The political voice labour must find

November 5, 2019

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Riven by ideological squabbles and apparently unwilling to face up the technological realities of the 21st Century, the once militant South African trade union movement is in danger of becoming increasingly less relevant. Yet this was a m ovement that played a significant role in the anti-apartheid struggle.

SA unions: still seeking a coherent political role

November 2, 2019

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Ever since making a tentative move toward principled unity 23 years ago, South Africa's modern and militant trade unions, once to the forefront of the struggle against apartheid, have steadily weakened, with a degree of fragmentation. Now, with the realities of the digital revolution being felt, time is not on their side if they wish to remain relevant and play a role of protectors and extenders of democracy.

Ireland’s Obama mania

October 30, 2019

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The Irish legacy of US President Barrack Obama is an example of ostentatious vulgarity known as Obama Plaza. But it is also a masterpiece of marketing in a country known more for its wild beauty and its contribution, especially to literature and migration.

Posted in: Reports abroad

Johnson puts UK establishment & Ireland in the firing line

August 31, 2019

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‘Make the most of October: a month of anniversary events, before the bank runs, food shortages and petrol queues start . . .’ (London Review of Books advert as demonstrations erupted in several UK centres) The decision by British premier Boris Johnson to prorogue (suspend) parliament has caused an uproar throughout Britain and Europe and […]

Posted in: Reports abroad

Race & the colour of money

July 28, 2019

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Populist demagogues tend to emerge during times of economic and social crises. They use the age-old method of divide and rule to prey on the fears and insecurities of the working class battered by a system of exploitation that the demagogues fundamentally support. But at the root of the problems faced by the global majority is not race, religion, language or ethnicity: it is capitalism where the colour of money is all that matters.

Exploitation: a case of money, not melanin

July 26, 2019

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Ten years ago, the “Celtic Tiger” economy started to collapse amid the stench of corruption. Its demise underlined how dangerous it is to welcome corporate pirates with “investor friendly” policies. Yet today, these — or very similar — policies are being proposed as a means to lift South Africa out of the economic mire into which it has slid. In the process, the melanin rather than the money card is being played.

The hidden entrepreneurs

July 14, 2019

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Entrepreneurial spirit has again been hailed by South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa, but within the context of the digital revolution, of tablets, coding and bullet trains. But excellent examples of this very spirit are, are mostly ignored. Yet they are hidden in plain sight among te waste pickers and the growinbg legions of the working hjomeless.