Quote of the week

Trump’s electoral fiction floats free of verifiable reality. It is defended not so much by facts as by claims that someone else has made some claims. The sensibility is that something must be wrong because I feel it to be wrong, and I know others feel the same way. When political leaders such as Ted Cruz or Jim Jordan spoke like this, what they meant was: You believe my lies, which compels me to repeat them. Social media provides an infinity of apparent evidence for any conviction, especially one seemingly held by a president.

Timothy Snyder
The New York Times
8 May 2012

Having the auditor-general qualify audits due to poor accounting practice or a lack of attention to detail is always cause for concern but, if the political will exists, such things can at least be rectified by introducing new systems or through improved personnel management. The real problems come when governance is so poor that there is simply nothing to audit — where records are not kept, minutes of meetings and decisions are never made, employees are not qualified to do their jobs, and it is not clear who is responsible for anything. Such an environment of zero accountability is ripe for corruption and this is precisely the outcome that has resulted. It is no exaggeration to say that there are entire towns, and critical state departments, that are now in the hands of organised crime syndicates masquerading as public servants. Their sole aim is to loot, and creating a climate of general administrative chaos is an excellent smokescreen. – am Editorial in Business Day

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