tip off

Who should be the next GG?

Crikey readers talk Nelson Mandela, free-market economics and who should be the next governor-general.

Correction

Crikey writes: Re. “Madiba’s life and legacy: a revolutionary no matter the interpretation” (Friday). Crikey incorrectly referred to Nelson Mandela as “Mandiba”, not “Madiba”, and incorrectly stated the date he was released from prison as 1994, not 1990. The article has been amended online.

The next GG

Malcolm McMillan writes: Re. “Tips and rumours” (yesterday). Being quite a literary man but no former judicial type, the John Doyle (Rampaging Roy Slaven) that Crikey has advocated would be an outstanding selection for the Mad Monk to have as GG.

Furthermore, Crikey should also advocate Greig Pickhaver (aka HG Nelson) as the new official secretary at Yarralumla. What an outstanding vice-regal duo those two would make. So should that dreary David Flint from the monarchist’s mob support them.

Australia would never ever be able to get enough of Roy and HG representing Liz, the lovely lady from London at Yarralumla, Admiralty House, Lithgow and Rockhampton to name a few places. These appointments of Roy and HG would put the republic back for ages, so Flint should be backing it.

Fact-checking Rundle

Niall Clugston writes:  Re. “Madiba’s life and legacy: a revolutionary no matter the interpretation” (Friday). Guy Rundle really needs a fact-checker. “Madiba” is a Xhosa clan name, not a “Zulu nominative”. Mandela was not a Zulu. While the decline of Communism played a part, it is clear that negotiations to end apartheid began before the USSR dissolved in 1991, not after. The ANC’s alliance with the South African Communist Party did not come only after it had been “forced into illegality”, but commenced at least a decade before. And after the elections in 1994, rather than having “disappeared from history”, Chief Buthelezi became Minister for Home Affairs and acted as president numerous times. Finally, Rundle’s claim that the townships and bantustans were partly designed to facilitate a nuclear final solution against the black population is a lurid fantasy.  This is historically and technologically untenable.

Guy Rundle responds: As to the SACP-ANC alliance, the SACP was declared illegal in 1950, and the ANC in 1960, and the SACP and ANC had struck an alliance of sorts in 1955. But it was only in the 1960s that the two operations became entirely entwined. Buthelezei may well have become a minister and president, but it was a sinecure and he played no real role. The ANC had Roger Jardine do a report on South Africa’s nuclear arsenal in the 1980s and concluded that the apartheid-era leadership would using nuclear weapons on South African black populations in the context of a wider conflict.

We are not here to serve the  market

Martyn Smith writes: Re. “Pay up now or risk bigger costs in the future” (yesterday). Whilst I respect Bernard Keane’s knowledge I agree with Les Heimann’s remarks in yesterday’s edition. It is high time that people stopped “worshipping at the temple of Economic Rationalism”. Yes, it makes some people very wealthy but has done so at the expense of the lower (larger) segment of society. We are not here to serve “the Market”. On the contrary, it is here ultimately to serve us. Just look at the home of economic rationalism, America, to see its result and dismal failures.

Crikey readers are winners

Crikey writes: Congratulations to the following Crikey subscribers who won Kobo mini eReaders: Kent Williams, Ian Blain, Ashley Kingston, Mike Vale, Richard Tarala.

2
  • 1
    Kevin Herbert
    Posted Tuesday, 10 December 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Australia’s first President should be either:

    Malcolm Fraser - a reformed man

    OR

    Sir Les Patterson - a man awaiting reformation

  • 2
    Niall Clugston
    Posted Tuesday, 10 December 2013 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    1. In the 1950s the SACP was part of the Congress Alliance with the ANC and in 1955 helped write the ANC’s socialist Freedom Charter. Arguably it was its association with the Communists that led to the ANC’s banning in 1960, rather than the reverse. It now appears Mandela was a member of the SACP’s Central Committee at the time of his arrest.

    2. The 1994 elections proved Buthulezi was not the alternative black leader he was promoted as being. But he didn’t disappear. In fact, he and his Inkatha Freedom Party are still in parliament today.

    3. The Group Areas Act of 1950, which instituted geographical apartheid (or rather codified the British colour bar), was 20 years before the development of South Africa’s atomic bomb, so it is hardly possible to argue that this was designed with a nuclear doomsday in mind. In practical terms, a nuclear strike against Soweto would also devastate Johannesburg (for example). Jardine co-authored an article in “Foreign Affairs” in 1993 which doesn’t discuss this scenario.

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