Blame for May Day’s bare whimper

May 11, 2021

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May Day 2021 has come and gone, without much of a whimper, let alone a bang. And it is the novel coronavirus that is only marginally responsible. Because there would not have been much of a bang even without the pandemic. The virtual May Day commemoration by Cosatu was streamed from the federation’s headquarters, Cosatu […]

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London to France: skulking along the Thames, arriving in Aigues-Morte

April 29, 2021

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(Available on Daily Maverick: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-04-27-reflections-of-a-wayward-boy-skulking-through-the-thames-estuary-guided-by-naked-canoeists/) The great 7,000 mile kayak venture of 1967 began as a comedy of errors, and, with hindsight, many of the elements of farce came close to tragedy. But there were also some incredibly interesting, insightful, even uplifting, events along some 1,500km of sea, canals and rivers before, after nearly three […]

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Sticks, stones, words & Adam Habib

April 8, 2021

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(First published in City Press, April 04, 2021) Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. So goes an old adage. But, of course, words can be hurtful: it all depends on the context. But words, because they exist, cannot be made to de-exist and nor can the use of […]

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Orange protest highlights a democratic farce

March 27, 2021

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Hopefully, we on the cusp of a new and radical democratic breakthrough with the launch of the orange-flagged Defend our Democracy campaign, aimed at rooting out corruption. But, if we really hope to root out corruption, we have to deal with its causes, a major one of which is the very “democracy” we now practice. […]

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How about some real change, next time round?

March 15, 2021

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There has been much said and written in recent months about how there will be no going back to normal in the wake of Covid-19; that the gross inequalities highlighted by the pandemic mean that change must come. But, if history is any guide, we could face more of the same, only worse. As such […]

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Short on hope, long on promises

February 15, 2021

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(First published on Fin24 and in City Press, South Africa) The annual SONA ritual played itself out again last week: the labour movement expressing the hope that, for a change, something meaningful would be said that would filter through to implementation via the coming budget. And it is the budget to be announced on February […]

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A riveting & uncomfortable read

February 15, 2021

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1986 by William Dicey (Umuzi, 304 pp) You, who forget your history are destined forever to repeat the horrors of the past. This, and words to similar effect have become something of a cliché. But although constantly repeated, this warning is seldom acted on. In South Africa, it is today not so much a case […]

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Democracy depends on sound information — and no state interference

February 1, 2021

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Covid-19 highlighted a range of structural faults in society;  faults we know more about because information was relayed to us.  In the process, and with the advent of social media, we have also become increasingly aware of how information can be — and is — distorted and of the damage fake news can do. In […]

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