Saturday, March 24, 2018
Whilst Jacob Zuma was a problem he was not the only issue facing South Africa and the African National Congress. His departure has offered hope of change, but there are more deep-seated problems which need to be tackled. Despite advances, there has been corruption and growing inequality within South Africa. Opportunists have joined the ANC for personal advancement. Too often the needs of capital have come first. The ANC itself has produced critiques of these problems, but tackling them will be a major challenge.
Friday, March 23, 2018
The PR company, Bell Pottinger, collapsed after it was revealed that it orchestrated a campaign in South Africa designed to inflame racial hatred and divert attention from allegations of "state capture" against the Gupta family. This is the end of a long line of political interventions made by the company and its founder to promote reactionary policies. These include running Tory election campaigns, advising the government and the National Coal Board during the Miners Strike, working on FW de Klerk's election campaign, campaigning to halt the fraud investigation into the Al-Yamamah arms deal and producing propaganda for the US in Iraq.
Thursday, March 22, 2018
The latest protests in Iran have different character from those that have gone before. They were more widespread involving both the rural and urban populations and uniting the working and middle classes. Though sparked by growing impoverishment, slogans were also directed against the repressive regime itself. Although the US and Israel expressed support for the demonstrators they have another agenda, hoping to use their repression as a pretext for further attacks on Iran. The Tudeh Party of Iran has warned against the protests being hijacked by reactionary forces both inside and outside the country.
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
The confrontational tactics adopted by both the governments in Catalonia and Spain have entrenched the polarisation of pro and anti-independence views. In the elections called after Carles Puigdemont's declaration of independence, pro-independence parties again had a narrow victory, however, more worryingly a majority of Catalans voted for the right-wing. The two biggest parties coming out of the elections were both of the right, one of them pro and the other anti-independence.
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
US defence strategy has shifted from terrorism to "threats" posed by Russia and China and the Pentagon is lobbying for more resources to take them on. Allegations of links between Trump and Russia and interference by Russia in elections there and elsewhere, need to be seen in this context.
Monday, March 19, 2018
Reviews of Kingsman - The Secret Service and The Golden Circle, Jumanji and Star Wars the Last Jedi.
Sunday, March 18, 2018
Obituary of the outstanding South African Poet who fought for the liberation of his country from apartheid. He was a major figure in African-American culture and played an important role in post-apartheid South Africa.
Saturday, March 17, 2018
Poems by the South African poet Keorapetse "Willie" Kgotsitsile: For Hugh Masekala, Anguish Longer than Sorrow and No Serenity Here.