World Politics

Was Biden weak or is he doing a Ramaphosa and playing the long game?

Last Thursday, while driving in the English countryside, various authoritative voices on BBC Radio Four provided a counterpoint to the heavy traffic. The topic was, of course, Afghanistan, and the experts speculated that the capital city, Kabul, was in danger of encirclement at some future point, “perhaps even on the anniversary of 9/11”, in view of [...]

By |2021-08-18T06:27:13+00:00August 18th, 2021|Opinion, World Politics|0 Comments

Poetic justice in the way court-stacking is so often foiled

Back in the early 1930s, SA, perhaps in echo of those times, had a Hitler-admiring, German-speaking minister of justice. History does not remember kindly, or perhaps at all, the name of Oswald Pirow. Still, in the momentous drama of events in the US following the death of Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last weekend, [...]

By |2020-09-27T07:56:57+00:00September 27th, 2020|Donald Trump, US elections, World Politics|0 Comments

SA may not be booming like Rwanda, but at least we haven’t got a dictator

A handy guide to the mythologising of hero worship is offered in the 1962 Western movie starring John Wayne, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. The last line features a minor character who says: “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” Many years later in 2004, I was in Brussels for a political jamboree when [...]

By |2020-09-03T07:53:14+00:00September 3rd, 2020|Opinion, World Politics|0 Comments

If SA is outdone by Bibi and Trump, we must be in dire domestic straits

Last week, two vulnerable heads of governments dealt with foreign policy predicaments in their immediate neighbourhoods with decidedly different results. In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing unprecedented crises, several of his own making: his improbable coalition government  – which spans far-right, right and moderate centre parties, secular and ultra-religious factions – is unravelling. [...]

By |2020-08-19T08:03:29+00:00August 19th, 2020|Opinion, World Politics|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

Despite the jokes, climate crisis is no laughing matter

SA received an icy warning of its global dip from The Money Show host Bruce Whitfield, reporting from the World Economic Forum (WEF) shindig. “Davos is depressing — SA is barely here,” he lamented across the airwaves, contrasting the current invisibility with our golden yesteryears when “we used to have a very dominant position”. At one [...]

By |2020-01-26T06:09:16+00:00January 26th, 2020|Climate Change, World Politics|0 Comments

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 [...]

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

Come on, Zindzi and Cyril, is it too much to ask for a little diplomacy?

Misery loves company, as the old saying goes. So however depressed the local weather, the stuttering economy or the winning loss of the Proteas exit makes you feel, spare a thought for Sir Kim Darroch. He enjoys the dream diplomatic posting as British ambassador to the United States. But right now,  despite residing in one [...]

By |2019-07-10T06:14:37+00:00July 10th, 2019|Cyril Ramaphosa, Donald Trump, World Politics|0 Comments
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