www.inside-politics.org

Analysis of and commentary on South African politics from a liberal perspective. Winner: Best Political Blog 2012.

Month: April, 2013

An erosion of the DA’s liberal values: A response


InsidePoliticsFEATURE: Some two months ago I argued that an article by the DA’s national spokesperson, advocating for Ubuntu and ‘Africaness’, was illiberal and worrisome, with regards to the party’s ideological direction. Although the DA itself has not responded, a number of other people have. Below is a summation of those responses and the reasons why the majority are both wrong and wrongheaded.

Read the rest of this entry »

On originality


TheThingAboutSERIES: Few things are better able to excite the human mind than originality. It is the result of curiosity, the force behind creativity and impulse that drives discovery. Truly it is a glorious thing, the very touchstone for innovation and, with it, progress and betterment. But why is it so important? What is its nature and effect? What is it about originality that makes it such a powerful – and rare – attribute and why is it we should place such great value upon it?

Read the rest of this entry »

Dealing with apartheid’s legacy: The Lee/Manuel correspondence


TrevorManuelFEATURE: Much has been made of Trevor Manuel’s recent comments on apartheid and whether or not it constitutes a valid excuse for poor service delivery. One area relevant to the debate, on which Manuel has been very outspoken in the past but did not address in his speech, is quotas in sport. In 2005 he set out his views in an exchange of letters with DA MP Donald Lee. I have set them all out in this article. Thus, one question perhaps worth putting to Manuel today, is whether or not he still thinks they are necessary.

Read the rest of this entry »

On wisdom


TheThingAboutSERIES: Are you wise? Or do you simply seek out cliches and promote them as if you have discovered great truth? In other words, do you believe by repeating other people’s wisdom, you might seem wise yourself? And is a cliche actually an example of wisdom? What is true wisdom’s nature and how might we recognise it? In an age of ‘instant wisdom’ – exaggerated by social media – these are questions worth considering.

Read the rest of this entry »

On vision


TheThingAboutSERIES: Very often the link is rightfully made between leadership and vision. Much has been written about leadership, far less about vision. What is a vision? Why is it important and what is its effect? More importantly, what can one tell about a leader by the way in which they relate their vision to an audience, the extent to which it is inspiring or dreary? Today’s column tries to answer those questions.

Read the rest of this entry »

Is Marius Fransman a flight risk?


ANCFlagFEATURE: Marius Fransman, ANC leader in the Western Cape, has recently been making much noise, largely on the back of a volunteer drive designed to take back the province from the Democratic Alliance in 2014. But a 2009 Wikileaks cable suggests Fransman is not necessarily the right man to be leading the charge, as he was apparently all but ready to abandon the party for COPE, ahead of the last election. So, one question worth putting to the man is: are you really committed to the ANC?

Read the rest of this entry »

Absolute South Africa


CriticismFEATURE: In many ways South Africa is a land of absolutes. We have come to talk in extremes. It is a kind of fundamentalism. The Trevor Manuel, Jacob Zuma exchange – about whether or not we can blame apartheid for our current condition – is a case in point. It is, ultimately, a false choice. Some things can be blamed on apartheid, others not. But that kind of nuance often seems lost on us and, as a result, reason has suffered a cruel blow. In its place, ignorance is entrenching its grip on our debate.

Read the rest of this entry »

The selective moral outrage of Trevor Manuel


TrevorManuelFEATURE: Trevor Manuel has made a point over the last two years of openly criticising the ANC and the ANC government on a range of different issues. Each time his outspoken ‘honesty’ has been met with much praise and acclaim. But it is selective moral outrage on Manuel’s part and, if he really is interested in setting himself apart from the ANC, then he has much explaining to do – starting with his years of complicit silence as Thabo Mbeki damaged the foundations of our democracy.

Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: