05 June 2011

I never drove white voters away: Malema

The Yanks have Sarah Palin; we have Julius Malema. I don't know which is worse. I know that there are political loose cannons in every country, but, as someone once said, the trouble with political jokes is that they get elected.

I never drove white voters away: Malema: City Press: Politics: News:
Malema told delegates that it was not true that he drove whites away from the ANC, saying only that white voters never voted for the governing party even during former president Nelson Mandela’s leadership.

“They (whites) never voted for Mandela in 1994 and they never voted for (president) Thabo Mbeki,” he said.

Malema said whites had not voted for Mandela even when he was involved in reconciliation.

I've got news for you, my china.

I'm white, and I voted for Mandela in 1994.

I voted for Mbeki in 1999, though not in 2004.

In 2004 and 2009 I voted for Patricia de Lille and the ID, because I thought voices like Patricia de Lille's needed to be heard in parliament.

I didn't vote in the local government elections last month. I don't get to vote for the mayor of Cape Town, and I didn't even know who the candidates were in our ward. But the main reason was not ideological. I happened to be away on holiday (and you can see our best holiday pics here -- I think they're quite cool, even though I say so myself).

And more and more I'm seeing the truth of what G.K. Chesterton wrote:

When the business man rebukes the idealism of his office-boy, it is commonly in some such speech as this: "Ah, yes, when one is young, one has these ideals in the abstract and these castles in the air; but in middle age they all break up like clouds, and one comes down to a belief in practical politics, to using the machinery one has and getting on with the world as it is." Thus, at least, venerable and philanthropic old men now in their honoured graves used to talk to me when I was a boy.

But since then I have grown up and have discovered that these philanthropic old men were telling lies. What has really happened is exactly the opposite of what they said would happen. They said that I should lose my ideals and begin to believe in the methods of practical politicians. Now, I have not lost my ideals in the least; my faith in fundamentals is exactly what it always was. What I have lost is my old childlike faith in practical politics. I am still as much concerned as ever about the Battle of Armageddon; but I am not so much concerned about the General Election. As a babe I leapt up on my mother's knee at the mere mention of it. No; the vision is always solid and reliable. The vision is always a fact. It is the reality that is often a fraud. As much as I ever did, more than I ever did, I believe in Liberalism. But there was a rosy time of innocence when I believed in Liberals.

Or, as Jeremy Taylor used to sing:

One fine day I'll make my way to 10 Downing Street
"Good day," I'll say, "I've come a long way excuse my naked feet.
But I lack, you see, the energy to buy a pair of shoes
I lose my zest to look my best when I read the daily news,
'cause it appears you've got an atom bomb
that'll blow us all to hell and gone
I've I've gotta die then why should I
give a damn if my boots aren't on."

And the death of Albertina Sisulu last week rubs it in.

It's not the atom bomb that threatens us now, but when I read the daily news it's all about a bottomless sea of greed and mediocrity.

Politicians of Albertina Sisulu's generation stood for something and they fought for something, and one could admire them.

If we had a General Election today I wouldn't know who to vote for.

As someone else said, How do politicians resemble a bunch of bananas?

The answer: They're all yellow, they hang together, and there's not a straght one among them.

Actually there's one guy left I might be prepared to take seriously.

That's Zwelinzima Vavi, the trade union leader.

In today's paper he was quoted as saying

You cannot tell the workers and the poor that your real ambition is accumulation and more and more (of an) expensive bourgeois lifestyle and opulence; you have to talk their language even though everything you are is about accumulation and self-centredness. Tenderpreneurs present themselves as mMessiahs to advance their narrow economic agenda.

At least he sees the problem, or part of it.

Trouble is, as long as the tripartite alliance lasts, there's no chance of voting for him.

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