May 18

Financial Maturity

One of our dinosaurs is missing! Remember that little fun movie? Well Polokwane, home to ANC coups and pending World Cup football, has just scripted the sequel. 80 of our ambulances are missing No seriously, out of 100 new ambulances they have lost 80, honestly. Has anyone been charged, fired, suspended or even given a slapped wrist? Don’t be silly, but an investigation has begun into how 80% of the regions ambulances are missing and or intensive care, well what a relief and how decisive!

Now this all relates to one of my biggest fears in life, that is “stagnation by political correctness. This is often a direct consequence of anyone playing the race, religion or privilege card! Never, in 2010, accuse anyone who can then accuse you of being politically incorrect. Its rather like not being able to criticise a Scot or a Welshman, unless you are one, or a Lancastrian being totally untouchable unless accused by another Lancastrian, any Yorkshire critic would be racist with a hidden agenda, well ok in that situation it probably would be true!

We all, black, coloured, white, Indian, Chinese, Portuguese, and Lancastrian, who live in SA need to be able to say freely, as our constitution allows, what the heck are you doing and hold those who are incompetent  or acting illegally, in positions of authority, liable for their actions.

Thank goodness I got that off my chest. It reminds me of a scene in a recent TV drama, where a radical and clearly fundamentalist organization, based in Europe, were demanding to know why Muslims were receiving greater attention and questioning at airports. The airport security spokesman, who happened ironically to be Muslim stated simply, Well of course all Muslims are not terrorists, but at this time most terrorists do appear to be apparently Muslim.”

Let’s allow some common sense to now prevail. Let’s allow open criticism of anyone with control over either our tax funds or the policies of our security forces. You can’t have democracy that just “suits you.” Democracy is the hardest of all systems to live under, it is demanding and difficult , but you can’t claim to be willing to die to obtain  democracy, to only then adapt democracy to your own version, one that allows you to hide behind a veil more appropriate in a closed society!

Transparency will give SA a powerful position in the world of emerging markets, lying about our so called competency, allowing public servants to hide and refuse to be interviewed will not. I often think that many of our elected political leaders want the secrecy and opaque world of an old soviet satellite state, while enjoying personal financial benefits as if they were successful entrepreneurs in a US style economy. In a nutshell they want their and my cake and they want to eat it all! The problem is that we  paid for the ingredients and they were supposed to distribute that cake equally to the entire population as appropriate.

In the next issue I promise to get off my high horse and go back to talking about the simple day to day things in life, but these issues affect the financial world in which we live in more ways than you can ever know. I believe that I am reflecting the opinion of many of the sensible black, white, coloured and every other normal members of our society, but if I am wrong in your eyes then at least allow me the right to speak as this is a democracy, or was the last time I checked?

It may appear at times as though the lunatics have taken over the asylum, the problem in SA is that we are slowly being trained to believe that if they ever did so we should not call them lunatics, discuss the fact it had happened, or ask for the keys back!

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