Accurate

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.

Theewaterskloof not revisited

More amazing blogger professionalism here as I noted that it was (almost) a year ago when I took this group of pictures at the – then empty – Theewaterskloof Dam near Villiersdorp. Here’s the post.

It being (almost) one year on, it seems reasonable – essential, even – that I should return and do a comparison set of images. But I simply don’t have the time to fit that in, so you’ll just have to take my word for the fact that things are much improved from those worrying conditions of early February 2018. w

Today, Theewaterskloof stands at 48% full, compared to 14% when we visited last year. Overall, our dams are 62% full, compared to 27% this time last year. There are no worries about not having water in a couple of months time. All is good. All is moist.

There is a small, yet vocal, minority of individuals who still believe that the entire water crisis was simply a myth. They argue that it was merely a DA (our local ruling party) ploy to charge more money for water and to install Israeli-made water meters. There are two points that I would like to make to these people:

Firstly, that there is a small, yet vocal, minority of individuals who still believe that the moon landings were faked.
They are also wrong.

Secondly, supposing for just a moment that their allegations are correct (which they’re not); the sheer amount of effort to clandestinely remove billions and billions of litres of water over three years – enough to fool NASA (the same guys who faked the moon landings), prevent meaningful precipitation over a catchment area of 500 square kilometres (for Theewaterskloof alone) for 36 months and make news headlines worldwide surely deserves some sort of accolade?
Admit it: that is an incredible endeavour.

And for those thinking of switching their upcoming election vote away from the DA because of the way that they handled the crisis (and yes, it certainly wasn’t perfect), please make sure you choose to vote for a party which you genuinely believe could have managed it any better.
There’s suddenly not such a great selection any more, hey?

World’s gone mad (Volume 4,386)

Chaos in UK over Brexit.
Have you done the #10yearchallenge yet? It’s (possibly) sinister (or not).
Scientists being forced to apologise for calling out acupuncture for being the shitty pseudoscience that it is.
A ridiculous amount of fuss from everyone – yes, everyone – over a shaving ad.
Zimbabwe in a mess. Again.
Terrorism in Kenya. Again.
USA in Government Shutdown paralysis. Again.
And the usual suspects on SA’s social media scene reminding us what we should think, type and how we must feel about all of these things.

If ever there was time for an asteroid intervention, this would surely be it.
But I’d actually like to see how the footy season ends first. Please.

So I’m a bit torn right now.

Thankfully, there’s always one voice of sanity in this mad, mad world. The steady, sensible voice of independent Primedia Broadcasting on the Medium Wave. The rock on which millions of several upper middle class South Africans can depend. I don’t listen myself, but if I was 70, I would, because they’ll tell you exactly what’s going on in a no nonsense fashion – just like in the 1950s. Not the 1950s here, obviously: there was plenty of nonsense happening then. No, the 1950s in good old Blighty where you knew where you stood and people were polite and frank and honest – and didn’t subscribe this this kind of BS:

Oh.

Woowoo peddling is obviously to be expected from some sources out there, but maybe you’d assumed you’d get better from Radio 702, because you thought that they were more highbrow, more discerning, more intelligent.

They’re not. They’re just as bad as all the others and if you choose to accept this from them, then what other compromises are you willing to make whiling away the daytime hours with their smooth-talking disc jockeys? And why?
Honestly, if this is an example of their political insight, surely just head to the Daily Sun for your election news? At least there you know what you’re getting and there’s no pretence about being all la-di-da and genuine.

World’s gone mad. Seriously. (I may have said this 4,385 times before .)

Twenty Nineteen

I’m a great believer in being positive. Not to the exclusion of all reason: I’m a realist before an optimist, but I’m very much an optimist ahead of a pessimist. So with that said, I’m both hopeful and not ever so hopeful about the year ahead for South Africa.

Hopeful because I feel that the vast majority of people here are decent, honest and willing to work towards making this a better place.

Not ever so hopeful because the loony fringes of left and right are out to make any meaningful progress harder than ever.
And to be honest, despite their small numbers, they’re still in the pound seats right now. They have a miserable public to speak to, there’s an election coming up real soon now and a clear lack of leadership at the top of the two leading political parties, while the guy in third place – currently holding 6% of the vote – is happily directing matters via a seemingly sycophantic media hanging on his every rant.
The economy is in tatters, with the promise of more bad news to come in the months ahead, unemployment continues to increase, and the government seems unable or unwilling (maybe both) to do anything about any of it.
Our newspapers and news sites are filled with biased, puerile, inaccurate and sensationalist crap and yet still people read and believe every word. There are a million bandwagons lined up like free Ubers just waiting to be leapt upon and an increasingly depressed and desperate population needing a ride.

But despite all this, I still believe that there is hope. We just need to avoid being dragged down by the really dreadful stuff to the exclusion of all of the good things and good people that there are out there.

Clearly, that won’t happen. But it would be nice if it could.

And let’s also look elsewhere before we bury ourselves in self pity. Not that it improves our situation at all, but it’s not as though we’re alone in having struggled through the frying pan of 2018 only to be shown the fire of 2019.

So I completely accept that things are some distance from rosy as SA heads into 2019, but I don’t think it’s the cataclysmic end that so many people seem to believe it will be.

Unless I’m wrong of course, in which case, we’re completely buggered.

Have a lovely 2019.

 

Good advice from the EFF

There’s no political party that speaks for me. Some have good ideas (some don’t), some have decent people working within them (some don’t), some are doing a good job (some aren’t).

They all have their drawbacks.

Much like all the others, the EFF obviously sees itself as the voice of a certain group of people. I am not one of them. A situation that I think suits us both. It doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy their press releases though. Such as this one from the Gauteng branch, complaining that some troublemakers are up to no good.

Fighters must always be super vigilant by not allowing nefarious elements to infiltrate our structures on the ground as an attempt to delegitimise our revolutionary and radical programmes… All Fighters must guard against mischief; protect the movement and its wholesome integrity, across the province.

Thing is, while it’s comical (jou ma se “wholesome integrity”) and full of self-important and reactionary rhetoric, I quite like the idea behind it.

Apply this – not to EFF ground staff, but to your life – and suddenly it makes a whole lot more sense. None of us should be letting nefarious elements infiltrate our structures, sullying our good name and delegitimising our actions. Christians do this sort of thing with Satan. Same same.

Also, ensure that your uninfiltrated structures know how organised programmes of your organisation are organised: as the EFF in Gauteng tell us:

Structures of the EFF know how programmes of the organisation are organised.

You can’t put it more simply than that. And talking of communication, make sure that mostly all of the programmes you’re doing is verifiable. No point in unverified programmes.

Mostly, all our programmes are verifiable with all [uninfiltrated] structures of the leadership of the [organised] organisation.

Mostly, all my blog posts are great.

Mostly.

Keep on keeping on, EFF.
Your media statements continue to be a joy to read.