The race is on …

… but it’s difficult to know who to back Thank you Mail and Guardian for publishing the story we all wanted even though you have probably broken the whole cannon of ethics in journalism. The story to which I refer, titled “Ramaphosa starts fight for top job”, was published in the print edition of the aforesaid newspaper on November 13,Continue reading “The race is on …”

The alliance is dead, Zuma’s dignity saved and SA dams on life support – and how I think I know what I think I know

I wanted to discuss something called heuristics, which refers to the way we make decisions or reach an understanding about something, especially when the matter under consideration is complicated. The word (heuristics) can mean the short cuts we take but the general field also deals with the many errors of thinking to which such short cuts canContinue reading “The alliance is dead, Zuma’s dignity saved and SA dams on life support – and how I think I know what I think I know”

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 ….”

Black Middle class saves our world …. and other plausible hopes for salvation

Greeting … and compliments of the season to you all. I was too busy to post here during the last few months of 2014. I had been writing and then road showing (here and abroad) an argument that suggested pressures acting on the ANC might, ultimately, save the organisation from its slow-motion collapse into whatContinue reading “Black Middle class saves our world …. and other plausible hopes for salvation”

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”

Jacob Zuma – will he stay, will he go and does it matter?

I will get on to the weighty question of whether Jacob Zuma might retire before his term of office is completed momentarily, but first let me mention that I have been busy with what started as an idle rumination about the South African Communist Party. But has turned, inevitably perhaps, to “become persistent and recurrentContinue reading “Jacob Zuma – will he stay, will he go and does it matter?”

The looming threat of the proto-fascist, demagogic, hybrid neo-Stalinist business unionists, ethnically-tinged vigilantes and the preachy capitalist philanthropists

I am up to my neck in it, trying to tease out the main implications and trends of the election – in a way that might be useful to investors in our financial markets. As part of the process I read everything I can find that has been written about the elections. I have just readContinue reading “The looming threat of the proto-fascist, demagogic, hybrid neo-Stalinist business unionists, ethnically-tinged vigilantes and the preachy capitalist philanthropists”

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”

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”

Vavi and the Numsa , DA taking Gauteng, mutters at the Treasury, grounds for even more caution on Zimbabwe and Malema’s visit to the prophet

Here are some bits and pieces of my latest commentary: Vavi and Numsa – the underlying risks Zwelinzima Vavi faces a special central executive committee of Cosatu meeting today to decide his fate following his admission that he had sex with a junior Cosatu employee in her office in the Cosatu headquarters. Numsa, the NationalContinue reading “Vavi and the Numsa , DA taking Gauteng, mutters at the Treasury, grounds for even more caution on Zimbabwe and Malema’s visit to the prophet”

Zuma’s brittle grip tightens

Early on Monday mornings I send my clients a review of the previous week’s political news which might be of relevance to financial markets. This morning I thought the issues were of more general interest. Thus … Summary: It is difficult not to see the main items in this review as connected: The ANC yesterdayContinue reading “Zuma’s brittle grip tightens”

Mangaung – takes, outtakes and takeouts

Various commentators, politicians and analysts have attempted to characterise Mangaung, to define the moment’s essential nature. Below are two takes I found interesting with some words from me on why I found them thus. After that I include a more general summary of what happened with the voting results for the Top Six and theContinue reading “Mangaung – takes, outtakes and takeouts”

A few (more) deep blue thoughts as we rush towards Mangaung – Part 2

By the way “deep blue” in the headline was not meant to be a riff on IBM’s chess playing supercomputer. Rereading Part 1  I can see how someone might accuse me of being a little too certain about the shape of the future.  I am not running “deep blue” regressions and algorithms, modelling South AfricaContinue reading “A few (more) deep blue thoughts as we rush towards Mangaung – Part 2”

Is any one version of a post-Mangaung ANC better than another?

First off, let me admit, that I have no choice but to believe that the answer to the question in the title is: yes. It’s an article of faith. Who can live in a world where the bullies and thugs, the greedy and manipulative, the powerful and the arrogant have won so decisively that it isContinue reading “Is any one version of a post-Mangaung ANC better than another?”