Day 431 – Hard to disagree

I’m no fan of any political party here in SA. Maybe not even anywhere else either.
But I’m in SA and so I’m concentrating more on the political parties here. For those of you not in the know, here’s a quick run down of the top 6 parties here:

The ANC is broken, horribly corrupt and is failing the country.
The DA is full of itself, despite continually lurching from one PR disaster to another.
The EFF is loudmouthed, flipflopping populist extremism in a red boiler suit.
The IFP has no bearing on anything (and therefore no relevance) outside KwaZulu-Natal.
The FF+ is the diametric opposite of (and therefore ironically also exactly the same as) the EFF.
And the ACDP is basically full of Donald Trump wannabes without the orange tan and the dodgy wig.

It’s not a pretty line up.

But enough of the prologue. On with the story.

It’s become ever so trendy on social media lately to shoot down anything that the DA says. If you refer to my quick – yet surprisingly accurate – guide above, you’ll note that the DA is adept at shooting themselves in their collective feet, so fairly often, this criticism is tautologically warranted and deserved, but equally, quite a lot of the time, it’s just trolling by people trying to look cool.

But they do look ever so cool when they do it. I, for one, always admire their actions.

Last night, we had another address from the President regarding the current coronavirus situation. We’re well into the start of our third wave now, and our vaccination rollout is some way behind where we’d like it to (or where it should) be. Oh, and the Health Minister – ostensibly leading our fight against Covid – is embroiled in a corruption scandal:

To be fair, we don’t have anywhere to go to save ourselves from the third wave. We simply can’t afford another hard lockdown, and we’ve become blasé about precautions to protect each other from the virus, because there’s been no peak in the virus for a while, because there’s zero respect for those making the rules, because the rules are too lax, and because there’s zero enforcement.

But last night’s address was particularly pathetic: “Social events are driving Covid infections.” Well, sure they are – just like last time – but see above. And look again at the new restrictions you’ve put on them: 100 people indoors, 250 outdoors. Ridiculous numbers. That’s not going to help.

An extra hour added to the curfew.
Why? To look like you’re doing something? No. It looks like you’ve got no clue, no plan, no idea where to go, and you’re just chucking out some extra rule because you can. How will it make any difference? It won’t.

A reminder to wear masks in public (but see above).

Apparently, things are going well with the vaccination programme, but The West stole all the vaccines.

Oh, and on the Mkhize corruption allegations?

Nothing. Nada. Dololo. Zilch.

And so, when a DA MP tweeted this after the event:

And despite desperately wanting to be one of the cool cats, I find it very hard to disagree with what he says.

It’s not a great time to be in SA right now.

Day 398 – Broken Clock

I’m no fan of the our local rag the Cape Times, but even though it misses the mark on most everything, even a broken clock is right twice a day (unless it’s a digital clock, in which case, probably not).

The Cape Times is not a digital clock though, and it was probably right with its headline for Freedom Day yesterday.

I didn’t read the article. I didn’t need to.

I’m not claiming that any other government anywhere else is necessarily any better, but I would argue that any other government anywhere else never had the hope and positivity that came before the 1994 elections here. The opportunity for a proper fresh start.

That’s all long gone now, of course.

This Is Now America

South Africa might be falling apart at the seams and the UK might be collapsing under the pressures of Brexit, but at least America is leading the way in… what?… oh cock.

The situation over there is why even the usually apolitical Magne Furuholmen has chosen to release a song, sharing his thoughts on the US right now. This are it:

He popped it on his personal Instagram to begin with, but it was more popular than he thought:

wowaweewah…thank you for an overwhelmingly kind response, people!
i woke up yesterday to a record-label in a panic over my insta(nt)-release.
they’re now scrambling to get the track out on other platforms, so stand by for more info as and when i get it – in the meantime, enjoy the exclusivity!

That’s why it’s out all over the place now. It’s upset a few people – mainly all of them Americans – but that is the nature of free speech and incisive political comment.

And I know it’s about the current state of America, but:

“No bridge across divides; a drunken joyride,
With a monkey at the wheel…”

…really does seem to sum up a lot of the planet at the moment.

Happy days.

TSROD understandably making gains

Further to my post yesterday and my ongoing and increasing disillusionment with anything political, be it British, European or South African, this fits so nicely.

 

To be honest, the only reason that TSROD isn’t sweeping the board is that it’s clearly a new option which people haven’t considered before.
If you offered the average man individual on the street The Sweet Release Of Death, they’d likely politely turn you down.

It’s only when you offer them the choice between The Sweet Release Of Death and any of the political parties on offer that TSROD suddenly becomes such an attractive option.

And that’s completely understandable.

 

image credit: the brilliant General Boles

Twenty Nineteen

I’m a great believer in being positive. Not to the exclusion of all reason: I’m a realist before an optimist, but I’m very much an optimist ahead of a pessimist. So with that said, I’m both hopeful and not ever so hopeful about the year ahead for South Africa.

Hopeful because I feel that the vast majority of people here are decent, honest and willing to work towards making this a better place.

Not ever so hopeful because the loony fringes of left and right are out to make any meaningful progress harder than ever.
And to be honest, despite their small numbers, they’re still in the pound seats right now. They have a miserable public to speak to, there’s an election coming up real soon now and a clear lack of leadership at the top of the two leading political parties, while the guy in third place – currently holding 6% of the vote – is happily directing matters via a seemingly sycophantic media hanging on his every rant.
The economy is in tatters, with the promise of more bad news to come in the months ahead, unemployment continues to increase, and the government seems unable or unwilling (maybe both) to do anything about any of it.
Our newspapers and news sites are filled with biased, puerile, inaccurate and sensationalist crap and yet still people read and believe every word. There are a million bandwagons lined up like free Ubers just waiting to be leapt upon and an increasingly depressed and desperate population needing a ride.

But despite all this, I still believe that there is hope. We just need to avoid being dragged down by the really dreadful stuff to the exclusion of all of the good things and good people that there are out there.

Clearly, that won’t happen. But it would be nice if it could.

And let’s also look elsewhere before we bury ourselves in self pity. Not that it improves our situation at all, but it’s not as though we’re alone in having struggled through the frying pan of 2018 only to be shown the fire of 2019.

So I completely accept that things are some distance from rosy as SA heads into 2019, but I don’t think it’s the cataclysmic end that so many people seem to believe it will be.

Unless I’m wrong of course, in which case, we’re completely buggered.

Have a lovely 2019.