www.inside-politics.org

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

Month: May, 2013

On paranoia


TheThingAboutSERIES: Paranoia seems to be part and parcel of public life – certainly politicians appear permanently gripped by it. Yet it is curious how often paranoia can infect otherwise rational people, when they are placed in constant contact with it. Today’s piece looks at the idea of paranoia in more detail, why it is problematic and some of its consequences. If you already suffer the problem, who knows, maybe this piece is about you?

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A poor DA statement that misrepresents the facts


InsidePoliticsFEATURE: The DA today released a statement severely criticising the Minister of Sport for the amount to be spent on the 2013 South African Sports Awards ceremony. But, while the total has increased, the amount of public money allocated has actually decreased. The DA seems to have ignored this fact, however, and slammed the Minister regardless. It’s a good example of bad news triumphing over good and a disingenuous position as a result.

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On nature


TheThingAboutSERIES: Nature – the idea and the word – has, thanks to many environmental advocates, assumed a moral quality. It is deemed, more often than not, to be a force for good, a virtuous thing that works in benevolent fashion to everyone’s benefit. But in truth nature is entirely unmoved by humankind’s concerns and as random and capricious as it is brutal and deadly. In turn, we try as much to control nature as we do appreciate it and that is something worth bearing in mind when we consider our relationship with it.

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On propaganda


TheThingAboutSERIES: When does opinion become propaganda? There are numerous factors to consider but, central to answering that question, is the extent to which any view manipulates facts, the main focus of the brief exposition below. Essentially this can be done in two ways: by altering the nature of information or by excluding it entirely. What is the effect of that on public thought? And why do that? Read on to find out.

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The ANC’s dubious donors


ANCFlagARTICLE: I am going to try and keep Inside Politics going but my new commitments will make writing more sporadic and so, along with the odd post from the archives, so to speak, I shall probably keep things shorter. That said, the article below, originally published in 2007, is still relevant today: a good illustration of how the ANC historically placed its own financial condition ahead of any human rights considerations that might curtail from whom it solicited donations. That fact still holds true today, even if the donors are more often domestic than international. It sets out of some of the party’s more more dubious funders and what the papers said about each donation at the time.

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