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About Tony Leon

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So far Tony Leon has created 264 blog entries.

Pandemic covers and uncovers a multitude of sins

Senator J. William Fulbright occupies a place in the political Pantheon reserved for a breed now extinct: he was a Southern Democratic Senator who staunchly opposed the war in Vietnam in the 1960’s and 1970’s. He lost his re-election bid in 1974 for being too out of touch with his conservative voters. But he did [...]

Instead of a virus national command, what SA really needs is a ‘Goat’

At the dawn of democracy SA gave birth to a Gnu. In the midst of a global pandemic is it not time for a Goat? I do not refer to animals, although Animal Farm remains the best take on politics ever written, but to a constitutional shorthand. The government of national unity (GNU) mandated under our interim [...]

By |2020-04-15T07:53:13+00:00April 15th, 2020|Corona Virus, South African Politics|0 Comments

The big disconnect between preparation for Covid-19 and the Credit-20 crash

A famous question was asked by British monarch Queen Elizabeth II: “Why did no-one see it coming?” This was not her question on the coronavirus pandemic, but her inquiry at the London School of Economics back in November 2008 on the credit crunch set off by the global financial crisis, which the British queen described [...]

When it’s over, we want all our rights back, Cyril

In 1966, two eminent academics at the University of Natal (as it then was), professors Ronald Albino and Tony Matthews, published a paper in the South African Law Journal entitled “The permanence of the temporary”. The article was an examination of the 90-day law and the 180-day detention regime which allowed the National Party regime, [...]

More Cyril, please, and less of the cabinet confusion

Our world, our country, our lives, all our assumptions and prejudices now divide in two. Globalisation pundit Thomas Friedman defines it as "BC" (before coronavirus) and "AC" (after coronavirus). With SA and much of the world now imprisoned at home, we can add a third acronym: "DC" - during Covid-19, the state we are in [...]

By |2020-03-29T08:17:41+00:00March 29th, 2020|Corona Virus, Cyril Ramaphosa|0 Comments

SA needs a bazooka to fight the virus. Cyril offered us a pea shooter

Covid 19 has converted us all into armchair immunologists. So here’s a trick question used sometimes to test aspiring medical specialists: “What treatment is offered by ear in an emergency?” The correct answer: “Words of comfort.” At his best, Cyril Ramaphosa reminds me of a trusty doctor. He might have a lousy diagnosis to deliver, [...]

Getting sick from Covid-19 might help us bin political fantasies

On the issue of the widening and constriction of our sovereign borders, the propulsive fuel for populists far and wide, the virus is a global crisis, though infection rates and governmental responses differ widely.  US President Donald Trump’s cry of “America First” and Boris Johnson’s “take back control” Brexit had winning voter appeal. Writing in [...]

By |2020-03-10T07:03:23+00:00March 10th, 2020|American Politics, Opinion, US elections|0 Comments

As Covid-19 threatens the Trump roadshow, an anxious world watches

It is both uniquely national, even intensely parochial on any given day, and yet it really matters hugely to the world, even here, beset though we are with our own problems. I refer to the current spectacle of the US presidential election, which still has nearly eight months to go until voting day on November [...]

By |2020-03-04T07:14:53+00:00March 4th, 2020|Donald Trump, US elections|0 Comments

Sacrificing our future on the altar of false unity

We learnt this week that the South African minister of communications can’t pin the city of Geneva in the state of Switzerland.  But what of the state of our own nation as the government displays as many fractures as an orthopaedic ward? In parliament, DA leader John Steenhuisen asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to put country [...]

By |2020-02-23T06:23:01+00:00February 23rd, 2020|African National Congress (ANC), Cyril Ramaphosa, Eskom|0 Comments

Next on De Klerk’s to-do list: find out how the EFF thugs got a free pass

Last November, before an international audience gathered in Cape Town, I conducted an interview with former president FW de Klerk. One of the issues I canvassed with him was his take on the age-old issue of whether it is historical forces or individuals who change the course of history, or some combination of both. Cyril [...]

By |2020-02-19T06:10:10+00:00February 19th, 2020|Uncategorized|0 Comments