OUT TO LUNCH
There are rather a lot of places in the world you wouldn’t want to be right now. Haiti springs to mind although you would probably never want to be in Haiti and one can only feel extreme pity for those unfortunate enough to have been born there.
Apart from the chaotic and highly corrupt politics the place is a natural disaster zone. Last week’s horrific earthquake which measured 7.2 on the Richter scale was followed by a tropical storm piling misery upon misery.
You certainly wouldn’t want to be in the parts of Europe that have featured in the news lately as uncontrollable wildfires swept through large parts of Greece, Italy and Turkey at the peak of what would have been the holiday season in a normal year. California and Siberia have also experienced devastating fires which have wiped out entire communities.
Then there were the floods in Germany, Belgium and Italy back in July which have also destroyed villages and currently two million Japanese are being advised to take shelter as massive floods threaten that country. The floods frequently lead to mudslides and there have been horrifying shots of some very upmarket European homes waist deep in wet mud. How on earth do you ever recover from something like that?
Now there is Afghanistan which promises to be one of the greatest disasters of 2021 as the Taliban reintroduce their strange medieval practices. The sheer desperation of the situation there makes one feel comparatively safe here in South Africa. Particularly disturbing were the shots of thousands of people at Kabul’s airport running towards a US troop plane with others clinging to the aircraft as it taxied for take off. There followed sickening reports of bodies falling from the sky.
For those who haven’t managed to get out Afghanistan, and there are many, the future looks bleak. A Taliban spokesman has assured the BBC that everything will be fine and that the Taliban high command just need to get into the swing of things to get the country running.
Quite how this will work out with anyone connected with the previous regime regarded as the enemy it’s hard to imagine. For example, Afghanistan will have no civil service left to perform the normal duties of government. None of the Taliban high command have any idea how to run a country.
They have spent the last twenty years as terrorists more intent on ruining a country rather than running one. That’s unlikely to change in a hurry with the result that the Taliban will resort to what they do best which is terror and brutality. Shop owners were already painting over the images of women’s faces at hair salons and female university students had been advised to go home and send their brothers for education in their place.
The future looks very bleak at the moment; not just for Afghans but also for the many sworn enemies of the extremely well funded terrorist organisation that has swiftly taken over an entire country.
We may yet give thanks that we are here on the southern tip of Africa. Not that we don’t have natural disasters of our own, the principal one being the ANC. Twenty seven years in power and they still haven’t a clue how to run a country efficiently.
It beggars belief that a month after what was termed a ‘major insurrection’ in KZN not a single conspirator has been identified and prosecuted. Meanwhile people continue to rebuild their lives and buildings in that unfortunate province with absolutely no guarantee that there might well be a repeat of the wanton violence and, again, nobody will be held responsible.
The attitude of the looters and arsonists dedicated to attacking what they have been told is ‘white monopoly capital’ is very simple; the whites are all insured so it’s no skin off their noses apart from the minor inconvenience of interrupted trade.
The real tragedy is that our tourism industry, which is already under pressure, will suffer enormously. Nothing would induce me to book a holiday in Durban or even the Natal Midlands now. Even if international tourism is permitted once we’re removed from the UK red list I doubt many foreign visitors would want to spend good money visiting a war zone that could well flare up again any time.
I was a regular visitor to Hluhluwe/Umfolozi game reserve years ago but I would be very reluctant to go back now. So all those wonderful resorts, private and public, are going to wonder how on earth they will manage to survive. ___STEADY_PAYWALL___
I wrote a couple of weeks ago that I cannot understand how the EFF can stay registered as a political party when their party leaders have been fingered for fraud and corruption. Pauli Van Wyk’s excellent piece of investigative journalism in Daily Maverick on the R28.2 million that Brian Shivambu allegedly owes SARS makes it quite plain that various companies were used as a conduit to channel funds to Floyd Shivambu and Julius Malema. Around R3.6 mln of stolen VBS money was paid into Floyd’s FNB Private Wealth account. His luxury Range Rover was also paid for with ill gotten gains it appears.
For a politician dedicated to destroying white monopoly capital and fighting for the rights of the poor, Mr Shivambu’s spending habits make interesting reading. Ms Van Wyk reports the following:
“From his FNB Private Wealth account, Shivambu splurged about R800,000, largely funded by VBS loot, on Gucci (R152,477.48), Louis Vuitton (R114,803.53), Burberry (R80,898.67), Fabiani (R22,414.99), Versace (R14,725) and Salvatore Ferragamo (R68,768.88).”
FNB Private Wealth’s website says that it offers “dedicated private banking and advice led wealth management for wealthy individuals and families earning more than R1.8mln a year or with a net asset value of R15mln or more”. So definitely not for the hoi-polloi then.
When I opened a similar account with a rival bank I had to complete a FICA form and give all sorts of personal details just in case I was tempted to do a bit of money laundering. This, I was assured, was to protect the bank’s reputation. So what happened with FNB Private Wealth and Fat Boy Floyd’s FICA form I wonder? And didn’t those transactions raise any red flags at FNB for an account holder who would have had a lot of trouble explaining how he came to be so wealthy in such a short period of time?
Those of us who grew up knowing the names of all the members of Led Zeppelin will probably be finding the modern world quite barmy and rather difficult to adapt to. Two things that puzzle me are, firstly, why I didn’t know anyone who believed they had been equipped with the wrong set of genitalia when I was at school.
Clearly the poor souls were too embarrassed to mention it and were hiding the fact from the rest of us because gender dysphoria among children is now so widespread in Scotland that Sturgeon’s lot are introducing a guideline document ‘Supporting transgender pupils in schools’ which all schools will have to observe. It contains the following sage advice under the title ‘Good Practice’
‘If a transgender young person wants to share a room with other young people who share their gender identity, they should be able to do so, as long as the rights of all those involved are considered and respected.’
This may not go down too well with parents of teenage daughters I suspect but that’s almost certainly because the parents are experiencing ‘problematic’ thinking.
The second thing that puzzles me is how many children are now on the ever expanding autism spectrum. It’s almost become a point of honour to claim your child is on the autism spectrum and wheel them off to a shrink every week.
Sadly my generation missed out on this indulgence. We were just called badly behaved by our teachers and kept in for detention. Now I finally realize that I was on the autism spectrum maybe I can sue somebody for trauma.