Politicans and world leaders making news and in the news, and spouting hot air
FRANCOIS Hollande, the French president, says Closer magazine’s exposure of his alleged affair with Julie Gayet, an actress, is outrageous. (Always the actress.) The details are not especially juicy. The highlight is that Hollande arrives for trysts in a borrowed flat on the back of a scooter.
FRENCH President Francois Hollande has been discussing Mali with Julie Gayet. Incredibly, news that a French politician shags around is, well, newsworthy. But as the tabloids make ready to break the news that Katie Price sleeps on her back and Simon Cowell owns just 8 CDs, we notice a funny thing: many in the media are referring to Gayet as an “actor”. This gives the story a shade more intrigue:
The Australian: “French President Francois Hollande having affair with actor”
The Tribune: “French magazine says Hollande having affair with actor”
DO you shape the news to fit your agenda? Do you see in every news story the chance to bang a drum for what it you believe in or desire? In his “2013 – the year in review. Peter Popham writer in the Independent of Nelson Mandela. He tells us:
It took his death, but the world came together for a moment for Nelson Mandela
The world came together. But what’s this? The lead photo has a caption:
ARVIND Kejriwal is Delhi’s new chief minister, head of the new anti-corruption party, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), or Common Man’s party (the party symbol is of a broom) and champion of the common man.
Mr Kejriwal will be transparent and clean in all things – even his insides are open to the public gaze.
THE Nelson Mandela keep-fit tribute video:
As many of you might know, this week we lost one of our favorite son’s here in South-Africa, Nelson Mandela.
So I decide to go and shoot a workout video in a very special place to pay our respects to this great man!
IN around 1910, British Intelligence noted that Michael Collins “Will Stop at Nothing”.
Michael Collins, Chief of I.R.A. & organizer of all ambushes and murders, eyes dark & sharp. Often wears the disguise of a Priest. He sometimes wears a black moustache, which is false, and often changed for another colour. He has been known to travel as a nun. Collins, who will stop at nothing, is an expert shot.
WHAT makes a memorable, quotable quote, the kind of thing you slap in an essay at school to earn a tick, or include in an article to illustrate a point, your theories backed up by a person of note’s wit and wisdom? Like you, we have no idea. But Phil Lucas has nailed it. It could be anything. He’s taken Facebook status updates and attributed them to famous faces. No longer trite, the words are injected with meaning and depth. Well, maybe:
Martin Luther King
YOU may not know, but Robin Thicke is the first man ever on Earth to be featured in a clip with some naked women for spurious reasons. We checked on Twitter and the outrage confirmed it.
And his Blurred Lines video really caused a stink, to the point that it has prompted a petition urging Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron to change the law and ban children from watching dirty music videos online.
WE have Ed Miliboy whining about a tax cut for hedge funds:
Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, in September suggested that Labour would reinstate the tax, describing the Coalition move as a “tax cut on hedge funds”.
Hmm, wonder what this could be?
The Treasury has promised to abolish “Schedule 19” stamp duty reserve tax, which applies to some investments sold by funds.
NELSON Mandela Balls: Golf 365 talks about golf:
The great man who was Nelson Mandela strongly believed that sport could be one of the most inspirational unifiers of a nation and so it may be more than a mere coincidence that the Nelson Mandela Championship, presented by ISPS Handa, is set to be played this week.
TO the Nelson Mandela jamboree, where David Cameron, Barack Obama and “Danish PM”are the stars of what the Sun is calling “Selfie-gate”.
All eyes, however, should be on Michelle Obama, who could well be thinking: “The blondes. Always the blondes.”
US Senator Rick Santorum will now tell Bill O’Reilly of Fox News that Nelson Mandela’s battle against apartheid is just like his opposition to the Affordable Care Act:
“He was fighting against some great injustice, and I would make the argument that we have a great injustice going on right now in this country with an ever-increasing size of government that is taking over and controlling people’s lives — and Obamacare is front and center in that.”
