Quote of the week

[Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro] possesses, however, few of his predecessor’s resources, lacking not just oil revenue but Chávez’s surplus of charisma, humour and political skill. Maduro, unable to end the crisis, has increasingly sided with the privileged classes against the masses; his security forces are regularly dispatched into barrios to repress militants under the guise of fighting crime. Having lost its majority in Congress, the government, fearing it can’t win at the polls the way Chávez did, cancelled gubernatorial elections that had been set for December last year (though they now appear to be on again). Maduro has convened an assembly to write a new constitution, supposedly with the objective of institutionalising the power of social movements, though it is unlikely to lessen the country’s polarisation.

Greg Grandin
London Review of Books
11 June 2010

Not a day for an argument

I was woken up this morning at 5:30 by the blaring of Vuvuzela’s. I got up and was going to write something for this Blog about the judgment of the High Court which found that the Mail & Guardian had the right to access all the information regarding tenders given out by the Local Organising Committee of the Soccer World Cup.  A great day for the principle of freedom of information and openness and transparency and all that important stuff.

But I put on my Bafana Bafana shirt and practiced my Vuvuzela blowing instead.

Then I thought of writing about the Human Rights Commission Report criticising the City of Cape Town for not providing proper toilets to the poor and destitute of our City, but discovered Gavin Silber had already said what I wanted to say on the Writing Rights Blog.

Soon the fever will pass, sanity will return and with it my critical faculties. Meanwhile – sorry dear readers – no attempt at insightful and critical analysis of the legal and constitutional issues of the day seems possible. Once the World Cup gets started I promise to return.

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