That’s nothing! I remember ….

There were several times last week when I felt admiration for the protesting students, including those who crashed through the gates of parliament and, quite bravely in many cases, stood up to the SAPS’s counter attack, stun grenades and all. I admit to some brief, irresponsible, trickster elation – Loki let loose upon the world – good for them …Continue reading “That’s nothing! I remember ….”

Numsa, Cosatu, the ANC, the SACP and all of that jazz

I have been completely taken up with a project (now completed) that argued that the black African middle-class was our single biggest asset and the workings of the interests of that class in the world would save our politics and help our economics. Yaay! The basic argument looked at the defection suffered by the ANC inContinue reading “Numsa, Cosatu, the ANC, the SACP and all of that jazz”

Hold fast comrades – the Thatcher-lites are upon us

I intend, in the near future, to dust off my Marxist theory.* I am going to need a framework through which to express my growing conviction that much of our politics can be understood as a function of the collapse of the alliance of classes that underlay the national democratic revolution – and the African National Congress. The bigContinue reading “Hold fast comrades – the Thatcher-lites are upon us”

Numsa strike catch up

For the record – and on the off chance that  someone may one-day want some background on the (at time of writing) unresolved metalworkers strike – here are the bits and pieces I have published over the last two weeks; ordered from most recent at the top. The piece from the eve of the strike was writtenContinue reading “Numsa strike catch up”

Strike out, the presidential health, SONA2014#2 and EFF and the landed gentry gets a finger wagged in its direction

Some humble and not so humble opinions on various snippets of recent and not so recent political news. Platinum strike finally over Amcu and the platinum producers announced a settlement on Tuesday. The industry reports the strike cost producers R24-billion in lost revenue and the workers R10.6-billion in forsaken wages (see the pro-industry website here for other data.) SoContinue reading “Strike out, the presidential health, SONA2014#2 and EFF and the landed gentry gets a finger wagged in its direction”

Now is the winter of our discontent …

… which I entirely doubt will be made glorious summer by this sun of KZN when he gives his 5th nth State of the Nation Address this evening. I am not, as my children might have said, very amped for this. The only ray of light so far (I am watching on eNCA) was a brief interview with FloydContinue reading “Now is the winter of our discontent …”

‘Learn to stand up and lie like white men’

There is something strangely compelling about Chris Griffith’s now infamous comments about his salary and perks – published in Business Day last week. Remember these are the words of the CEO of Amplats, the biggest platinum company in the world. It cannot have escaped your notice that a bitter and grinding strike throughout the South African platinum sector is entering its 17th week. TheContinue reading “‘Learn to stand up and lie like white men’”

Glacial progress in employment equity and Ronnie gets hilarious

(Note: please read Jonny Steinberg’s comments on my miscasting of the implications of the recent HSRC’s South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence and Behaviour Survey, 2012. Jonny argues that I have taken “a story of resounding success and twisted it into a tale of alarm”. Jonny Steinberg is correct on all counts and I hope to redress myContinue reading “Glacial progress in employment equity and Ronnie gets hilarious”

Our Maggie moment

The Numsa exit from the alliance is a natural consequence of what appears to me to be a ‘Maggie Thatcher moment’ in South African politics. (This is a loose characterisation and it purely means that I believe there is evidence that government is taking a much harder line with the union movement and is backingContinue reading “Our Maggie moment”

Outlook 2014 – and other messages from the future

I have been agonising over whether to keep this website going –  or to consign it to the wastelands of the interwebs there to wander mournfully, accumulating lurid advertisements for secret ways of getting rid of belly fat and invitations from young, beautiful and lonely people, in your area, waiting by their phones for a call from you. AfterContinue reading “Outlook 2014 – and other messages from the future”

The sound coming from business about policy, especially labour policy, is hurting my head

Forgive the dearth of postings here … I was brought low by some late winter dreaded lurgy and as a result my life came to grinding halt for almost two weeks. The big story (which I will deal with later today or tomorrow)  is the astonishingly decisively manner in which the ANC and its governmentContinue reading “The sound coming from business about policy, especially labour policy, is hurting my head”

Strikes, Alliance shenanigans and the very criminal justice system

Herewith an extract from my recent political news update. Strikes – turbulence as the cycle hits the secular trend Num (the National Union of Mineworkers) has served notice on the Chamber of Mines (COM) of its intention to strike across the gold sector, beginning with the Tuesday night shift this week. Num represents 72,000 ofContinue reading “Strikes, Alliance shenanigans and the very criminal justice system”

Alliance ‘boycott’ of Marikana commemoration and Vavi axing are both monuments marking the retreat of ANC power

Zwelinzima Vavi’s suspension from Cosatu and the ANC/SACP/Num decision not to attend the Marikana commemoration, both on Friday last week, are, to my mind, indicative of a significant retreat of ANC hegemony. ‘Hegemony’,  as I imbibed the concept from probably slightly fevered readings of Antonio Gramsci’s sublime Prison Notebooks while I was a student activist (and from endlessContinue reading “Alliance ‘boycott’ of Marikana commemoration and Vavi axing are both monuments marking the retreat of ANC power”

Zimbabwe, Vavi, EFF, Amcu and other delights

Herewith my news commentary as of yesterday morning. I thought I would republish it here because it includes my brief assessments of how to think about the Zimbabwe election, Vavi and the EFF. I also, politely, imply that the Seriti commission might be a cover-up and that Amcu’s underlying objectives in the gold sector areContinue reading “Zimbabwe, Vavi, EFF, Amcu and other delights”

Freedom day good news, the bargaining season, Vavi and other matters

Herewith is an extract from my weekly news summary/analysis of what I thought was important in the main weeklies. Freedom Day, April 27 – nineteen years on from the first democratic election … a good story by-and-large City Press has a useful op-ed page by the always excellent Ferial Haffajee (who is also the editor)Continue reading “Freedom day good news, the bargaining season, Vavi and other matters”