ON May 10 1998, four men made a dramatic appearance on the platform at a special Sinn Fein conference in Dublin. There was ‘stamping of feet, wild applause and triumphant cheering’ during a 10 minute ovation while the men known as the Balcombe Street gang stood grinning with clenched fists in the air. At the same conference, and to great applause, Gerry Adams described the four men as ‘our Nelson Mandelas!’
WHEN Nelson Mandela died, the tribute industry went into overdrive. Words were said. Acres of newsprint filled. Hours of television focused on one man. He is praised rightly for his strength of character in facing down a brutal, humiliating and dehumanising system underpinned by the fraud of white supremacy. And then John Simpson, the BBC reporter, said that Mandela’s death at 95 left him feeling orphaned. The white BBC man was orphaned by the death of the 95-year-old black South African? They had shared blood, as father to son?
We looked around. Was anyone else rolling their eyes? Yes.
HOW politics works: Xadrian McCracken works with the Illinois Department of Corrections. His salary is $110,000 a year. So says Breitbart’s Mike Flynn. He says McCracken has been arrested no fewer than 24 times. He is thus well versed in all sides of the prison system.
Not that 24 arrests means he’s a criminal. He could be unlucky or picked upon. Indeed, Flynn might be guilty of a little prejudgement, given that Xadrian’s surname is McCraven, nor McCracken, of the Safe McCrackens.
CHANCELLOR George Osborne mets Geri Halliwell at his annual Christmas party at No11 Downing Street in London. Rupert Grint was there, too. He;s the third wheel of the Harry Potter gang, tipped to be the next Dennis Waterman. He’s not quite made it.
IT is only when important figures die that you start to reflect and realise what you had before your eyes all this time. In Nelson Mandela, we had a Martin Luther King Jr. We had a Gandhi. We had a Malcolm X. Of course, these people were divisive, but everyone should applaud what they aimed to do – stop unfair, inhumane treatment of people who aren’t white.
To some Mandela was a terrorist. To most, he was a man who defied a racist regime, went to prison and stayed strong in his belief to do the right thing and, inexplicably, he managed it. Apartheid, initially a ghettoisation of people, dressed up all cuddly by White Supremacists as ‘helping us all to be better neighbours’ rather than ‘Hey! Black guy! Whitey will have where you’re stood, ’til the horizon, thanks! And we’ll kill you if you complain!’, was lead by Mandela and the whole world rejoiced because he never gave up in his quest to end segregation.
INEQUALITY. Is it harmful? It can be. When caused by cronyism.
In other words, is it a bad thing for a country to have some really rich people? Again, it depends on how they got rich.
Sutirtha Bagchi of the University of Michigan’s business school and Jan Svejnar of Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs studied how inequality correlates with economic growth. In general, more inequality meant slower growth, and less inequality meant faster growth.
But in many countries, over various time periods, growing inequality had no effect on economic growth. The new study suggests that an increase in inequality hurt the economy when the rich were getting rich through political connections.
That is, inequality hurts the economy when “a large share of the national wealth is held by a small number of politically connected families,” as the authors put it. . . . When a country’s wealthiest people got their wealth as Pangestu and Fridman did, inequality places a drag on the economy. When a country’s wealthiest got wealthy through market means, the resulting inequality has no negative effect on economic growth.
This jibes with what we know about free markets. If people can get rich by providing valuable things at good prices, then society will get more valuable things at good prices—and people across the income spectrum benefit. But if people get rich by pocketing subsidies and using the state to crush competitors, then they gained their wealth at the expense of everyone else.
NELSON Mandela is dead. The world salutes a lost leader. And we ask that only South Africans call him Madiba. And then John Simpson types his tribute to the man:
The BBC reporter softens readers up before the pic last line:
I listed him as a hero in my examination for Cambridge, and when I got there in 1963 I found someone had painted “FREE NELSON MANDELA” in huge white letters on a wall that I had to pass every morning on my way to lectures. It caused a scandal at the time: graffiti was still frowned on in the early 1960s.
THE Mail leads with the news that a Ukip member thinks all immigrants should “go home“. She says she was referring to “illegal immigrants”. What is unclear is whether or not the paper agrees with her. How long will it be before Victoria Ayling is being talked about in positive tones by the Mail’s columnists?
