Political hysteria

It’s election time in the UK, and I’m really glad I’m not there.

If the hysteria and hypocrisy on social media is anything to go by (and to be fair, it’s probably not), it must be an absolute crapfest over there at the moment.

Taking a step back 6000 miles… away from the situation, it’s always interesting to me what the combination of acute politics, access to the internet and a glass or two of wine can bring out in people. In an age when we are trying desperately hard to educate our kids as to the dangers of poor social media etiquette, people – parents! – really don’t seem to think before they share and post stuff online.

Take this hilarious meme, for example. Yes, yes, I see what they’re trying to say here, and of course they’re entitled to their political opinions, but in stating one particular party in the slightly altered heading (did you even notice?), for me, they’re implying that any other party’s propaganda is fine.

That definition of propaganda for you:

information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view.

So if one party is lying, that’s [emoji poo], but for anyone else, it’s fine?
Ok then.

It’s another good example of the hypocrisy that is conveniently overlooked when shouting about these things. Because if you think that Labour or the Lib Dems (other parties are available) are going to deliver on their election promises, you really haven’t been concentrating on any election ever.
And yet the people posting this sort of crap are (mostly) well-educated, professional individuals who wouldn’t dream of saying something so clearly illogical in any other area of their life.

There’s some major sociological study just waiting for a suitable PhD candidate right here. (It’s probably already been done, to be honest.)

I’ve said it about sport:

…it’s fine to be irrational, as long as you know you’re being irrational. Sport brings out the irrational side in a lot of people…

The trouble is, much like sport, politics encourages this weird kind of behaviour as well. And, much like sport, it’s exacerbated by social media.

Take a look at your friends’ posts online now. And if you don’t see this phenomenon, you’ve either chosen good friends (well done) or you’re deep inside the echo chamber with them (oh dear).

Voting Day

Great News!

It’s Election Day in South Africa, and although we all know who the winners are going to be, a quick perusal of the manifestos and promises of each and every party contesting today’s election clearly shows that whichever one gets in, the citizens of this fine land are going to be living in Utopia for the next five years.

Bring it, baby!

Crime, poverty, unemployment, corruption and laughable foreign policy, which have all been the bane of our collective lives for the past 2½ decades will be swept away. The appalling track record of service delivery (or rather “non-delivery”, lol) will be a thing of the past. I’ve checked what we’ve been promised by the new government and I can tell you that the future is looking pretty bright. If we have any electricity.

Woohoo!

Please be aware that this time around, the majority of the population will not be voting for Jacob Zuma’s ANC. Oh no, they’ll be voting for Cyril Ramaphosa’s ANC.
This is the novel, clean, corruption-free version, with only half of JZ’s cronies in the hotseats. And a leader who saw nothing dodgy going on during his four years as Deputy President (despite… well, see the link above). And who has prosecuted and jailed about exactly zero of those implicated in State Capture and corruption since his promotion to President 15 months ago. And who seems regularly amazed at what a crappy state the country is in.

It’s new. Shiny. A fresh start. Mmmm.

I can’t wait. The next five years are going to be absolutely amazing.

Zuma on Trump

All-round nice guy and democratically elected President of the Republic of South Africa says “well done” to all-round nice guy and democratically elected President of the United States of America.

I think that’s what’s happening, anyway…

A transcript of the video, including JZ’s words, may assist you in comprehending the depth of his feelings for Mr Trump.

[Microsoft Movie Maker titles and intro]

For now, it… it is a report that have come.
If he has won, the Americans have felt that this is a man.
I don’t think anyone could have anything.
We are saying congratulation to him.

[CGI SA flag]
[Fade to 15 seconds of silent darkness]

Eish.

It’s Election Day

Oh joy! The Municipal Elections 2016 to be exact.

And, for just about the first time since 1994, we could be looking at some big changes.

election

Always a politically active country, South Africa is not a particularly happy place right now and this has been a bitterly fought campaign. But with big cities like Johannesburg and Tshwane, and villages like Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Bay) virtually neck and neck in the opinion polls, the previously all-powerful ANC looks set to incur significant losses.

