On “Objectivity” and “Approach”

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Drewan Baird. Oudtshoorn. 21 June 2013. 08h10. In the mid 90’s I was a member of a specialist consulting team in a specialist division of a leading professional firm. It was in a seminar with one of the great management guru’s of the time that these words shaped my thinking almost as did particular words of the great Bertrand Russell shape my mind in the late 70’s…

“Change? Change! Yes, we’ve almost all, finally, embraced the notion that ‘change is the only constant.’ Well, sorry. Forget change! The word is feeble. Keep saying ‘revolution.’ If it doesn’t roll easily off your tongue, then I suggest you have a perception problem – and, more to the point, a business or a career problem.”

So said Tom Peters, in his 1994 seminar series Crazy Times Call for Crazy Organizations.

“What we make. What we do. How we work. Each is the subject of nothing less than revolution.”

As South Africa is under siege by reason of a consumate idiot in the Union Buildings, I have long decided that I, personally, may probably have a semblance of influence in the Greater Oudtshoorn; and a velleity of influence in Eden; and little, if any influence in the Western Cape; and probably no influence in my land… And that I should act accordingly.

How to influence service delivery in Oudtshoorn…

Ye gods and faeries and the unicorn population of the Black Forrest in the Dark Ages and all the werewolves on the South African West Coast!

The ANC is not delivering. Although the ANC leaders, Gwede Manatshe at the forefront, did in the immediate past have the honourableness of apologising to the people of the Greater Oudtshoorn for the indiscretions and offences of bad local ANC leadership.

The DA has never done this.

As a matter of fact, the Oudtshoorn DA has stooped to using this sole honourable political statement and act for years and years, to justify its own anserine antics since May 31, following its failed government from 2007 to 2010.

And the Oudtshoorn DA has made the accusations under the Caucus leadership of Wessie van der Westhuizen… Wéssie ván dér W-é-s-t-h-u-i-z-e-n !!

Has anybody ever heard Helen Zille, or Theuns Botha, or Ivan Meyer, or James Selfe, or Jac Bekker apologise for the destructive government of Diane de Jager which ended in August 2010?


Has anybody heard even a smidgen of apology for the continued outrageous behaviour of Wessie van der Westhuizen?


It was Mantashe’s statement, on June 4, in Bridgton, that finally convinced me to support a few particular local councillors, when Mantashe aplogised for ANC mistakes and offences, while the DA’s Chris MacPherson, a political whore; and Wessie van der Westhuizen, a political embarrassment, crooned in Council and in camera about ANC failure whilst embracing the very manifestations of that bad leadership, the Foolish Five – Botha, Goliath, Harmse, Ruiters and Luiters.

The DA will not end Oudtshoorn’s problems. The DA’s record of governing Oudtshoorn has been shared with O!O readers more often than I can remember. And it is a despicable record.

The DA couldn’t and didn’t, from 2007 to 2010, run Oudtshoorn. Most all of the outrages in the SIU Report relates to the DA’s term of office and to a municipal manager appointed by the DA.

Have I changed my allegiance?

Hell no!

I serve Oudtshoorn. A Sisyphean task to be sure.

At the considerable risk of hautiness, I call on the classical statesman Demosthenes in declaring that I have no battleships at my command, and no heavy fortresses; my weapons are words and opportunity.

I do not support either the DA or the ANC. Also none of any of the lastige klein politieke vroteiers on the fringe.

Ask any ANC functionary about my continued attitude. Go ahead, ask!

And see what I say about the ANC’s regional and provincial leadership over the next few days.

Don’t ask any DA’s. The DA doesn’t know its derrière from its cubituse.

I am for Oudtshoorn and I will support anything and anybody that will promote Oudtshoorn. Period.

But at this I simply have to say: I think the DA is a dispicable sham.

The DA’s rattlepated “take-over” of the Council on May 31 is a laughable insult even to half-wits; a fact confirmed by its counsel’s belated Answering Affidavit and Counter Application of June 19 in the Stoffels v. Van Wyk and others High Court case set down for August 13.

Ag assebliéf tog man!

For the time being, you may find that the Executive Mayor of the Greater Oudtshoorn is exceptionally well informed and at the ready to deliver sensient comment when probed.


Because I am pretty damned good at what I do.

And one Hardy Mills is probably even better, on a good day, although I will not admit it in public. Oops.

Also because the Executive Mayor of the Greater Oudtshoorn has made a rational decision to avail himself of alternative opinion. He has grown wise to the traps of even his own political leaders; he appears to have wisened to the quality of previous advice. Not that even his own assisted him in realising the need, truth be told. Because nobody took the trouble of advising a new path until a few weeks ago, no new path was ever ventured.

Two functionaries who shall remain nameless should be thanked.

But this bloke April shows guts. He’s small, with quite enormous crown jewels. He stands up against even his own party leaders. Ya’ll should have seen him in Cape Town, standing up to Fezile Calana. Brought tears to mine eyes.

Show me, please show me, I beg of you to show me, only even ONE other councillor who does that.