“SEND them all back home,” says Victoria Ayling, according to the Mail. The paper says Ayling says all immigrants in Britain should be sent back home. Did she take the Ukip psychometric test designed to assess the candidates’ character and judgment? The fruitcakes and the deranged were weeded out. Or were they weeded in? Hard to tell. Problem is, if we can’t rely on Ukip to corral all the bigots and nutjobs into one place and give them a club rosette, they’ll scatter and in isolation be less entertaining.
As for Ayling, The Mail calls her a “high-profile UKIP politician”. But we’ve never heard of her before now. A quick spot of online tells us that in March, Ayling moved from the Tories to the Ukippers in March 2013. The BBC reported:
A former Conservative general election candidate claims many Tories are preparing to follow her lead and defect to the UK Independence Party. Victoria Ayling said she had lost confidence in David Cameron and believed the government was not doing enough to tackle immigration.
Mrs Ayling is councillor with East Lindsey District Council in Lincolnshire. ..
In 2010 she came close to causing a general election upset when she reduced Labour MP Austin Mitchell’s majority in Great Grimsby to just 714 votes.
NIKKI Finke says the man how inspired the film Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom has died. Yeah, that film based on an actual true story. He was 95. That’s older than the film. Who knew?
THIS might sound a little odd and I’ll almost certainly be the only person telling you this. But George Osborne’s shelving of the fuel duty escalator is the right thing for him to be doing. No, not because it’s a tax cut, or not a tax rise, but because it’s the correct green thing to be doing for the environment. Yes, this is going to sound a little odd, isn’t it?
We need to go back a few years, to the Stern Review. In it the main recommendation was that we have to have a carbon tax at $80 per tonne CO2 emissions in order to beat climate change. This is the scientific consensus now, that we should have this tax.
THE TRIALS of Nelson Mandela – in photos. The trials last 12 years…
The three ANC Youth Leaders, Nelson Mandela, centre, Walter Sisulu, left, and Harrison Motlana, pictured in 1952 during the Defiance Campaign trial at the Johannesburg Supreme Court, South Africa. The Defiance Campaign encourages blacks to defy apartheid laws. Date: 01/01/1952
* In December 1956 many key members of the Congress Alliance were arrested and charged with treason, including the almost entire executive committee of the ANC, as well as the SACP, SAIC, COD. 105 Africans, 21 Indians, 23 whites and 7 coloured leaders were arrested. Ten were women. Many arrestees, including Nelson Mandela, were detained in communal cells in Johannesburg Prison, known as the Fort, resulting in what Mandela described as “the largest and longest unbanned meeting of the Congress Alliance in years.” However, white men, white women, black were all held in a separate parts of the jail.
Initially, 156 defendants were charged with high treason. The number of defendants was later reduced to 92. In November 1957, the prosecution reworded the indictment and proceeded a separate trial against 30 accused. Their trial commenced in August 1959. The remaining 61 accused were tried separately before the case against them was dismissed in mid 1960.
Crowds cheer as a police van brings prisoners to the Drill Hall, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dec. 31, 1956, for the start of the ‘Treason Trial’. One man has climbed onto the step of the van top shout encouragement to the inmates. Nelson Mandela was among the people arrested and standing trial. Date: 31/12/1956
December 1956: 156 anti-apartheid leaders arrested
December 1956 – January 1958: Preparatory examination in a magistrates court to determine if there was sufficient evidence to warrant a trial.
November 1957: Prosecution rewords the indictment and proceeded a separate trial against 30 accused. The remaining 61 accused were to be tried separately before the case against them was dismissed in mid 1959.
August 1959: Trial against 30 defendants proceeds in the Supreme Court.
5 March 1960: Chief Luthuli’s testimony begins.
8 April 1960: ANC is declared banned in the wake of the State of Emergency declared after the Sharpeville massacre – 69 blacks are shot dead by the police. Defendants retained in custody for five months and trial resumes without lawyers for several months.
