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EDINBURGH — It’s been a sad week for those who grew up in the 80s on the synth-pop sounds of Talk Talk and The Cure, with scant details about why Mark Hollis passed away, while The Cure drummer Andy Anderson earlier warned his fans he was on his way out as terminal cancer was getting the better of him. Meanwhile, threatening to do a lot of talking at the state capture inquiry is former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni. She has told eNCA that the “real looters, the real criminals” must be exposed for their corrupt deeds. Myeni has been fingered for taking R300,000 in cash a month from Bosasa, a company that benefited from government contracts and whose bosses hoped she would share the spoils with her close friend, former president Jacob Zuma. These are just some of the people Simon Lincoln Reader touches on in his diary this week, which is a quick tour that takes in some of the world’s most vile creatures. – Jackie Cameron
By Simon Lincoln Reader
“Black people are lazy and don’t smell good.” Which vile creature uttered those words?
Adolf Hitler? Robert Mugabe? Not. Hendrik? PW? Neither. It was actually a red-bereted bastard called Ernesto “Che” Guevara, ostensibly appalled by his experiences fighting in the Congo, where the rebel commander Laurent Kabila was a kind of a General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett to Che’s Blackadder i.e – always 25 km behind the frontline fighting, getting pissed, making poor decisions.
I mention these because of the relentless, infantile effort to tarnish Winston Churchill as a white supremacist on account of his apparent role in the Bengal Famine.
The reason why this is happening is not to demonise Churchill, rather those to whom he remains a hero – the white, English, mainly conservative middle-classes. But reduced to whataboutery, it becomes just as awkward for the left as it is initially infuriating for the right.
Nobody wins these things. Much better to have 80’s musicians as heroes, like Mark Hollis of Talk Talk, or Andy Anderson of The Cure, both of whom sadly died this week.
Tom Bower’s ‘Dangerous Hero’ concludes with a damning verdict on the prospect of a Jeremy Corbyn government.
Together with Bernie Sanders, Jeremy forms an axis of a question to the supposedly civilised world, a choice between returning to a system that resulted in almost unimaginable horror – that has only ever failed – or to advance the incumbent, albeit imperfect model, the only devise known to have succeeded in alleviating poverty.
In both Britain and America, idealistic theories of the former, allied particularly to climate change and “social justice”, enjoys staggering support from the youth.
Do you blame them?
I don’t. If Britain and America chose to make themselves Venezuela, there’d be no shortage of culprits. Miserable academics and their conspiracy complexes, ruthless movements that have used issues such as the environment to attract support and funding, the uncomfortable alliance between militant Islam and the modern left.
But there are other parties complicit too. There is George Osborne, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, who couldn’t announce another set of austerity measures without an accompanying smirk barely one breath away from bursting into laughter and rolling on the floor. There is the failure to prosecute those responsible for the financial crisis and still today, the rampant cronyism in private sector projects. Youth that support Jeremy and Bernie weren’t alive to witness the consequences of Soviet industrialism – but they were to see this, the worst of the fake guardians of capitalism, in many cases self-appointed.
Dangerous Hero has been fisted, as you would come to expect, by Corbynistas, because Jeremy is revealed as 2/3rds psychopathic, his activism inspired not by “social justice” – unlike Bernie in America – but rather by a combination of petty jealousy and a sense of inferiority.
The book is an examination of a ruthless, deceptive opportunism that seeks to exploit a despair manufactured in part by people we once mistakenly considered on the free-market side of the argument.
The organisers and curators of the Mandela exhibition in Southbank have done outstanding service to South Africa. The interactive experience is very good, with only one inaccuracy and one omission by my count. I had a brief but delightful discussion with two scowling old English commies with their mandatory flat caps and black leather jackets. We agreed that it was brilliant, save for the gratuitous boasting of personalities laying claim to him, permanently looping on video. We weren’t particularly enamoured with a certain beardy one – John Lydon’s got some thoughts on this fellow – but I did like that Nelson’s wristwatch was on display.
The Patek Phillipe, very much the property of an elder statesman, is displayed to emphasise Mandela’s commitment to time. Jacob Zuma preferred big gold watches – the type Arab Sheiks gift touring prostitutes in the summer – yet he still managed to be painfully tardy.
Speaking of which, I started writing a letter to Dudu Myeni because I fear she is about to subject herself to unprecedented humiliation if her threats to “reveal all” during an anticipated appearance the Zondo Commission are to be taken seriously. I considered reminding her that she was only ever a (semi-ish) executive, um, squirt, and these vacuous claims risked turning the commission into a Profumo Affair – but I figured she’d write to #TimesUp, or Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s nice green-haired friends, and the next thing there’d be a little fatwa in the post signed from every single tranny ever.
The problem is that Dudu developed a pathological conviction from pillow talk: you know, most sensible people, post-coital, smoke or drink. This lot goes on about parastatals.
Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.