The state of politics in this country is every bit as bad as the state of politics elsewhere.

Equally, the quality of the media in this country is every bit as poor as the quality of media elsewhere.

It doesn’t make for a pretty scenario. We’re left drifting rudderless with no compass to guide us. But when the sniping of one at another begins, it does make for some wonderful soundbites.

Local political party, the EFF, is known for its hyperbole, grandiose language and wild claims. Its recently released manifesto was a great example of all three of the above and was (apparently, at least) taken to task by local journo Rebecca Davis. No, I haven’t read this particular article, for reasons detailed below.

In fairness to the EFF, their manifesto is probably only a little more pie-in-the-sky than that of any other political party running any other election campaign. But that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be called out on any  (alleged) inaccuracies it might contain.

EFF deputy clown Floyd Shivambu paraphrases Ali G in his predictable “it iz becoz she iz white, innit?” response:

She accuses the manifesto of being a dishonest document. But in reality, she is the one who is being dishonest, because the people’s manifesto and a clear detailed plan of action has details such that it is the first of its kind, something even Davis has not seen in a manifesto. She’s blinded by class and possibly racist prejudices which seek to provide a critique before she reads and understands.

But Davis has some friends who are black, so I’m pretty sure this can’t be true.

Indeed, I don’t agree with very much that the EFF spout, but this line hit home.

Pitiful, whatever. Abysmal, la di dah.

But “claptrap disguised as analysis” sums up SO VERY MUCH of what is written in the SA (or in worldwide) media these days. And yes, I’m aware that some of you might feel that this blog post falls neatly into that category as well, but I’m not being paid for this, so you probably shouldn’t have been expecting any level of professionalism like what you might get from a journalist.

Sadly, standards (especially locally) have fallen so far that everything one reads in the local press should probably be regarded as incorrect until proven otherwise.

Political manifestos should always be taken with a pinch of salt. It’s sad that any given story you read on any given news site these days has to be treated the same way.

In my humble opinion you’re probably best staying well clear of either.

Environmental disaster looming off SA coast

There’s an environmental disaster looming off the South African coast (you probably got that from the title of the post, to be fair).

But don’t worry. I have a plan to sort it all out.

First off though, some background. Picture this scene, if you will:

This site was home to an exceptionally large group of sevengill sharks. Divers could dive with up to 70 sharks on a single hour-long dive – no other place in the world had this many broadnose sevengill sharks in one place.

I’m really not into sharks or diving, but I do recognise the importance of biodiversity and the amazing fascination of a pristine location to view, research and interact with wildlife.

That should be protected.

But there is trouble in paradise. Something has changed:

The change was noted with the discovery of several dead sevengill sharks by scuba divers from a popular dive site inside the Table Mountain National Park marine protected area.

Yes, you read that correctly. This unique site – this protected site – for sevengills (as those of us in the know call them) has been desecrated.

This is clearly unacceptable.

Initially, the cause of death remained a mystery because no dead sharks were recovered for examination. Initially fingers were pointed to humans.

And isn’t this always the case? We are a truly appalling species, with ne’er a thought for the flora and fauna with whom we share our planet.

We’re so very destructive. It’s time to buck this trend.

Of course, once a bit of research was done, actually it turned out that it wasn’t humans at all, but Killer Whales that were taking out these sharks (I mean, the clue’s in the name, guys), tearing them apart solely for their livers:

There were distinct bite marks on the pectoral fins of the dead sharks. These evenly spaced, circular tooth impressions were identified as most likely being from a “flat-toothed” killer whale, which is rare in coastal waters. There were no bites anywhere else on the body, indicating that the killer whale (or whales) had likely pulled on the pectoral fins to open up the body cavity, to remove the liver.

When humans do this: take one part of a shark’s body and dump the rest, there’s outrage. And so should there be in these cases too.

It should be noted that these monochromatic bastards hunt dolphins too. Back in 2010, I witnessed sheer terror in a pod of dolphins as the killer orca followed them into the shallows near Simonstown. This pursuit wasn’t accidental. It was clearly done on porpoise. It was a horrifying sight.


The unique shark – and dolphin, and seal – population of False Bay is being decimated and no-one is doing anything about it.

Until now.

Because if the authorities are going to drag their feet over some sort of response to this awful slaughter, then us mere citizens must step up to the metaphorical plate.

That’s why I’ve been in touch with a number of whaling companies in Japan and Norway, and I’m happy to report that there’s definitely some good interest in coming down and spending a few weeks in the sunny Cape protecting our unique marine habitats.
Let’s face it, it’s cold up North at this time of year and when one can bring one’s crew out on a jolly to such a beautiful place and earn brownie points from the local population by picking off a couple of destructive predators, you’re not going to look a gift horse in the mouth, are you?

Look, it’s early days because both Captain Nordstrom and Mr Yashimato are still unsure about how they’re going to get their boats across the Atlantic and Indian Oceans respectively, but I’m confident that we can work something out and knock off these troublesome black and white twats and save our False Bay sharks before it’s all too late.

Watch this space.

Loo leak

It’s bad enough having plumbing problems here on earth, but just imagine if you get a burst pipe in space. Well, that’s what has happened on the International Space Station. There’s been no official confirmation from NASA, but the Russian Space Agency… er… leaked information that a loo in the American bit of the spacecraft had malfunctioned:

“Our colleagues at the Tranquillity module had an incident on Friday. Astronauts separated the water supply line and the liquid leaked. Over 10 liters of water leaked before the problem was fixed. The crew had to collect the water using towels.”

I think that it’s cool that they used towels to collect the water. That’s exactly what I would have used down here on earth, and basically means that I have space age equipment in my bathroom. Amazing.

Relations between the US and Russia aren’t all that great on earth at the moment, and there are issues 420km up as well: remember the hole in the ISS window? Well, as was pointed out in the comments on that post, there’s a suspicion that it might have been sabotage, and Russia aren’t happy about it.

But Rusky or Yank: if your toilet leaks in a confined space all that way up, you know urine trouble. A genuine case of “Houston, wee have a problem”. It must be driving them potty, but I’m sure they’ll soon get to the bottom of it.

I wonder what Vladimir Poo-tin will have to say about all this?

Octopus! Dead ahead!

This screenshot from the BBC News website really tells you all you need to know about this particular incident…

…but there are more delicious quotes to be had by clicking through:

Octopuses are not unheard of in the seas off the south coast of England, but this particular cephalopod would have had to crawl more than 5km over hills and fields to find itself in the path of a car on the A381.

So it looks like you’d have to be a real sucker to believe his story.

Half term plans

The kids are only just back at school, so I hadn’t really got around to thinking about half term.
But then I got sent this:

And who could resist a deal like that?

Morecambe Youth Football Match, here I come!