Nominations for the 2009 SA Blog Awards are now open (until 14th March) and we at 6000 miles… would appreciate your assistance in nominating this blog by clicking on the rather natty blue dog-tag thing below and following the simple instructions thereafter.
You will then be asked to cast your vote – preferably for us again, please – sometime between the 14th March and the 1st April (no joking) in what could be the biggest poll that South Africa will see this year*.
We’ve done our best to keep you amused, updated, entertained and informed over the past 12 months, never shying away from big issues like Politics, Cyclists, Keith Ledger, Xenophobia, Brussel Sprouts, Julius Malema, Killer Viruses and Mystery Statues.
You don’t have to be in South Africa to vote, unlike some elections we could mention, so please – make your mark for democracy and decent blogging by making 6000 miles… your blog of choice.
EDIT: Check out my annoying arrow in the sidebar. It’s annoying isn’t it?
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Cape Town Mayor and Leader of the DA, Helen “Two Hats” Zille has been nominated as the DA’s candidate for the Premier of the Western Cape in the forthcoming election.
Speaking with sycophantic radio presenter John Maytham yesterday evening, Zille described the move as being “strategic” and expressed her wish for the DA to work “from the ground up” to “set an example of how good governance can work”.
She said if it could run both Cape Town and the Western Cape, voters across South Africa would realise that service delivery is better in regions where the DA is in power.
“It is a project of national significance. We want to run the city and the province in co-operative governance and demonstrate what it possible under those circumstances,” she said, adding that as mayor she was frustrated by stone-walling on the part of the ANC powers in the province.
This struggle between the ANC controlled Provincial Government and the DA controlled City of Cape Town Municipality has long been cited as the reason for delays in service delivery – most especially housing – and for the objective bystander (that’s me) acts as a shining example of all that is wrong with politics. That is, while the individuals elected to serve the people bicker and attempt to score cheap political points from one another, nothing actually gets done on the ground.
This lack of service delivery is obviously because of the Province, according to the DA and obviously because of the City, according to the ANC. It’s playground politics at its very worst.
Zille’s record as Mayor of Cape Town is undoubtedly impressive. However one must remember that the DA remains a political party and be mindful of spin when looking at her claims of success, which she rolled out one after another in yesterday’s M&G article “The DA Saved Cape Town“.
And even if her numbers stand up to scrutiny (and I have neither the time nor the inclination to scrutinise Helen Zille’s vital statistics) then there is still a lot of work to be done by the DA to overturn the ANC’s Provincial rule. More likely, as Linda Ensorstates in today’s Business Day is the DA holding no overall majority and looking to form a coalition with the ID or Cope: something Zille described as “always complex”.
Whether a coalition (such as the one which the DA have used to run Cape Town for the past three years) represents true democracy is open to debate. But it will be interesting to see how many of those barriers to service delivery are removed should the DA control Province and City. And how many more are “discovered” between Province and National Government. Cynics might suggest that the problem will merely be moved upward and onto a larger scale – something that would hinder service delivery to even greater numbers of needy citizens.
This rather interesting video and spookily 80’s song came to my attention via this remix [download], which in turn came to my attention via here.
The singer is Natasha Khan, the band Bat for Lashes and the song What’s A Girl To Do? I don’t know who the BMXing rabbit is, but I’m sure a quick visit to google will probably assist.
Once again, I must point out that she is cycling without lights at night. And does she go through a red light about 2 minutes in? When will these cyclists learn?
At least she avoided the garish lycra and daft helmet fashion error.
Anyhow; pretty girl, 80’s keyboards and somewhat quirky video? Fleet‘s going to love this.
Jeremy Clarkson has been to Johannesburg.
And he didn’t get mugged, hijacked, shot, stabbed or killed in any way whatsoever.
I could reproduce the whole article here, but I won’t – click his name if you want that.
Meanwhile, here’s just a little taster.
Jo’burg has a fearsome global reputation for being utterly terrifying, a lawless Wild West frontier town paralysed by corruption and disease. But I’ve spent quite a bit of time there over the past three years and I can reveal that it’s all nonsense.
“Pah,” said the armed guard who’d been charged with escorting me each day from my hotel to the Coca-Cola dome where I was performing a stage version of Top Gear.
Quite why he was armed I have absolutely no idea, because all we passed was garden centres and shops selling tropical fish tanks. Now I’m sorry, but if it’s true that the streets are a war zone, and you run the risk of being shot every time you set foot outside your front door, then, yes, I can see you might risk a trip to the shops for some food. But a fish tank? An ornamental pot for your garden? It doesn’t ring true.
Look Jo’burg up on Wikipedia and it tells you it’s now one of the most violent cities in the world . . . but it adds in brackets “citation needed”. That’s like saying Gordon Brown is a two-eyed British genius (citation needed).
Check the comments – he’s got all the ex-pats into a frenzy. “You didn’t go to Hillbrow”, “You were reading the wrong newspapers”, “You had a guard” etc etc etc. Bless. They hate the fact that they might lose some sympathy points over in Blighty or Ozland when people read this. I’d guess that the most annoying thing for them is that he’s independent, has no agenda here, no need to take one side nor the other – oh – and well read.
Ooh – that’s quite a lot of annoying things. You can see why they’re all upset.
So well done for speaking truthfully, Jezza.
Now – if you’d just let me walk around your lighthouse, we’d all be sorted.
Thanks to MrShallowEndDiver for the heads-up
Or rather, Roundabouts and Swings
Said he “the job’s the very spit of what it always were,
“It’s bread and bacon mostly when the dog don’t catch a hare,
“But looking at it broad, and while it ain’t no merchant kings,
“What’s lost upon the roundabouts, we pulls up on the swings.”
Roundabouts and Swings by Patrick Chalmers
Poetry on 6000 miles…hoodathunkitt? But I always wondered where that expression came from.
After my minirant regarding the injustices of football and the backward mindedness of the FA, Karma (which I really don’t believe in) was happened – or whatever Karma does – yesterday as my beloved Blades scored an offside goal and a really soft penalty to win 2-1 in a crunch match against Birmingham City.
I now expect to find similar rants all over the web from Birmingham City fans. Or at least I would if any of them could write. I guess that’s a bit of an ask when you’ve only mastered the basic vowel sounds.
And even those, incorrectly.
It’s hard to remember – especially in something as emotive as football – that things do tend to even themselves out. Thus, Birmingham’s “bad luck” will probably be passed onto whoever they play next and so on and so forth.
Of course, humans being what they are these days, with the general “glass half-empty” approach to life, will never believe that they are getting anything but a raw deal, especially us bloggers, desperately narcissistic, craving attention and sympathy like some sort of Münchausen Syndrome victims. Twitter just concentrates the effect.
You know who you are.
And if you’re thinking “maybe he means me,” then I probably don’t, but you’re obviously heading that way.
More happy “Joy of Rusk” style posts, please. With smiles and stuff.
Which, I accept, this one isn’t.
Ooh ,the irony.