Pierre Nel did. Stand up against his own. In 2007. And he prevailed too. Should the man ever stand as an independent he’ll get my vote, to be sure. And will that 2007 Pierre Nel please stand up for Tekli’s sake!

Availing oneself of “alternative advice” is something Helen Zille should heed… instead of relying on Theuns and Anton and Koos, by the gods of Olympus and Tekli, the famous Chadra-Fan Jedi healer from the planet Chad.

Hell, they did embarrass Helen summat awfull over the last few weeks, didn’t they, did Theuns and Anton and Koos?

How I can work with someone I have insulted and who fought me?

Change… ‘revolution.’ “If it doesn’t roll easily off your tongue, then I suggest you have a perception problem – and, more to the point, a business or a career problem.”

Change is the only constant.

Can you keep up?

Or do you simply miss the fighting?

Now, a quick word on “objectivity”:

I am loved and hated by exactly the same people as and when I say this, or that. That’s it. I take no umbrage, my stout soma is but an optical illusion – I am rather slight, don’t you know; with a thick skin, sustainably maintained by the consumption of huge slices of humble pie.

Objectivity, very much like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, vests mostly on the ear of the listener. A few weeks ago I was asked to advise a politician and had to chuckle when I was told, during two different telephone conversations, that I was suspected to be, at heart, ANC alligned, and DA alligned.

I must be doing something right!

But I don’t deserve the insult, I don’t think. Be ANC or DA alligned. Ye gods…

When I first promoted the AIFA Flight Training Academy in Oudtshoorn, for stimulating the economy, longstanding supporters abandoned me because I was no longer “objective”. Apparently I was “objective” when I questioned the school’s use of the aerodrome… although supporters of the school thought, at that time, that I was not.

DA supporters find me objective when I criticise the ANC, and vica versa. Once, in the Oudtshoorn Court gallery, I was accosted – at the same time! – from two fronts sharing the gallery: that I promote the DA and that I promote the ANC!

O!O had been critical of both the DA and the ANC since the blog’s birth!

Objectivity is not a human trait. Ask any lawyer berated by a Judge with heartburn and a current bout of erectile dysfunction.

I run a boutique communications consultancy with five political clients of whom two act on the national stage and have no direct interest in Oudtshoorn or Eden. These individuals belong to the DA, the ANC, and Cope. I consult a few corporations; and two South African CEO’s. And a smattering of municipalities of which Oudtshoorn is one.

I do not necessarily agree with the positions of all of my clients. I do not even claim to particularly like all my clients – no, of course not you, dear sir. But they are my clients and I serve them to the best of my ability.

I have no apologies to make.

Perhaps Oudtshoorn may benefit from my effort. Perhaps.

O, and should you not agree with the views expressed on this blog, or even object to the content, approach and tone… why log on, for crying in a bucket!?

I grant you permission to go forth and multiply.

But I think you SHOULD read!

And you are, of course, most welcome and most sorely appreciated.


DREWAN BAIRD COMMUNICATIONSensaytional – 076 349 6316
Making sure they see it your way

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8 thoughts on “On “Objectivity” and “Approach”

  1. Drewan. Onthou jy die dag toe die WP teen die Blou Bulle gespeel het en Morne Du Plessis vir Naas Botha lelik bygekom het. Die ganse rugby spelende wereld was kwaad vir Morne omdat hy hulle voorgespring het! Chris my vriend, hou jou in, moet nou nie al die wie die eerste wil wees se pret kom bederf nie!

    Sommer so terloops mnr Baird. Miskien kan ouboet Billy as veiligheidswag kom instaan. Ek bedoel julle werk en vreet mos nou uit dieselfde trog. Hoe noem jy hulle nou weer…. o ja, trogvreters.

    As ‘n mens vir jou ‘n gat grawe en jy val daarin moet jy nie kla nie! Sterkte

  2. STEM, as mens hoor wat McPherson Drewan vandag toegesnoer het op straat voor baie publiek, dan ” i rest my case !”, n Raadslid nogal wat nie weet hoe om homself te beteul terwyl hy n publieke amp beklee en nie weet hoe om kritiek te verwerk behoort in n kleuterskool !!

    Ai , gin wonder hy word sulke byvoeglike naamwoorde toegedig. Is McPherson dalk jou neef dat jy so in die bresse tree vir hierdie kalant wat se bek meer as net seep kort , asook die trekpas verdien, sodat hy sy ‘services’ weer elders kan gaan aanwend !!!!?

  3. Geagte investigative public

    Dink jy nie dit het tyd geraak dat ons met ‘n “Onthou jy” reeks hier op O!O begin oor O!O se skrywes van die verlede nie. Kan interessant wees.

    Ek het die onderstaande skrywe so effens geredigeer omdat ek nie wil hê O!O moet weer in die gelykheidshof beland nie en beveel word om meneer April om verskoning te vra:

    “Lesers sal met irritasie, verstandsverstomming en ‘n ruim skeut humor onthou dat” Gordon April, “wat as burgemeester ageer, verlede Augustus sy skoonpa, Shepstone Billy, wat saam met hom uit die OD geskop is toe hy en Gordon en Jurie Harmse na die ANC oorgekruip het, as lyfwag en motorbestuurder aangestel het – teen R12,000 per maand.

