Friday, 12 February 2016


The markets are looking unafraid and even quite strong in places today. Obviously investors took to their beds early last night and didn’t watch the broadcast from Cape Town. The displays of disgraceful and childish behaviour both inside and outside the parliament building were far more revealing about our nation than a speech from Number 1. Anyone living in this country already knows or at least has an opinion about the State of the Nation. Those with a season ticket to the first class suites on the gravy train will undoubtedly say it is good. For the rest of us our estimations will range from the desperate through hurt and bafflement to the deeply saddened and disappointed. It must take a special kind of blinkered obstinacy not to see that we are in a really bad place and in dire need of wise leadership.
The century old compromise of using two different cities for the executive and legislative centres of national government has always been an expensive luxury. The semi-annual traditionally named “zoo-train” to transport the grand panjandrums from Pretoria to Cape Town and back are now a distant memory. It was inevitable that consolidation ought one day to happen and last night JZ told us that MPs will no longer have to fear the Cape winters. To what extent this is a cost-saving exercise and not really a punishment on the Western Cape Province for not supporting the ruling party is debatable. One piece of good news should be that the government will be able to demonstrate its solidarity with the asinine #Rhodesmustfall campaign and rid itself of Cecil John’s magnificent estate in the mother city. Cape Town should immediately begin lobbying for the return of Groote Schuur since there is now no call for a presidential palace under the mountain.
It’s rather scary that the Young Nurses Indaba can display so much ignorance and hatred in one statement. In rejecting the traditional white nurses’ uniform, their spokesman and founder asserted that Florence Nightingale’s work ethic robbed nurses of the professional courtesy they demand from their bosses. What this actually means is anyone’s guess but the further claim that the absence of colour in their uniform was holding the profession back from transformation is pretty clear. The Indaba wants neither their uniform nor the nurses wearing them to be white.
The rapid recent escalation of anti-white hate-speech is intolerable and alarming and to a great extent pointless. Except when disguised as tax-payers, whom the masses certainly can’t currently do without, white people are a small and shrinking minority in the country with little influence and almost no powers. In vain we await a stern government response to demands that whites must either leave or die and presumably take our malign inventions and chattels like science and technology with us. Demographic trends show that it won’t be all that long until the wishes of these extremists are granted and the paradise that could have been shared and enjoyed by all South Africans of whatever origin will no longer exist. How very very sad.
Who is suddenly buying gold? In dollars it is at a one year high and compared to all other commodities (of which, the purists insist, gold is merely one) it is blasting into the stratosphere. Thanks to our dodgy currency the rand price of the metal is well into all-time high territory. A Krugerrand will now cost you R19 000, double what it was just 6 years ago. This is a very interesting development and one to watch.
It is always interesting when the cameraman aims at the rows of padded seats outside the presidential box at the cricket stadium. The first reaction is just who are all those guys and what do they do for the game? The next is to weigh up whether the benefits of a free seat in the shade behind the wicket plus complimentary bar and buffet outweighs the misery of having to wear a tie all day. Hmm. It would be worth trying.
James Greener
Friday 12th February 2016