Opinion

SA’s IMF loan carries echoes of Britain in 1976

On September 28 1976 British prime minister James Callaghan made a momentous speech to the Labour party annual conference in the Lancashire seaside town of Blackpool. It was later described as the “first monetarist speech” by a British prime minister, albeit a socialist. Callaghan advised his party delegates: “Britain faces its most dangerous crisis since [...]

By |2020-07-31T06:09:53+00:00July 31st, 2020|Opinion|0 Comments

Malawi’s triumph for democracy gives a cheerless world reason to take heart

Landlocked and impoverished Malawi occupies little attention in this country or the world’s consciousness. Yet this predominantly rural and often blighted central African country has at key moments emerged from the shadows and thrust itself into the spotlight here and well beyond these shores. In May 1970, its dictatorial President for Life, Dr Hastings Banda, [...]

By |2020-07-08T07:31:28+00:00July 8th, 2020|Opinion, World Politics|0 Comments

The racial slant in Cyril’s Floyd-Biko parallel reveals his true colours

The Years of Lyndon Johnson by Robert A Caro ranks as one of the finest biographies yet written on leaders and their complexions, compulsions and achievements.  In volume four of this epic work, The Passage of Power, Caro writes of the moment when Johnson was thrust into the presidency after the assassination of John F Kennedy in [...]

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

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

Tito may not have good news, but he won’t fly a false flag – we hope

South Africans desperately seeking some good news are unlikely to find it in the speech in parliament on Wednesday afternoon from Tito Mboweni when he delivers the medium-term budget policy statement. Happier tidings might emerge from the pitch on Saturday afternoon when the Springboks meet England in the Rugby World Cup final at the International [...]

By |2019-10-30T04:38:24+00:00October 30th, 2019|Finance Minister, Opinion, South African Politics|0 Comments

Instructive lessons for Eskom from British Leyland’s experience

There is a long, ever-lengthening, list of SA-originating business leaders who have achieved huge success and had high impact in boardrooms and markets across the world. Elon Musk and Roelof Botha in the hi-tech field in California (and even outer space in the case of the former); Ivan Glasenberg and Mick Davis in the world [...]

By |2019-10-01T06:11:22+00:00October 1st, 2019|Eskom, Opinion, South African Politics|0 Comments

Rap on the knuckles for the new nationalists

Usually, I am a sucker for middlebrow musicals of the Sound of Music and Evita stamp, where you leave the theatre singing,  tunelessly but enthusiastically,  the showstopper tunes. But last week in London, and aptly on the eve of SA’s Heritage Day, I witnessed a musical event with such great and wider meaning, and performed in such an unusual, [...]

By |2019-09-29T06:11:14+00:00September 29th, 2019|Boris Johnson, Opinion, South African Politics|0 Comments

Justice Cameron sets high bar for successor in SA’s top court

In 1981, a young Roman law lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand left the faculty to go to Oxford University as a Vinerian Scholar. This most prestigious legal scholarship is awarded by one of the most prestigious universities in the world "for the best performance in the degree Bachelor of Civil Laws". Only four [...]

By |2019-08-25T06:35:36+00:00August 25th, 2019|Opinion, South African Politics|0 Comments