NEWS & ANALYSIS

Reasons to be Fearful- Part 3

David Bullard says he can’t recall a time when he has been more despondent about the future of SA

OUT TO LUNCH

One sure way of getting a bit of P&Q in the early days of my marriage was to play the works of Mr Ian Dury and the Blockheads. Mrs B was definitely not a fan and would leave the house for a few hours whenever Mr Dury was playing.

Nothing I could say would persuade her to pay full attention to the poetic lyrics of this much underestimated observer of the human condition.

___STEADY_PAYWALL___

Take his lyrics for ‘Billericay Dickie’ for example. Ian Dury may have been born in Middlesex but his heart and his roots were definitely in Essex as his songs so clearly demonstrated.

Had a love affair with Nina
In the back of my Cortina
A seasoned-up Hyena

Could not have been more obscener
She took me to the cleaners
And other misdemeanours
But I got right up between
Her rum and her Ribena

Well you ask ask Joyce and Vicky
If candy floss is sticky
I’m not a blinkin’ thicky
I’m Billericay Dicky
And I’m doing very well.
Not Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton or Dickens maybe but nonetheless a clear and concise poetic description of Essex life in the 1970’s.

Sadly Mr Dury died at age 57 of cancer but his legacy lives on through such memorable hits as the enigmatic “Hit me with your rhythm stick” and the tender ballad “Wake up and make love to me”. But my favourite of all time has to be “Reasons to be cheerful – Part 3” in which Mr Dury lists lots of things to take your mind off the rigours of daily life amongst them:

Too short to be haughty
Too nutty to be naughty
Going on forty
No electric shocks

The juice of a carrot
The smile of a parrot
A little drop of claret
Anything that rocks.

I had hoped to pen some similar optimistic lyrics that would lift us all out of the post Zondo gloom but there really is nothing to get enthusiastic about at the moment. In, fact, a song called “Reasons to be Fearful- Part 3” would probably be more appropriate. I can’t recall a time when I have been more despondent about the future of this once great country.

Let’s take the Zondo road show for example. It apparently comes to an end in a few days unless somebody stumps up more moolah. It’s been running now for over three years and was launched by none other than accused number one Jacob Zuma in January 2018 to investigate the very shenanigans that JZ and his fellow thieves were up to.

However, the great thing with a commission is that it’s only a public enquiry and not a court of law. So while vile and treasonous acts can be revealed to the commission there’s not a damn thing they can do about them.

Someone else could do something about them but they seem mighty reluctant to act with the result that the likes of Zuma and Ace Magashule can flip the middle finger at the rest of us safe in the knowledge that, while we know exactly what they’ve been up to and what they’ve allegedly stolen, we can’t do a damn thing about it.

The whole point of the Zondo commission seems to be to tease those of us still hanging in and hoping for better things by flaunting the grinning fraudsters in front of us.

Apparently the commission has cost pretty much in excess of R1 billion and with no convictions thus far that could hardly be regarded as money well spent. Add to this the fact that those summoned can seemingly decide whether or not to turn up on the appointed day and answer questions and then it’s no wonder that Zondo has about as much credibility as a Nigerian 419 scam.

I became quite excited when I learnt that JZ would be hauled off to prison for repeatedly giving the middle finger to Zondo but that clearly isn’t going to happen. Any more than the booting of Ace Magashule is going to happen in a couple of days time I suspect. Or Judge President John Hlophe for that matter. When it come to getting rid of scumbags in this country it seems we are a bit skittish.

But let’s leave Zondo for the moment and look on the bright side of life (© Eric Idle). We have apparently won the lottery and the National Development Bank has granted us a US$1 billion loan at a favourably low rate. That’s a hell of a lot of new Porsche GT3’s and Ferraris plus a bit of spare cash for some Johnnie Blue. But hush my racist mouth, how can I say these dreadful things?

Now, in my limited life experience a bank has to have depositors and those depositors should, in the normal course of events, be confident that the bank’s management isn’t going to either steal the deposits (VSB?) or lend to dodgy borrowers. A billion $US is serious boodle and you don’t just phone the account holder and say spend, spend, spend unless you have some confidence that the money will come back with interest.

But that’s the world of capitalist reality for you. The National Development Bank (NDB) is a BRICS bank and it would be hard to imagine anybody choosing to put their spare cash with the NDB as opposed to the many banking institutions who have been around for rather longer and have a credible track record.

So BRICS? Brazil – a rightwing ruled COVID disaster zone with a teetering economy. Russia – a monumentally untrustworthy state with a lunatic in charge. India – an even greater COVID disaster zone with a lot of poverty. China – A hugely successful Communist/Capitalist economy which is a bit unkind to some of its citizens.

The sort of unkindness that would cause global outrage were it not for the fact that China manufactures all sorts of desirable objects like Apple iPhones (if only Adolf Hitler had been as sharp witted). And we bring up the S part as a later add-on when a Wall Street bank thought we might have a promising future. What a rag bag of losers and it’s not difficult to guess who the main depositor at the NDB might be given that the other four are beggars at the feast.

Given the shysters who are part of the BRICS conglomerate it probably isn’t even necessary to have a depositor in order to draw down a $US1billion loan. In less PC times it used to be called ‘Chinese book-keeping’. These days we would probably have to import some Cuban accountants to verify that all is well.

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Speaking of fast cars and Johnnie Blue I find it extraordinary that that purveyors of such luxury items to the terminally dishonest should escape the prosecution net.

I’m sure you’ve all gone through the same rigours but I have had to satisfy something called RICA and FICA just to get a cell-phone and a bank account. Is this just something they reserve for persecuted ethnic minorities (like white people) in this country?

As we all know, the first thing a sleaze-ball does when he manages to land a dodgy government contract is get himself over to the nearest luxury car dealer and buy himself either a Porsche GT3, a Range Rover Sport or a Bentley.

Surely the scumbag alarm should go off as soon as one of these low-lifes enters the showroom but it seems as though the desire for a sales commission trumps integrity.

Some of my best friends used to be dealer-principals in luxury cars in my motor journalism days but I fear I will be off their Christmas card list now. Anybody selling anything to a sleaze-ball without having checked proper references and reported anything dodgy should be prosecuted. That includes luxury car dealers, exotic liquor sales, estate agents and purveyors of absurdly expensive footwear.