Last ditch

If the whole “Tax cuts for pensioners” and “Bring back National Service” policies suggested by outgoing UK PM Rishi Sunak were (rightly) ridiculed as being pre-election desperation tactics, then what on earth are we to make of this?

At least Sunak’s promises were a month and bit away, even if they were clearly the last ditch attempts of a dying government to try and win a few more votes. This one above was announced literally 3½ hours before election day.

Next level stuff.

That’s the 4th major bill Ramaphosa has signed into law in the last 2 weeks. And while I’m not saying that those bills are necessarily good or bad (OK, I’m saying that the NHI bill is an absolute disaster, but still), it’s pretty sickening that after 30 years in power – 6 of them with him in the Big Chair – we’re suddenly seeing actual work being done, simply because the ANC is about to lose their overall majority, and – linked, but also not the same – they ANC is desperate for votes.

If these things were so right (not the NHI bill) and will be so beneficial for the country (again… not so much the NHI one), then why weren’t they signed into law weeks, months or even years ago?

It almost makes you think that the ruling party is simply desperate for voters to see them actually doing some actual work.


There goes the election…

Many people had thought that the ANC might sink to below 50% of the vote in the upcoming national elections. And to be honest, given their performance over the last n years, that seemed like a very reasonable suggestion.

But that was before the ANC asked… er… the ANC to pray for… er… the ANC “to renew itself”.

I can’t comment on all of the other political parties in South Africa (because there really are an awful lot of them), but I certainly haven’t heard of any of the others asking themselves to pray for themselves.

Oops. Missed opportunity right there.

God isn’t going to be looking favourably at any party – no matter how honest they are or how good their policies might be – if their members haven’t been in touch with Him and prayed for self-renewal, now is He?

That’s just not how He works.

So I guess we might as well just hand the election – and what’s left of the country – to the ANC for another 5 years. After all, we’re not just fighting the last of the pre-1994 generation, but also the Lord Almighty too now.

Oh, and the “renewed” ANC, apparently.

Yeah right.

Damn those Imperialist forces!

Just in from serial government clown Fuckile Mballoona [sp.], the Secretary General of the ruling ANC party here in South Africa, this:

He’s been spouting this sort of nonsense for many years now.

And I mean, you never rule anything out in the politics of this country, because it’s like one constant Bob Mortimer story on Would I Lie To You?. It regularly seems completely fanciful and utterly unbelievable, and then it turns out to be absolutely true.

But this one? No.

Come now. The only imperialist and neocolonialist forces with any influence in the upcoming elections are the Russians and the Chinese, and they’re both right behind the ANC. But they’re got their work cut out, given that the actual voting public are fed up with the lack of service delivery, the loadshedding, the rising crime, the cadre deployment, the constant corruption, the dysfunctional state owned enterprises, the poorly-controlled inflation, the plummeting Rand, and the tossers in charge.

Could any (or all) of those be the reasons that the ANC has been singled out as a party that must lose power?

Well, it’s either that or it’s the CIA.

And I know where my money lies on this one.

Day 602 – Democracy at work

More from this story.

Pretty clear stuff here…

But then, suddenly yesterday…


Surely this change of heart is solely due to compromises on policies and outcomes leading to better service delivery, because – let’s be honest – what could go wrong? Their track record on this sort of thing is perfect:

The refusal by the IFP to co-govern municipalities with the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal is a culmination of decades of mistrust arising from what the IFP perceives to be unkept promises to the electorate and a disgraceful breach of a solemn undertaking to its leadership.
In the words of IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa, the ANC cannot be trusted as it “has not been honest with us in the past. They have let down (the) people of South Africa, and the voters clearly expressed themselves when it comes to the ANC.”

But that was last week.

This week, they’re the best of friends and everything is going according to plan so more politicians can have more power.

Who could have seen it coming?

Day 406 – More SA politics fun

SA politics is rarely dull. Some people might say that this is a good thing, and represents a young, vibrant democracy, constantly evaluating and questioning itself. And yes, that would be a good thing, but it does seem to be mainly widespread corruption and intra-party mud slinging which is taking the centre stage, while actually serving the country (which really, really needs serving), falls by the wayside.

The most recent infighting is within the governing party, the ANC, who are happily fiddling while Rome has no decent housing, a disastrous education system, zero unemployment prospects, an upcoming third wave of Covid-19 (now closer than ever) and plenty of crumbling infrastructure.
Still, while we’re concentrating on their petty squabbles, we’re not talking about all that other stuff, are we?

And I don’t use the term “petty squabbles” lightly, because while the consequences of their collective actions might be very serious indeed, it’s hard not to crack a faint grin at their playground posturing.

The latest episode (coming a whole day after the previous episode) concerns ANC Secretary General Elias “Ace” Magashule. He’s likely bent as a 12 Rand note, having been charged with fraud, corruption and money-laundering. Taking decisive (cough) action, (some of) the rest of the ANC leadership gave him 30 days to step aside from his post for the duration of his trial. That 30 days has just expired and Ace is still there. And so the President suspended him.

And Ace then suspended the President. “Lol”.

Cyril is having none of it. And rightly so, it seems, because while Ace says that Cyril has no right to suspend him, Cyril does have (the majority of) the NEC on his side. Ace has… well… himself. And constitutionally (that’s the ANC Constitution, not the National one), he doesn’t even have himself, because he’s been suspended.
Ace has as much power to suspend the President as my beagle has.

Lots of enthusiasm, lots of noise, zero understanding of how the actual political system works.

Loves free treats.

And so the ANC fragmentation merry-go-round continues, with some heavyweights and branches coming out in support of Magashule, more of them defending Ramaphosa, and local political commentators wasting no time at all in invoking Godwin’s Law.

All of this chaos must be like manna from heaven for the opposition, right?

Well, sure, if they were able to utilise it to strengthen their position. Sadly (I say sadly because a decent, strong opposition is hugely important to any country, and not because of any personal political affiliation), they are so incompetent that they’re actually going down in the polls despite the complete and utter fuckshow happening up top.
And why? Because of crap leadership and… gosh… political infighting within the party.

It all comes down to the cult of personality over actual ability to do the job they are elected and mandated to do. In a recent small scale study, an orange TV host was elected President of a powerful North American country, despite having no demonstrable political ability at all. The world watched on.

It did not end well.

I’m not saying that we’re quite at that level of disaster yet, but until we get leaders who are more concerned with leading the country than their own parties and personal position and wealth, we’re going nowhere except backwards.

It’s very frustrating, hugely costly and thoroughly depressing.