May 1960: Helen Joseph and 21 left-wing white women detained during the State of Emergence embark on an eight-day hunger strike. The children of detainees protest outside Johannesburg city hall.
3 August 1960: Mandela’s testimony begins.
7 October 1960: Defense closes.
23 March 1961: Trial adjourned for a week.
29 March 1961: Accused are found not guilty.
A picture taken by Jurgen Schadeberg in October 13, 1958, shows Nelson Mandela, right, and Moses Kotane, left, leaving the court after the State withdrawn the indictment during the Treason Trial, hanging is his room at the Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia, north of Johannesburg. Liliesleaf became a centre for anti-apartheid activists in the early 1960s, after the South African government heightened its brutal crackdown on anti-apartheid activists and forced the resistance movement underground. The regime banned the ANC in 1960, the same year its troops shot and killed 69 civilians protesting the government’s repressive restrictions on movement in Sharpeville. In 1962 the government imposed a state of emergency, one of several that would continue intermittently until 1989, when the apartheid regime began to founder.
Baton-wielding police break up the crowd outside the Drill Hall, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dec. 31, 1956, as the ‘Treason Trials’ opened. Nelson Mandela was among the people who were on trial.
The ANC was outlawed in 1960 and Mr Mandela went underground.
* Already facing treason charges, he went underground as a leader of the A.N.C.’s new guerrilla wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (“Spear of the Nation”). Dressed in different disguises—a gardener, a chef, a soldier—he popped up around the country, and then disappeared again. His exploits earned him a nickname: the Black Pimpernel.
A change had come.
* Sharpbille marked the end of peaceful resistance and Mr Mandela, already national vice-president of the ANC, launched a campaign of economic sabotage.
He was eventually arrested and charged with sabotage and attempting to violently overthrow the government.
Speaking from the dock in the Rivonia court room, Mr Mandela used the stand to convey his beliefs about democracy, freedom and equality.
“I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination.I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
In the winter of 1964 he was sentenced to life in prison.
In court, as elsewhere:
Three defendants in the first treason, Robert Resha, left, Patrick Molaoa, centre, and Nelson Mandela arrive in Pretoria from Johannesburg by special bus during the trial in August 1958. The trial lasted for four and a half years. Date: 01/08/1958
On 5 August 1962, police captured Mandela along with Cecil Williams near Howick. Jailed in Johannesburg’s Marshall Square prison, he was charged with inciting workers’ strikes and leaving the country without permission.
Winnie Mandela, wife of the African National Congress (ANC) leader Nelson Mandela, wears a traditional dress as she and two other women attend her husband’s trial in Pretoria, South Africa, Oct. 22, 1962. Nelson Mandela pleaded not guilty in a special regional court to charges of incitement and leaving South Africa illegally.
He told the court:
“I do not deny that I planned sabotage. I did not plan it in a spirit of recklessness nor because I have any love of violence. I planned it as a result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after many years of tyranny, exploitation and oppression of my people by the whites.”
His co-accused included: Walter Sisulu, Dennis Goldberg, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Elias Mosoaledi, Andrew Mlangeni – all ANC officials and Ahmed Kathrada, the former leader of the South African Indian Congress.
Winnie stood by him. But was he ever the family man?
The anti-apartheid movement of the 1950s and 1960s might have been built upon fighting injustice, but it was fuelled by alcohol and libido, and many of the white communists were just as keen as the black nationalists to use politics — as David James Smith relates — to get their hands into girls’ pants. Mandela’s behaviour was unusual only in his emotional neglect of his wives and children. He shunned even his own mother, whom he rarely saw before he went to prison, apparently because he was embarrassed by her lack of education. He drove his first wife, Evelyn, close to madness by his casual adultery, allowing one lover to walk into the marital bedroom while she was present in their cramped Soweto house. Evelyn threatened to throw boiling water over the woman if he brought her home again.
