservative Party on course for a huge parliamentary majority; the deep unpopularity of the Labour Party’s Jeremy Corbyn; and a desire by voters to end the impasse over Brexit. These are key electoral assets for the incumbent Tory prime minister. The [...]

By |2019-12-05T08:49:49+00:00December 5th, 2019|Boris Johnson, Brexit, World Politics|0 Comments

Corruption and conspiracies: the lies that bind our Zuma and Israel’s Bibi

At first blush, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu and our dethroned former president, Jacob Zuma, have zero in common. The one presides over one of the most successful economies in the world, the other drove ours into a ditch. Zuma is a staunch ally of the Palestinian cause; Netanyahu has made a career out [...]

Our own ‘royals’ in government go beyond parody

In 1867, constitutionalist Walter Bagehot decoded the enduring magic of Britain's royal family: "Its mystery is its life. We must not let daylight upon its magic." Just over 140 years later, last Saturday night the current queen's favourite child, apparently, and certainly her dimmest, invited not daylight but the bright klieg lights of the BBC's Newsnight into [...]

By |2019-11-24T06:51:53+00:00November 24th, 2019|Opinion, South African Politics|0 Comments

How a slip of the tongue far away helped bring down apartheid

On Saturday night in Berlin, the capital of chic modernity in Europe and of its largest economy, throngs celebrated the 30-year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the most menacing and divisive symbol of the Cold War. On November 9 1989, Berlin was ground zero of the four-decade battle between the liberal market [...]

By |2019-11-13T06:49:12+00:00November 13th, 2019|Opinion, Uncategorized, World Politics|0 Comments

Look and learn: choking debt before it chokes you

Comparing two different polities, especially with different demographics, history and economies, can be fraught and error-ridden. Writing in Politicsweb recently, RW Johnson dismissed as “very silly” attempts to find “alleged SA analogies” in sovereign and leadership comparisons “as if everything that happens in the world needs to be translated into what it means for SA”. [...]

By |2019-11-12T06:30:18+00:00November 12th, 2019|South African Politics, Tito Mboweni|0 Comments

Mboweni and Ramaphosa, it’s time for action

This week’s medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) is the grimmest and most difficult in a generation. There’s the revenue shortfall, anticipated at about R50bn. The convenient — though perfectly valid — explanation for this huge undershoot is the internal sabotage at the SA Revenue Service by Tom Moyane and his merry men and women. The less [...]