The idea behind Politicsweb is dialogue, so here goes in response to some comments on "SONA chaos..." plus some of my own "second thoughts". I do not write as a politician. I don't have the temperament or desire. Of course it is wonderfully cathartic to be a team member and bash the opposition or, like our ubiquitous ., to throw out a host of "factoids" mixed with thumb-suck assertions to keep the other team off balance, but (with exceptions) it is not my style. So for those who don't like my film crit. or style or confuse me with George van Onselen or Jeremy Cronin (what have these estimable gentlemen done to deserve such obloquy?), or insinuate I am a DA hack etc, etc - sorry, go bark at the moon.
So what's left? Veja becomes agitated by the words "missionary" and then sticks on the words "civilising influence over the natives" and "superiority" fantasies. It is an old technique heavily used by the ANC propagandists. English is full of vivid metaphors and potent words which can be exploited to impute sinister motives and attitudes to others which they don't possess. The beating of Zille with the word "refugee" comes to mind; but I'll come back to "missionary" later.
He goes onto say that I (and my ilk, of course) "find it hard to accept that democracy has dawned and your role has been relegated to a bit part in the unfolding South African success story, led by the glorious movement of the people, the ANC. As we travel in the world we are treated as a success story of Africa and those that come here, always wonder out loud about the anachronistic noisy white racists who inhabit these shores and their anti-government media friends."
Putting aside the overblown rhetoric let's get it out in the open that some (maybe many?) people do indeed support the DA for "primitive identity" or outrightly racist reasons. Few of us are entirely free of racial stereotyping - including Veja himself I suspect - but, to its credit, the DA itself has never played the racist card and has moved mountains to become a party for all the people - led by Zille. That required a profound change in the "culture" of the DA which derived from a proud liberal tradition, mainly the preserve of the white population with notable adherents from other ethnic groups.
Rather than sneer you may reflect that it is that tradition which largely stands between our democratic state and a descent into the Mugabe failed state-dictatorship on our Northern border. It is that tradition which keeps at bay the worst excesses of EFF demagogues and hardcore Stalinist socialism - the prospect of a Cuban-style glorious socialist "paradise" of frightened sheep and ravenous wolves. So bluster all you want but for your own sake you had better make sure that the DA is alive and kicking in South Africa.
"How can a serious, objective analyst be so partisan towards...the DA?" from Sarah Dilo. The question is topsy-turvy: the problem is how can one not be in our current political context? That is the sad reality of our politics: that we have a disastrously weak, deeply corrupt, factionalised and shakily democratic ruling party and a vigorous opposition. As I have already stated I am not a party loyalist. The party owes me, not the other way around.