There were numerous other women apart from Evelyn and his second wife, Winnie; almost certainly an unacknowledged illegitimate child; and allegations by poor, bitter Evelyn in her divorce petition that he had beaten her. The mystery of Mandela lies in the jarring contrast between his behaviour towards his family, and his princely courtesy to everyone else
Winnie Mandela, wife of African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, escorts his mother Nosekeni Fanny through a police cordon outside the court in Pretoria, South Africa, June 11, 1964, where he was a defendant in the treason trial. Mandela was found guilty on all four counts and together with six others, was sentenced to life imprisonment.
* Towards noon on April 20, 1964, after four and a half hours on his feet, Nelson Mandela was nearing the end of his opening statement at his trial in South Africa’s Supreme Court in Pretoria. He faced charges of sabotage that were equivalent in law to treason. His lawyer had also been his typist for the 81-page speech and had implored him to leave out its last line, saying it would be an invitation to the court to impose the death penalty. Mandela made him type it anyway, and now, after describing his ideal of “a free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities”, he read it out. “If needs be,” he said, “it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
In his trial speech, Mandela explained carefully and at length that he was neither Communist nor Marxist. He was, he said, “an African patriot”, born into a chief’s family in the rolling hills of the Transkei and determined to borrow from both East and West to realise the potential of what should be “one of the richest countries in the world”. Thirty years later that patriotism was the theme of a presidential inauguration address crafted as an appeal to South Africans of every colour, each one “as intimately attached to the soil of this beautiful country” as the jacarandas of Pretoria and the mimosas of the Bushveld.
* Lawyer for the defendants, Harold Hansen QC said: “These accused represent the struggle of their people for equal rights. Their views represent the struggle of the African people for the attainment of equal rights for all races in this country.”
But the judge, President Quartus de Wet, said he was not convinced by their claim to have been motivated by a desire to alleviate the grievances of the African people in this country.
Judge de Wet said: “People who organise revolution usually plan to take over the government as well through personal ambition.”
Police clear away Africans from the area of the court in Pretoria, South Africa, after a verdict of guilty was pronounced on defendants in the South African treason trial on June 11, 1964. African nationalist leaders Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu were found guilty on all four counts, as were four other African defendants. Dennis Molberg, a white civil engineer, was found guilty on all counts, but the two other white defendants were found not guilty and discharged. The only Indian defendant was found guilty on the sabotage count only. All seven found guilty were sentenced to life imprisonment.
Police join hands to hold back demonstrators outside court in Pretoria, South Africa, June 12, 1964 after eight of the accused in the Rivonia Sabotage trial, including Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu, were sentenced to life imprisonment.
Anti-apartheid demonstrators gather outside the South African Embassy in Trafalgar Square, London, June 12, 1964, in protest against the sentence to life imprisonment of Nelson Mandela, former chief of the banned African National Congress. Mandela, 46, and seven other defendants were found guilty in the South African treason trial in Pretoria. They were sentenced today.
Showing her concern, a woman moves through the crowd to shake hands with Winnie Mandela, wife of African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, as she leaves court in Pretoria, South Africa, June 12, 1964, after her husband was sentenced to life imprisonment. Mandela was one of the eight men found guilty in the Rivonia sabotage trial. All received the same sentence.
Zindzi Mandela reads the refusal of her father, Nelson, to leave prison in Johannesburg, after South African President P.W. Botha offered him conditional release. Date: 10/02/1985
* On 31 January 1985 State President P W Botha offers Nelson Mandela, leader of the banned African National Congress (ANC), conditional release from the prison sentence he had been serving since the conclusion of the Rivonia Trial in 1964. The condition of his release is that he renounces violence, and violent protest, as a means to bring about change in South Africa.
Mandela communicates his refusal of the offer through his daughter, Zinzi Mandela, who reads his statement to this effect at a rally in Soweto on 10 February 1985. He states that the ANC’s only adopted violence as a means of protest ” when other forms of resistance were no longer open to us “. Mandela had refused previous offers of conditional release where the condition was that he be confined to the Transkei.
The rock quarry where prisoners of Robben Island were once forced to work is seen, Sunday, June 30, 2013. Former South African president Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his 27-year prison term on the island locked up by the former apartheid government.
Nelson Mandela was born in 1918. He was in prison from 1962 to 1990. He became President of South Africa in 1994, and retired in 1999.