International Politics

Plunder, stealing – and this they falsely call a presidency

Tony Leon finds parallels in literature ranging from Superman to Tacitus to ‘Catch-22’ for the plight of the president and his party.

Several notables are cited as originators of the famous formula, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.”

Among the claimants is Joseph Heller, author of the iconic 20th-century satirical novel Catch-22.

Proof positive […]

By |December 4th, 2016|International Politics, Jacob Zuma, South African Politics|0 Comments

The Big Read: It’s the same sad old story

On the weekend, as the once feared Springboks were humiliated by Wales for only the third time in 110 years, just after the Italian job, their riches-to-rags story coincided with a newly released academic report. It has resonance beyond sport, right into the ugly heart of local and world events.

The UK’s Daily Mail published a […]

By |November 30th, 2016|International Politics, South African Politics|0 Comments

The Big Read: Cheap-seat tweets expose Trump as the ultimate hack

Two events last Friday morning, oceans and several time zones apart, remind us that politicians embrace the full spectrum of the ethical universe.

First up, literally since it was predawn, were the intemperate, vituperative and ranting tweets – starting at 3am – of US presidential candidate Donald J Trump.

These were on heavyweight matters: on the size […]

By |October 5th, 2016|International Politics, US elections, World Politics|0 Comments

Tregernomics: An Interview with Tony Leon

Tony Leon is a major figure in South African politics. He became the leader of the Democratic Party in 1994, and over the next five years, he helped grow it into South Africa’s second largest party, making him Leader of the Opposition. He held this role for several years until 2007, keeping the ruling African […]

By |October 3rd, 2016|International Politics, US elections, World Politics|0 Comments

The Big Read: The Indian lesson to be learnt

Last week’s landing at Air Force Base Waterkloof by a planeload of Indian grandees was altogether a more welcome occasion than the last time arrivals there made the headlines.

Readers will recall that state- or Gupta-capture was first heralded in April 2013, when the infamous family flew in a chartered jet for a wedding and, in […]

By |July 13th, 2016|International Politics|0 Comments

Brexit vote has evaporated the certainties of decades

AMONG the many benefits of being in residence as a Fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics some years back, was to become acquainted with some of the faculty at a university overflowing with the academic equivalents of rock stars. Niall Ferguson, the whip-smart and charismatic professor of history, had a keen interest in SA, which […]

By |July 8th, 2016|Brexit, International Politics|0 Comments

After Brexit, the great unravelling

Unlikely a place as England might be for a political earthquake, it is perhaps the setting for a great unravelling

In July 1961, in London’s West End, a new musical play debuted to critical and commercial success. Entitled Stop the World – I Want to Get Off , it was set in a circus.

Last Thursday, British […]

South Africa, Israel, Iran and … Kroonstad?

‘The ideological attraction of our government to authoritarian Iran perhaps lies in the unquiet grave of past history’

Here is a tale of three countries. Let‘s call them A, B and C. Country A is experiencing its worst drought in living memory.

Last year, according to one report, country A recorded its lowest rainfall “since comprehensive records […]

By |June 22nd, 2016|International Politics, Opinion, South African Politics|0 Comments

The ‘Russian option’ that every South African should fear

The rule of law here and everywhere is a fragile instrument. It is capable of capture by ruthless politicians

There is one book every South African, except perhaps Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, should read.
Red Notice — How I became Putin‘s No.1 Enemy by Bill Browder has, as the title suggests, nothing to do with South Africa. […]

By |May 11th, 2016|International Politics, Thuli Madonsela|0 Comments

Tough questions for our democratic parliament to answer

In an eventful, and crisis-driven three terms as British Prime Minister, Tony Blair both created and confronted some big issues and hairy moments.

Here is his unequivocal description of the worst of them: “ It was the most discombobulating, nail-biting, bowel-moving, terror-inspiring, courage-draining experience in my prime-ministerial life, without question.”

Was he describing the decision to stand […]

By |September 27th, 2015|International Politics, Opinion, South African Politics, World Politics|0 Comments