Murrinations

Darkest before the Dawn: Part II The ANC today

The phase of dictatorship ended after Mandela’s death and the pendulum swung back to a form of leadership that was at the other side of the swing. In this case, the old tribal values of hierarchical power, self-aggrandisement and corruption. This process began during Thabo Mbeki’s regime and is now prolific with Jacob Zuma, to the point where it has impaired the growth of the nation in every way possible. The swing in this case was also away from Mandela’s belief that leadership should serve the people towards one where leadership serves itself.

Darkest before the Dawn: Part I

I have been asked with increasing frequency regarding my outlook for SA, set against what feels to be a wave of negative sentiment for the country’s future. Coincidently, I had the privilege of giving a speech in Cape Town on March 31st, 2017. It was the day after Zuma had enacted his ‘night of the long knives’ on his Cabinet. The mood amongst the ‘white tribe’ was very dark indeed. I would go so far as to say the darkest collective sentiment I have ever witnessed. What interested me was that this darkness was not really a reflection of current events.

Brexit Part XXVII: May calling a general election

Prime Minister May’s call for an election should not have taken anyone by surprise. The surprise was that she had not announced it sooner. The Conservatives were not elected with May as their leader and she did not want to make the same mistake as Gordon Brown who was never endorsed by the people and served out an ignominious short term as PM. Following such a divisive referendum, May and the Conservatives need a resounding mandate to push through the Brexit negotiations using the risk of a no-deal outcome as the ultimate bargaining chip.

Trump's pilot war with North Korea

Trump has now put down the American gauntlet to North Korea and drawn his own red line across the Korean peninsula. By doing so, he is attempting to force China’s hand to help him solve the Korean nuclear issue. However, President Xi may not feel that he can acquiesce to such obvious pressure without making China look weak. Xi may further calculate that previous American wars in Asia, against Japan and in Korea and Vietnam, have turned into quagmires that placed America under enormous strain.

Frexit: Marine Le Pen

With France about to go to the polls, the support for leaving the EU seems to be stronger than ever, as advocated by with two of four key candidates: Marine Le Pen, on the far right, and Jean-Luc Mélenchon, on the hard left.

Brexit Part XXVI: The Gibraltar threat

In the Murrination, Brexit XIX: The EU referendum and the divorce process, Part III, we made the analogy between the divorce process of a married couple and Britain leaving the EU. In the section named ‘The aftermath’,  there is a point of reflection during this process that is critical to the outcome, and that is how well or badly the separation process unfolded. If it went smoothly, whereby both parties acted reasonably, then inevitably, the leaver might question the decision.

Trump sends a signal to North Korea, China and Syria

Assad's use of Sarin again in Syria this week was unforgivable. Not only due to the cruelty of the attack, but because repeated use of gas as a weapon makes it more acceptable on future battlefields. Trump was correct in launching 59 cruise missiles on the Syrian airfield that launched the attack for that reason alone. However, this strike is only the first step in a long journey. Trump now faces the task of reasserting American global power.

Brexit Part XXV: The state of the nation? Part II

Budget/economic policy

Brexit Part XXIV: The state of the nation? Part I

On Wednesday, March 29th, Britain will once more officially begin to chart its own course as a sovereign nation. 288 Days after the famous Brexit referendum vote, Sir Tim Barrow, the British Representative to the EU, will hand a letter from the Prime Minister, Mrs May to Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council. The contents will notify the 27 members of the EU that Britain is commencing its exit process outlined in Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

Arms Races - Money is not enough: Part III

Having discussed why money is not enough to win an arms race, we should now revert to how much money would be enough for the USA to be able to stand a chance countering China’s challenge. To make this assessment, we should first point out that different currencies are not always equal and that the value of the challenger's currency may give it an advantage over that of the hegemonic power. This is but a reflection of the differences between the underlying economies of the two protagonists.

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