Democratic Alliance

Who leads the DA when Steenhuisen follows another leader?

When I was leader of the opposition, I once compared the job with its certain punishments and uncertain prospects as “making bricks without straw”. Sometimes there were opportunities to reach and targets to hit, but equally the very basics for construction were often missing. From a now vanished age, late United Party MP and opposition [...]

Constitution requires DA to take a nonracial stance

Tolstoy, observing a tree, reminds us that “the leaves enchant us more than the roots”. In the gale of commentary that gusted after the DA’s recent policy reset, the party appears to have caught some high winds of disapproval. This is surprising for at least two obvious reasons. Neither of these were articulated in the [...]

By |2020-09-18T08:54:50+00:00September 18th, 2020|Democratic Alliance, Helen Zille, Mmusi Maimane|0 Comments

Clicks’s naïve bid to right a wrong merely gave the EFF thugs more power

Peace is a universal desired end and its achievement is as cherished even as the concept remains often elusive. “Peace with honour” is an even better idea, suggesting that its attainment can be founded on principle. It is just a pity that the term is imperishably associated with the man who first claimed to have [...]

By |2020-09-16T10:56:29+00:00September 16th, 2020|Democratic Alliance, EFF, Opinion|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

Too many Covid-19 puzzlements an uneasy resonance with pre-Nazi Germany

As South Africans endure the seventh week of home imprisonment, the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic is, to borrow from the song in The King and I, “a puzzlement”. First puzzle is our new overlord, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. She seems to imagine that viral microbes possess an intelligence wing. And while several of her fellow ministers, [...]

Veterans of long haul are not rattled by death notices

In the furies of social media, it is worth a reminder that obituary writers declaring the death of political parties often turn out to be premature. Or even dead wrong. In 1994, at the dawn of our democracy, many death notices were penned for the Democratic Party, which had a dreadful election on the back [...]

IEC shows mediocrity has become the norm in SA

The biggest loser in Wednesday’s election was an institution, not a party or any leader: the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC). Heedless of 25 years’ experience, it contrived to combine, in the words of Helen Zille, incompetence with “ineffable smugness”: double voting due to indelible ink that wasn’t; voting stations that were meant to open [...]

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 [...]

How DA can play the coalition game while sidelining the calamitous EFF

I once compared being leader of the opposition to making bricks without straw. You desire to change things or shift opinion, but objectively lack an essential ingredient to do so. Tony Blair on the comparison said: “When I was leader of the opposition I started the day with ‘what can I say’; now that I [...]

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, [...]

Go to Top