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About Tony Leon

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So far Tony Leon has created 302 blog entries.

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

In the US, it’s dog-whistle Daddy against a soft Mommy

At the Republican national convention, the keynote speaker on its first night delivered a thunderous address. He declared: "This election is about who we are. It is about what we believe and what we stand for as Americans. There is a religious war going on in this country. It is a cultural war, as critical [...]

By |2020-08-30T07:46:25+00:00August 30th, 2020|Donald Trump, US elections|0 Comments

Ramaphosa’s Catch 22: sacrifice the ANC to save the country

With just two televised speeches earlier in 2020, on March 15 and April 21, President Cyril Ramaphosa flew into the stratosphere of public approval. This rarefied plane has been occupied by few politicians, and none of his competitors or predecessors apart from Nelson Mandela. Ramaphosa was in control of a national emergency; decisive steps were [...]

By |2020-08-27T07:19:28+00:00August 27th, 2020|African National Congress (ANC), Cyril Ramaphosa|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

This virus has robbed gasbag Juju of oxygen – but don’t write him off

Eight months since the current plague emerged from Wuhan, China, we face disrupted lives, shattered livelihoods, a wrecked economy and more to come. This unhappy picture, though, has one silver lining for those who believe in grown-up solutions and global responses to an international crisis such as the novel coronavirus – described as a “once-in-a-century [...]

By |2020-08-05T07:24:01+00:00August 5th, 2020|Cyril Ramaphosa, EFF, Julius Malema, Uncategorized|0 Comments

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

Shades of ’80s SA in this mysterious modern Star Chamber

The reason we use a 19th century remedy - washing our hands - for a novel 21st century virus is that the outer shell of the coronavirus is weak. The "lipid envelope" is easily destroyed by soap and water. I read this virological fact in an article by master novelist Ian McEwan, who also, via [...]

Lacking courage to tackle SA’s disasters, Cyril’s credibility crumbles

A few weeks back, and for the first time in more than a decade, I addressed a parliamentary caucus of the Democratic Alliance, on the party’s 20th anniversary. These current dire times dictate virtual Zoom meetings as the new normal. So, I was unable to gauge the body language of my audience that day; and I [...]

By |2020-07-22T07:45:05+00:00July 22nd, 2020|Cyril Ramaphosa|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

Opposition is a thankless task, but we can’t do without it

The late former leader of the parliamentary opposition, Frederik Van Zyl Slabbert, once said that to do his job “you need iron in the soul”. That phrase provides the title for an interesting book I read recently on the leaders of the official opposition here, authored by Unisa academic Alex Mouton. An even bleaker prospect was [...]

By |2020-07-03T06:34:30+00:00July 3rd, 2020|Democratic Alliance, John Steenhuisen|0 Comments
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