Zuma’s Denialism and Betrayal

Publshed on The Bullet, Socialist Project’s E-Bulletin No. 1257, by Zwelinzima Vavi, May 17, 2016.

South African President Jacob Zuma’s budget speech delivered on 4 May 2016 was yet another missed opportunity to look the South African public in the eye and be frank about the challenges our country is facing. This president and the government he leads are in a state of shocking denial about the worsening and unfolding crisis happening under their watch. They simply refuse to acknowledge the level of our people’s suffering.  

The president’s Budget Vote speech would make even the most committed loyalist ask themselves how the government can arrive at the conclusion that all is well and under control when it is clearly not. If the government took notice of its own information, its own statistics, and better still, if it stepped out into the real world, they would see that the world they live in is a very different one to that of our people. Even among loyalists, the denialism and spin doctoring are failing to convince. Among the people, the credibility of the government is at an all-time low.

It is simply no longer good enough to recite a list of delivery achievements, when the living conditions of the majority of our people continue to deteriorate.

Transforming the Economy? … //

… Ignoring Their Own Reports: … //
… Empty Promises Do Not Fill Empty Stomachs: … //
… A Food Crisis for the Poor in a Land of Plenty: … //
… President in Cloud Cuckoo Land, not South Africa: … //
… Tax Havens for the Wealthy: … //

… Rhetoric Does Not Feed or Clothe the Poor, Action Needed Now:

In this budget speech, the government has completely dropped any reference to radical economic transformation. Instead it has puffed up its rhetoric, and at the same time diluted what was left in terms of redistribution. The sensibilities of the rating agencies are now considered more important than the levels of malnutrition in our communities.

As if the shocking spectacle of a president addressing workers on May Day and not making a single concrete proposal to tackle unemployment, poverty, unemployment and corruption was not bad enough, to then hear his Alliance partners extol the virtues of the ANC Government and why they must unite around the president was a public act of betrayal of all those who still have the hope that the ANC will return to its historical roots of being biased to the working class and the poor.

We currently have a discredited president, captured government institutions and agencies, a sycophantic political elite, including erstwhile self-proclaimed communists, and a people whose interests are not represented.

However, we need to avoid despair. There are democratic forces mobilising on the ground, rebuilding the confidence of working people in workplaces and in poor communities. Solidarity is developing between communities who are in revolt, and those who support their demands for service delivery.

There are links being strengthened between workers in the informal and formal sector, and public sector workers, and super exploited community workers. There are those who are ready to challenge divisiveness and not allow xenophobia or other negative sentiments to divide the working class. There are those who are prepared to work hard at finding real alternatives to neoliberalism, and to combine the intellectual capacity of labour-friendly institutions with the rich experience of workers to developing alternatives that serve our people. There are those who are ready to recruit the 7 million workers in the formal sector alone who are not unionised. There are those who are prepared to stand beside all those who are victims of sexism, racism and exploitation and say enough is enough.

The future lies with those who are doing this work, not those whose promises and empty slogans are meant to deceive and placate. Every day, in all corners of this beautiful country of ours, it is becoming clearer and clearer who is part of the problem, and who is part of the solution! Join with us in making change happen!

Zwelinzima Vavi is a former COSATU leader, and is now convenor of the Workers’ Summit.

(full long text).


Female Turkish journo loses custody of children after leaking video from Syria arms smuggling trial, on RT, May 19, 2016: Journalist Arzu Yildiz was sentenced to 20 months in jail and lost her parental rights after exposing a video related to a weapons-smuggling scandal denied by the Turkish government, in what her lawyer said was “an act of revenge” by Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “Nobody can take my children away from me… not even the Sultan himself, let alone the court,” Yildiz told Can Erzincan TV, outside the court in the southern city of Mersin

Astral City, on Intrepid Report, by Philip A Farruggio, May 19, 2016;

The Money Masters Are Planning to Make the US the World’s Only Offshore Destination, on Strategic Culture Foundation, by Valentin Katasonov, May 18, 2016: The forces of economic degradation have been busy in the United States for several decades now. The US has been losing its industrial base since the 1960s. Manufacturers are moving their plants overseas in order to maximize their profits;

Russia no pariah, but strategic partner to the West – British MP, on RT, May 18, 2016;

Production d’un antihypertenseur – un revenu de 10 millions d’euros, dans DEl Moudjahid, le 17 mai 2016;

Nuit Debout fait ses premiers pas sur la plaine de Plainpalais, dans 1, Le Courrier, par Roderic Mounir, le 17 mai 2016;

Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme to begin by May-end – Finance Ministry, on DNA India, May 17, 2016;

Oil Money Flowing Out of South Korean Stock Market, on Business Korea.co.kr, by Jung Suk-yee, May 17, 2016;

