The Daily Mail quandary

I remember being in the UK. Downing a coffee and heading out into the rain to work. Popping into the hospital newsagents in the morning and buying the paper.
I generally stuck with The Times or The Telegraph. If it was Monday, I might get The Sun for the football news. I wouldn’t touch the Daily Mail, because I didn’t want to read alarmist nonsense about house prices or the latest idiotic health-fad idea, e.g.:

How 40 winks in the afternoon can raise your risk of diabetes.
Daily Mail, 9 March

Diabetes risk ‘soars with lack of sleep’.
Daily Mail, 12 March

Quite. But now, in a sinister turn, it seems that the Daily Mail has run out of bad things to say about Britain and Britons (amazing!) and has turned it’s attention overseas. Peter Hitchens’ piece is arguably the most damning, one-sided, ignorant, pessimistic, alarmist thing I’ve ever read about this country. It’s not the most racist, obviously, because some people have the courage and honesty to at least speak openly about their views, however repugnant those views may be.

I sighed when I got to the standard disclaimer a few lines in:

I can promise you I will be accused of alarmism and pessimism for saying so, and quite possibly of ‘racism’ too.

How many times have I read that? It’s put in there because the piece is alarmist, pessimistic and ‘racist’. And when you point that out, the author can say, “Well, I knew you’d accuse me of that”. Of course, it doesn’t make those accusations any less valid.

The article is also inaccurate on many points. The “African Chernobyl” comment made me laugh – I’m about 12 miles away from Koeberg nuclear power station at the moment and I’m really not scared at all. In fact, I don’t know anyone who is, so where did he get that soundbite? 
The power blackouts indicating “a country on the slide” are long gone, as the nation pulled together to use electricity less wastefully.
The upcoming election is being overseen by the strong arm of the IEC together with international observers – it is not “crooked”.
His comments that we do not hear about crime or HIV or corruption is completely laughable. Would that we could hear about something else for a change.
And finally – that machine gun song – only the most desperate of propagandists have ever been foolish enough to take it literally.

And then on Zuma: jibes about his weight and his “charisma of an ashtray”. This from a man who has Gordon Brown as his Prime Minister.
Hitchens points out that Zuma is a polygamist as if this is unexpected and wrong. Well, yes he is. And in the Zulu culture that’s completely normal. Many from that tribe would probably look at Barack Obama and Gordon Brown and wonder why they only have one partner. This isn’t America or Britain – so why should Zuma conform to your Western norms?
And then the fawning support for (white and Western) “popular and effective mayor of Cape Town and leader of the Democratic Alliance” Helen Zille. I had to read twice and then check I wasn’t reading a DA election ad.

I caught up with her at Stellenbosch University, where she was speaking to an almost wholly white student audience, switching easily from English to Afrikaans. Unlike Zuma, she is a witty, fluent orator. She does not break into song, and critics joke that if she did it would be ‘Bring me my cappuccino’ rather than ‘Bring me my machine gun’.
Her aides, however, point out that she also speaks fluent Xhosa, Nelson Mandela’s language, and that many of her meetings are full of black and brown faces. 

 [Her] diagnosis is impressive, cool and clear. [Her] cure: a real law-governed democracy, is attractive.

Once again – the naïve assumption that Western government is the cure-all South Africa requires. But of course, It won’t happen.

She knows the Alliance must break out of being nothing more than a white liberal party. But alas she is a white liberal, albeit a very impressive one.

Indeed. If only those silly black people would understand that the DA doesn’t stand for “Darkies Aside”. But no – they insist on voting for parties that they choose, instead of the ones that Hitchens would prefer to govern the country. How very trying.

Altogether the worst bit of journalism that I have ever seen. But, of course, there will be those who believe every word, like the Daily Mail readership. And then they’ll tell their friends Roger and Helen over a pineapple juice at the Black Dog on Friday evening, wonder if JZ killed Princess Di and then all worry about how it will affect their house prices. Sad, but true.

So why this “quandary”, then? Surely one just avoids the Daily Mail and its obnoxiously snobbish racist viewpoints?

But no, because the editors (who swore they would never again use paparazzi pictures after that 1997 Paris tunnel incident) drag you in with their loss leader: Kelly Brook in a bikini in the Caribbean.


Kelly – Hello!

