Browsing All Posts filed under »Commentary«

Memories of nicotine deprivation

May 1, 2020

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In Tanzania in 1981, the country's only cigarette factory ran out of paper — and the country ran out of cigarettes. The result revealed clearly just how addictive is nicotine: packs of cigarettes had buyers at 230 times to normal price and "puffs" on a single cigarette were sold on street corners.

Tax, war & the Covid-19 future

April 22, 2020

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If, as governments and international in stitutions aroun d the world say, we are at war that is costing all economies dear, why is the historic means of funding such conflict — and financing the subsequent peace — not used? It seems to have been forgotten that wars and subsequent reconstruction were financed by taxing corporates and the rich.

FW de Klerk has so much more to apologise for

February 20, 2020

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There is nothing new in former apartheid president FW de Klerk's latest denialist comments, nor in the belated apology that followed it. He has never changed, nor has he told the truth about so much, especially about the massacre of five children in Mthatha in 1993.

The chequered history of Valentine’s Day

February 13, 2020

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The major problem with St Valentine's Day is that nobody is sure who Valentine was or even if a single martyr of that name existed. But for the commercial success of the day, we have neither church nor pope to thank; that honour belongs to Ester Howland.

Journalism is more than ‘just a job’

January 22, 2020

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With the explosion of fake news, courtesy of social media, accompanied by mounting attacks, verbal and physical, against journalists, it may be useful to remember what the role of journalists — not bots and trolls — should be and that ethical journalism still survives. In this context, in South Africa, it is worth remembering how journalism (the work of journalists) brought to light the whole disgusting state capture venture.

What about the workers?

May 8, 2019

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Much has changed on the South African political scene since the transition from apartheid in 1994. In the sixth national election since then, the votes of more than 2 million unionised workers could be crucial to the final outcome.

Flawed democracvy & words as weapons

May 4, 2019

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'Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.' So said French philosopher Voltaire. It is a statement worth bearing in mind in this digital age where distortions of fact and the manipulation and faking of news in both social and mainstream media is becom ing ever more prevalent.