South African Politics

Corrosive fallout from buying into ruling-party myth

Binge-watching a top-rated TV series is a sure-fire way to escape the depressing reality of SA's winter of discontent. But beyond escapism, one current series offers compelling insight into what happens to a society where trust is destroyed and truth is completely corrupted. Chernobyl is the masterful HBO-Sky series depicting the nuclear disaster at the eponymous [...]

We all know that Ace is far from alone. Now let’s do something about it

The recent Easter weekend coincided with the intensification of campaigning for the upcoming general elections. The double advantage of a large audience and the ennoblement of the speakers with the blessings of a higher authority created a magnet for politicians to harangue congregations across the country. There were no reports of any of the political [...]

Vote for the party of obstructionists? Surely you jest

The old gag "the problem with political jokes is that they get elected" was given new meaning last weekend in embattled Ukraine. There, a television comedian, Volodymyr Zelensky, won a landslide victory, ousting hapless incumbent Petro Poroshenko. Voters ignored the latter's warning that "voting for a comedian is no joke". The obvious jokers in the [...]

More votes for opposition could shift SA from its mix of toxic politics and bad economics

In 2014 Financial Times columnist Philip Stephens went to Moscow. He was in search of an answer to the question why Vladimir Putin was, in the teeth of his weak economy and restive populace, doing such apparently risky things as invading neighbouring Crimea and threatening the states in Russia’s “near abroad”. The best response he [...]

SA’s parlous politics are more ‘Game of Thrones’ than Notre Dame

On Monday night, in the real world and in one of its cultural capitals, Paris, 800 years of French history and an icon of Christianity dating to the Middle Ages, went up in smoke. While the lasting damage inflicted by the fire that devastated Notre Dame Cathedral is being assessed, the global shock and horror [...]

When SA stops chasing away miners and tourists, we can talk of a new dawn

I am currently, literally, an ocean away from the homeland doing my semi-annual gig lecturing on a modern, rather sumptuous cruise ship which has journeyed up the west coast of Africa and now approaches Mediterranean Europe. Happily, the ship’s generator keeps it fully lit, so no load-shedding. But my role, along with some eminent Washington [...]

By |2019-04-03T12:56:52+00:00April 3rd, 2019|Brexit, South African Politics|0 Comments

The rise of the political professional has paralysed SA parties

And then there were none. That was the thought that occurred last Thursday, in Bryanston, Sandton, when I attended the memorial service for Rupert Lorimer. Until his death in early January, Lorimer was the last living member of the group of six new MPs who, in 1974, were elected to parliament for the Progressive Party, [...]

The voices we hear – and don’t hear – as poll fever bites

The rancorous tone of the election campaign here, even before its official start, suggests many readers might prefer to take a spin in a Land Rover driven by Prince Philip than endure three more months of political noise. Expect it to get even louder and nastier. Bill Clinton, at one time a vote-winner of note, [...]

ANC’s overblown manifesto has a Clinton-Lewinsky feel to it

Even if you could believe the anti-corruption pledge in the document, its lists would be politically anorexic Snippets from the recently launched ANC election manifesto conjured up the famous quip of Dorothy Parker about a spectacularly bad book: “This is not a novel to be tossed away lightly. It should be thrown away with great [...]

Bigger picture says DA should ditch EFF in metros

During the holiday season I attended a glitzy event in Cape Town for which the acronym MINO - money is no obstacle - applied in spades. During a lull in festivities, I had what might be termed a "Peter Bruce encounter'', though in circumstances likely more bling than those prevailing in his legendary pubs. An [...]