It’s unfair, but it’s brilliant marketing. And while I hate to admit it, it’s working on me. I just wish I didn’t have to put up with misleading, racist crap to be able to see skimpily dressed ex-Breakfast TV presenters frolicking in the sea.

Malema visits Orania

In a move which surprised many, ANC Youth League President and all-round firebrand Julius Malema today visited the Northern Cape white Afrikaner enclave of Orania.

In a move which surprised even more, he didn’t actually say anything particularly stupid.

Orania Movement president Carel Boshoff junior said in describing the mood of the talks with Malema and an ANCYL delegation there was no “shoot out” or “search for control” attitude during the discussions.
Boshoff junior said they did encounter differences in aspirations and vision between the two groups but it would not exclude further talks with the ANCYL.

Malema said he liked the attitude of the Orania community in that they were prepared to talk. He said the ANC government would always be willing to help those who try and help themselves.
“They co-operate instead of working against each other,” said Malema, adding it was a nice reality to be exposed to. [link]

I’m beginning to get a different impression of Malema. Yes, he does say some completely daft stuff, but he is always, always in the news. Never a bad thing during an election campaign. The media follows him everywhere in droves, just waiting for his next ill-thought, inflammatory comment, which gives him plenty of opportunity to put his message across to a huge audience. It’s a clever ploy and I reckon those people who thought he was really that stupid are actually the ones who were being fooled.

A Question of Trust

This whole “is the case against Jacob Zuma about to be dropped?” thing. Man, it’s getting complicated.
Why doesn’t someone take things back to basics and explain it in straightforward terms?

OK – here you go, then:

Jacob Zuma, out future President (in 3½ weeks) and who can’t be trusted is set to face charges of corruption, money laundering, racketeering and fraud. He is alleging that these charges, which were investigated by Leonard McCarthy of the Scorpions (who can’t be trusted), were instated by Thanda Mngwengwe of the National Prosecuting Authority (who can’t be trusted) and were being pressed by Bululani Ngcuka of the NPA (who can’t be trusted), are politically motivated by Thabo Mbeki (who actually can’t be trusted, either) .

In a new twist revealed this week, it appears that the South African Police Service (who can’t be trusted), and their Gauteng deputy provincial commissioner Richard Mdluli (who can’t be trusted) bugged the phones of the Mbeki camp and of the Scorpions (neither of whom, remember, can be trusted) and recorded some “potentially embarrassing information”, which the Zuma legal team (who can’t be trusted) are now threatening to release if the charges are not dropped.

Suspended national police commissioner Jackie Selebi (who really can’t be trusted) has denied knowledge of the clandestine recording activities of the Scorpions (who can’t be trusted) and other key players (who can’t be trusted) in the Zuma (who can’t be trusted) corruption saga.

All my information comes from The Times… Umm. No comment.

Meeting nice people

Lunch was chez Tall Accountant in leafy Fernwood with some lovely people and consisted of one of the biggest chicken salads ever created.
Seriously, it took three people just to carry the bowl. And there were only six of us there. Chicken salad sandwiches for the TA’s lunchtime fare this week, I feel.

Now I know what it’s like to be Jacob Zuma. Sort of, anyway. Pressing the flesh of prospective voters in hope of getting an X in your box.
Of course, there are some differences. I have more hair. He has more chance of winning his election.
Everyone has heard of the ANC, but unbelievably, I met some people today who hadn’t heard of 6000 miles… Yes, I was shocked too.
He didn’t have a MASSIVE chicken salad for lunch today*. I did. Maybe there’s other stuff too, who knows?

vote-tag-small
Click it – it’s magic!

What Jacob Zuma wishes he did have, apart from my good looks, charm and popularity among white people is a golden widget, like the one above. I have it on good authority that he is desperate for one and has even instructed mini-me, aka Julius Malema, to kill to get one. Well, Msholozi, you’re not having mine, even if you turn up with your mashini wam blazing.

Of course, no-one is 100% sure if JZ is guilty of corruption. I’m beginning to wonder if even he can actually remember. However, I know for a fact that I am pure as the driven snow when it comes to matters of giving and receiving illicit payments. So far, anyway. But as the desperation mounts and rumours begin to spread about who is in front and how far I am behind, that could all change. Probably around Wednesday.

Want to help out? Copy and Paste http://tr.im/vote6k into all the emails you send for the rest of this month.
Because – as Jacob would say – working together, we can do more.

* This is complete guesswork.