It’s not… Genuine. It’s not echt. I just don’t like it.
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Drewan Baird. Oudtshoorn. 15 April 2013. 11h30. I am known to argue that political speeches should be judged by the target audience and not by its content and rhetoric.
Even making exceptional provision for my own conviction, I am still disgusted by the DA’s “Untold Story”.
Firstly, the party traces its conception to 1959 – 54 years ago, and now needs tell an “untold story”!?
What had the “progressive democrats” been doing this last half century?
Secondly, the untold story has so many holes in it all probable pith is lost.
Where is Jan Steytler? Harry Schwartz? Colin Eglin? Van Zyl Slabbert? Where is Van Zyl Slabbert, for crying in a bucket!? Where is Zach de Beer? Where Dennis Worral? Wynand Malan? Tony Leon? Where is Tony Leon, for crying out loud!?
I like Van Zyl Slabbert’s honesty when he called South Africa’s second saint after Madiba, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, “strontvervelig” – he said, in Insig, May 1998: “Maar sy teologie was nog altyd vir my van die ‘God is a Disprin’-variasie; ‘n veeldoelige placebo. Filosofies vind ek hom strontvervelig en verstommend oppervlakkig.”
And Slabbert’s vocal view on the Nationalist Party, some three years after the 1994 elections: “Dis soos ‘n ou tert wat ‘n verrimpelde dy wys aan die jong matrose. Net die werklike desperates sal kennis neem – en sommige het ook. Maar die ‘glamour boys’ het lankal die skrif aan die muur gelees.”
I loved Tony Leon’s “Fight Back” Campaign.
Leon grew the party from under 2% to over 12%… not good enough for a mention in Zille’s history lesson.
I remember with affinity the political meetings in Stellenbosch and Somerset West in 1989 – fighting with De Beer and Worrall and Malan and Esther Lategan. The newly formed Democratic Party won just 1.7% of the vote that year – and lost Helderberg only because the Nats gave Chris Heunis a slice of the conservative Blackheath to carry him over the line.
If the legacies of Van Zyl Slabbert and Zach de Beer and Tony Leon are not what the DA can see fit to cherish, I can never in good conscience support the DA.
The DA’s marketing is essentially this:
What, you’re black!?
Say again, you have struggle credentials?
Why, us too!
What was that? You’ve opposed Apartheid?
Can you believe it – us too!
Ye gods and faeries!
What a mealy-mouthed bunch of also rans!
To sing glory alleluia to Joe Seremane and Wilmot James, however important their roles may have been, and especially to Patricia de Lille, in the absence of mentioning the true giants of the past, is blatant pandering to the peanut gallery of SA politics. Certainly those votes from the cheap seats are needed above all else – few parties come to power without the support of the dumbest quarter of the voting cattle. But, by the pantheons, to subvert history and deny the architects of the modern day DA, warts and all, is plain bloody mendacious – it is lying!
But what really gets my goose is this “my girl friend Pat” nonsense!
What, in the name of all fairytale princes, has Patricia de Lille brought to the DA!?
De Lille’s conception of “leadership” is “hulle sal maak soos ék sê” (they’ll do as I tell them). This De Lille personally told me when I suggested to her in a one on one interview, way back in October 2010, that the Independent Democrats of Dysselsdorp, outside Oudtshoorn, be informed respectfully of the merger with the DA.
The result of De Lille’s “leadership” was a trumping at the poll.
And I had to wake the “hero of the DA” with the by-election result, that October night – she wasn’t even awake to await news of the first poll after the merger.
What has “Helen Zille’s good friend” Patricia de Lille brought to the DA!?
Systems? Money? Votes?
Ag assebliéf tog!
I don’t want to vote for “another ANC”. I want a choice! I don’t want to have to choose between the ANC and a party that is much like the ANC and should be as acceptable to ANC voters as it is to me. I have little in common with traditional ANC voters. And I don’t have a moment’s problem with the difference! I grant the black woman who lost her husband to Apartheid injustice and was doomed to a third rate life the privilege and right to aggressively vote “her scars” in favour of the ANC.
I am not so politically naïve as to deny the wisdom and strategic wherewithal of attempts to win over traditional ANC voters by looking like the ANC.
Leave out the bits not hitting the current target if you must…
But don’t sell me the Patricia de Lille’s. And consider that the lowest 25% of the voting public may not be complete fools!
I’d prefer the cajoling to be distinct from snake oil vending.
Die hele ding trek vir my te veel op boereverneukery.
The Van Zyl Slabbert quotations are also published in
2007. Claassen, George, et al. Die Groot Aanhalingsboek. Human & Rousseau. Kaapstad. 474-5.
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