    “Dit het gebeur nadat Gordon ‘n anonieme dreigbrief ontvang het wat net soveel spelfoute as haatspraak bevat het en baie waarskynlik geskryf is deur iemand wat nie standerd vyf gemaak het nie, maar wou klink asof hy standerd vier ook nie gemaak het nie.

    “Met dié bedenklike brief van verdagte oorsprong het” April “die ANC oortuig dat sy lewe in gevaar is, en om sy skoonpa, Billy, aan te stel as Lyfwag en Motorbestuurder van die Uitvoerende Burgemeester van die Groter Oudtshoorn. Kul jou hier en kul jou daar en siédaar: Die onaanstelbare Billy het werk.”

    “Boonop wil Gordon nou ‘n munisipale ryding hê.

    “Ons kan waarskynlik die pantheons dank dat Gordon nie op ‘n gepantserde voertuig aanspraak maak nie.

    “Dié soort ding gebeur as mense soos Gordon April deur ‘n onbetrokke gemeenskap met agterlosige leiers toegelaat word om burgemeester-burgemeester te speel. Die vent is ‘n verleentheid vir die dorp.

    “Verleentheid kan ‘n mens nog weg lag, maar die skade van onkapabelheid is enorm.”

    Kan O!O dalk vir ons laat weet of meneer Shepstone se naam intussen op die organogram van die munisipaliteit aangebring is, of betaal die ANC dalk self meneer Shepstone se salaris.


  4. Drewan. Mev Ramphele. Eertydse swartbewustheidsleier. Stoere ANC ondersteuner en leierspersoon. Stig nou haar eie politieke party as direkte teenstand vir die ANC. Desmond Tutu ondersteun haar. Ek daag jou uit om dieselfde byvoeglike naamwoord aan haar en Tutu toe te dig.Macphereson is alles behalwe wat jy hom noem. Nou watter naampie het jy gereserveer vir April? Dit is nou vir wanneer April gaan ophou om jou te betaal.Of beter nog. Watter byvoeglike naam kan ons aan jou gee. Praat van rondslaap! Ek handhaaf my standpunt. Jy het die volle transformasie proses voltooi.sterkte.

  5. Stem, miskien moet jy jou skuilnaam verander na Stem in die Woestyn, of Stem uit n Bordeel

    MCPherson ry al vir geruime tyd wipplank tussen verskillende partye, wat is dit mag ek vra wat hom elke keer n ander Damaskus ervaring laat beleef ? Vir hierdie visionere man raak sy volelinge nou redelik verward
    OO het hom n man van die ‘straat’ genoem, watse gepaste beskrywing het jy dan vir hom ?

    Wat van n ‘Damascus Night clubber” Ek vra maar, jy as bekkige sal seker met iets gepas navore kan kom sodat die kiesers weet waar hulle staan. McPherson word mos betaal vir al sy ongelooflike oortuigende politieke visionere bokspringe ! Nou- nou land hy van die pan in die vuur, wat dan ?

  6. Drewan. Jy noem Chris Macpherson ‘n politieke hoer? Soos ek vir jou vertel het van die sosiologiese feit van die aftakeling van ‘n hoogsontwikkelde groep deur ‘n onderontwikkelde groep wil ek nou vir jou se dat jy die volle transformasie ondergaan het. Jy het die omdraaipunt verby gesteek. Sterkte daar waar jy jou bevind. Terugdraai en omkeer is te laat. Jy het jouself besmet.

  7. Thank you for being there for Oudtshoorn Drewan. I can assure you that I for one now sleep better at night. John Maxwell said “Even people who are not bottom-line thinkers want to know the bottom line”. Thank you for giving us that too!

  8. Drewan, you rarely cease to amaze . Both in wit and command of the English language .
    Trying to decide which of the popular dictionaries and or encyclopedias you managed to gobble up,

    While in the rush, the public , in this post, have the advantage of , and of course the privilege to peep into your résumé or it it your memoirs or is it indeed you cv, or what?

    Make no mistake, your writings never, not even once failed to impress,even those who oppose you. For the time being, that is, ( they soon change minds as you go )
    Your informative debate makes me think this morning of an answer the great Winnie Mandela gave to the Truth commission: AFTER YOUR LONG LONG LONG LONG EXPLANATION ! SIR! I still don’t understand , it’s a fabricated story, Forest Gump , and GEORGE BUSH would have agreed with THAT’S All I HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THAT,

    Maybe, the boers of long ago had the solution to this one, lets declare the REPUBLIC OF OUDSTHOORN, that should give all and sundry a place in the sun. Imagine a senate, a house of commenters , of commoners , even a House of Lords , a prime minister and what not. Heads in the sand, the human ostrich minded folk should do just fine. I say.

    Isreal has more than 30 political parties, we are at this rate aiming for 60

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