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
15 August 2013

The strategic planners around Zuma probably did want to get rid of Vavi and saw the sexual misconduct as an opportunity to do so with the least costs to Alliance strength and unity. However a result that leads to Numsa splitting from Cosatu might end up being catastrophic for Zuma and his allies. Numsa is the best organised and most militant union in Cosatu. It already effectively competes with Num (at Medupi for example) and if it were to set itself up in competition to other Cosatu unions the platinum sector circa-2012 could, conceivably, end up looking like a labour-relations picnic. Such a split could also cause unforeseeable disruptions of the ANC’s electoral support, conceivably leading to a political realignment and possibly to formation of a ‘left’ or ‘workers’ party.  However, the Zuma administration and the central ANC leadership is desperately trying to unite the constituent elements of the Alliance behind the National Development Plan – partly in an attempt to prove to global capital markets and other investors that the ANC is serious about creating a settled environment for investment, and partly because it appears to believes that plan is the right path to ensure increased levels of economic growth and employment. Numsa sees the NDP as a direct extensions of the ‘neoliberal’ Growth, Employment and Redistribution macroeconomic policy. – Nic Borain

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