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: Let he who has ears, hear

Exactly seventy-two years ago on Monday, June 6 1944, over 150000 allied troops stormed the Nazi-held beaches of Normandy, France, a day immortalised as D-Day.

D-Day began the final, though bloody, phase of the war against Hitler and the liberation of Europe from the Nazi jackboot, achieved with finality the following spring, on May 8 1945, […]

Three SA ambassadors that present an ugly face to the world

Cynics here and elsewhere might think it appropriate that South Africa’s face overseas is that of a criminal accused

Readers might have observed last week’s moving ceremony in Hiroshima, when Barack Obama made history by becoming the first US president to visit the city America hit with an atom bomb in 1945 .

Less noticed, perhaps, was […]

When good leaders turn bad

Lula and Brazil’s descent from grace goes a lot beyond country and personality

The great, now sadly late, rocker Prince will be remembered for many things, from musical genius to edgy sexuality and the shock of the new back in 1978.

Back then he burst onto the musical scene with his debut album For You.

But, unlike some […]

By |April 28th, 2016|Ambassador of Argentina, World Politics|0 Comments

Where’s South Africa headed? Just look at Argentina

So much wealth and wellbeing was squandered by bad governance and even worse economic policies

THIS month three years ago I had an interesting encounter with one of the most senior members of our government.
I had just returned from my stint as SA ambassador to Argentina, and I was asked for my views on that country. […]

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

Time of political fracture links polls continents apart

TWO rather different leadership contests are happening this week. In the UK tomorrow, a new prime minister will be chosen, and in SA on Sunday, the Democratic Alliance (DA) will choose a new leader. The consequences of these choices will have hugely different effects.

The UK might count for less in the world these days than […]

By |May 7th, 2015|Opinion, South African Politics, World Politics|0 Comments

Lessons from a leader who banned chewing gum

The ‘guided democracy’ lead by the late Lee Kuan Yew had plenty of lessons — both good and bad — that can come in useful for leaders around the world
Nineteenth-century French writer Gustave Flaubert was of the view that “our worth should be measured by our aspirations more than our works”.

He would go down a […]

By |April 30th, 2015|Opinion, World Politics|0 Comments