On Folk Politics: Or, Why the Left Can’t Win

“This for the ones who said “Onwards! Comrades! Til’ our deaths!” With ruin on their breath, and the weight of centuries on their tongues. Loading failed manifesto’s in their guns, as if defeat repeated often enough could some day mean that they had won.”  – Pat “The bunny” Schneeweis Where did the future go? At this point it is disturbingly clear which side of the political spectrum has successfully staked its claim in the social imaginary to notions of progress, modernisation and technology. So what is to be done? I’ll begin this as is trendy in the style of a … Continue reading

This is tabloid country

If the BBC sets the agenda for the media, then the right-wing tabloids play the role of court provocateurs. The written word is traditionally more partial than television news in the UK. So the tabloids are still defined by the BBC, as they rail against it. This is the irony behind the talk of a ‘left-wing’ bias. Even still, Britain’s tabloids have become notorious for their news coverage. The two biggest players, The Sun and the Daily Mail, are worthy of classic case studies. The Daily Mail is well known for its sensationalist headlines, and its ultra-conservative agenda. By contrast, … Continue reading

Is Africa’s success story over?

The most impressive person I met in Botswana barely said a word. She was an older woman, small in stature. We were sitting next to each other at a table during lunch at a conference about Botswana’s economic model. In a quiet voice, she told me that she was a former government minister. We talked briefly about the conference, neither of us saying anything particularly memorable. Then we were both drawn away by other conversations. I learned later that Gaositwe Chiepe was the first woman to serve as a government minister in Botswana, the large but sparsely populated country just … Continue reading