The world according to former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, on The Sydney Morning Herald, by Colin Kruger, May 17, 2016:
… (he) has in more recent times advocated the idea of a basic income … “this is not a question of whether we like it or not, it will be a major part to civilise capitalism as capitalism is going through a spasm cause by its own generation,” Yanis said in a recent lecture …;

Global Migration? Actually, The World Is Staying Home, on Spiegel Online International, by Guido Mingels, May 17, 2016: the refugee debate creates the impression of unprecedented mass migration. That image is completely incorrect. The real question, when we look at migration globally, is why there is so little of it;
related: Shiny App for the Wittgenstein Centre Population Projections, on G Jabel, June 15, 2015; /Research;
Guy Abel: on Demographic Research; on THE GLOBAL FLOW OF PEOPLE; on Google Scholar-search;

Touche pas à mon marcel, dans Le Matin.ch, par Raphaël Pomey, le 16 mai 2016: MODE — Le débardeur est actuellement utilisé comme symbole de la beaufitude et de la paresse sur les affiches des opposants au revenu de base (RBI). Mérite-t-il vraiment un tel sort?

EXCLUSIF. pour 65% des jeunes, le problème politique vient des élus, pas des institutions, dans 20 minutes, le 16 mai 2016;

Tech billionaires got rich off us. Now they want to feed us the crumbs, on The Guardian, by Ben Tarnoff, May 16, 2016: In a future where robots take our jobs, the tech elite see universal basic income as a fair exchange. But don’t forget – their wealth came from what we provided;

Companies listen when Norway’s oil fund shouts, on Financial Times/next, May 16, 2016: Active engagement with Volkswagen offers lessons to sovereign investors;

Knocking off early, on Otago Daily Times, by Bruce Munro, May 16, 2016: People in their 50s are already experiencing the future of work. It is not pretty. But Bruce Munro talks to a historian who says it does not need to be that way;

Hedge funds lose money but managers make billions [Diashow], on Straits Times, May 16, 2016: TOP FIVE: Mr Kenneth Griffin at Citadel and Mr James Simons (above) at Renaissance Technologies shared the top spot with US$1.7 billion each, while Mr Raymond Dalio at Bridgewater, Mr David Tepper at Appaloosa and Mr Israel Englander at Millennium took home more than US$1 billion a piece;

The world’s largest privatisation of Saudi Aramco, FIVE TIMES the size of Apple, on Malaysia Chronicle, May 16, 2016: … the world’s largest oil company is being readied for market. At the moment it is owned entirely by the Saudi Arabian government, but next year, if all goes to plan, anyone in the rest of the world will be able to buy a share in it;

Suisse, Genève: Nuit debout s’installe sur la Plaine de Plainpalais, dans 24heures.ch, par Fedele Mendicino, le 15 mai 2016 [Diashow]: De Paris à GenèveCe dimanche, une centaine de Genevois ont participé au mouvement français qui a démarré en avril;

The Anglo-American Oil Market Is Broken, on New Eastern Outlook/Economics, by F. William Engdahl, May 15, 2016: For most of the post-1945 period the world economy has been under the control of the large Anglo-American oil majors, their banks and their friends in OPEC, most especially Saudi Arabia. Today that control in the world oil market is irreparably broken. The world is entering a new phase in the Petroleum Era, a potentially far more interesting one;

Inconditional Basic Income – Future of Work / Zukunft der Arbeit, Industry 4.0 and the Pursuit of Social Innovation: the Conference @GDI, Zurich May 4th 2016 was then streamed live during 569.43 min resp 9h29.43: individual contributions / einzelne Beiträge on the channel NEOPOLIS.network. The debate on a “basic income” is on media worldwide. With Finland, Canada, Holland, New Zealand and Namibia various governments speak on a possible introduction or extensive testing and Switzerland is the first country in the world to vote on a launch of this idea in June 5, 2016. The conference “Future of Work” shows with distinguished speakers, as the issue is now being discussed at international level and directs ways in which to go to for social innovations;

Hillary Approved Sending Libya’s Sarin to Syrian Rebels – Seymour Hersh, on Mint Press News (first on the Strategic Culture Foundation), by Strategic Culture Foundation, April 29, 2016: Pulitzer prize winning journalist, Serymour Hersh, said “Our policy has always been against him [Assad]. Period”. This has actually been the case not only since the Party that Assad leads, the Ba’ath Party, was the subject of a shelved CIA coup-plot in 1957 to overthrow and replace it; but, actually, the CIA’s first coup had been not just planned but was carried out in 1949 in Syria, overthrowing there a democratically elected leader, in order to enable a pipeline for the Sauds’ oil to become built through Syria into the largest oil market, Europe; and, construction of the pipeline started the following year Seymour Myron “Sy” Hersh (born April 8, 1937) is an American investigative journalist and political writer based in Washington, D.C. He is a contributor to The New Yorker magazine on military and security matters. He has also won two National Magazine Awards and is a five-time Polk winner and recipient of the 2004 George Orwell Award …;

… und noch dies:

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