Quite how they will take that remains to be seen.

Cape Party want to turn the Cape into France Shock!

Possibly, anyway.

If you’re from these parts, you’ll have no doubt seen the Cape Party’s election boards on streetlights all over Cape Town. They got them up early, presumably to catch those voters who, rather than making their decisions on party policies, manifestos and the like, thought “I know, I’ll vote for the first party whose election boards I see on the streetlights on my way home this evening.”
It’s like taxi companies who try to be first in the Yellow Pages by calling themselves “A1 Taxis” or “AAA Cars” in the hope that you’ll pick them because they are top of the list. I have a deep mistrust of these companies – what are they trying to hide? Would booking with a taxi company with a name beginning further down the alphabet really be a worse option for my travelling requirements? Why?

But back to the Cape Party and their early-bird advertising tactics. It’s a small number of voters that will be influenced in this way, but then the Cape Party appears to be a party of small numbers anyway.

So why should we be bothered about them at all? Well, the Cape Party wants the Cape Provinces to become independent, becoming a new country: The Cape Republic.

The Cape Party will return the Cape to its rightful independence and once and for all bring an end to the racism and oppression suffered under this colonial Union.

Which sounds “ok”, I guess.
And their manifesto lists several reasons why this would work, including some recent “successful examples”:

…we have a long history of not being a part of South Africa. Many people believe that South Africa has passed the tipping point and that Independence for the Cape is the only viable solution.
Successful examples:  former USSR (15 countries), Yugoslavia (7 Countries), Czechoslavakia [sic] (2 countries) and the peaceful secession of South Sudan only a month ago.

They do seem to be ignoring conflicts in Georgia, the ongoing crisis in Chechnya and the tiny, almost insignificant Yugoslav wars of the 1990s (conservative estimates of 120,000 deaths). There was violence before, during and after the Sudanese referendum.
Dividing up Czechoslovakia seemed to go quite well though. Let’s hope that the Cape can follow that road to independent governance rather than any of those other “successful” examples, hey?

But their blatant glossing over of the truth behind what actually happened when those countries went their separate ways is not my real issue with these guys: after all, the definition of success is subjective. My real problem is the fact that they are secretly trying to turn the Cape into France. Check the party emblem and compare the shape of the new Cape Republic to… France:

OK, Normandy is a bit out of proportion, but that Southern coast looks dangerously familiar.

It was because of this concerning similarity that I looked into the Cape Party in greater detail. And look what I found as the very first line in their Vision for The Cape Republic:

The Cape Republic is roughly the size of France

Oh – isn’t that convenient???

So we look like France and we’re about the same size as France. Now all that is needed is an hatred of the British because you once lost a war to them.

The selfish motives of politicians a political system that is as racially divisive and oppressive as the others that have plagued this land since the British Empire forced the Union of South Africa upon us in 1910…

Bingo.

Further evidence: constant references to Cape Provence and suggested adoption of the Swiss system of voting – a country where they speak French and which borders France.  In addition, the Cape Party headquarters is in Franschhoek. Need I say more, except for informing you that I actually made this last bit up – they’re actually based in Claremont. Which sounds very much like Clermont-Ferrand, which is in France.

The Cape Party manifesto ends with this quote from Mahatma Ghandi:

First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.

Look, I’m already well into stage two, but more fool them for revealing their modus operandi as I have no plans to go any further, breaking the chain and thus ruining any chances of them winning anything ever.
And that is a good thing, because turning into France is no decent future for us.
Or anyone else for that matter.

Good People of the Cape, while it may improve the overall quality of the cuisine in this corner of Africa, this is scant reward for the annoying accents, dismissive arrogance, constant and overwhelming scent of garlic and terrifyingly bizarre toilet habits which we will be forced to endure if the Cape Party ever get their way for this little bit of Europe. You have been warned.