Political farce is not a new phenomenon. It just seems to get more farcical by the day. It seems even if you set out to write a farce you couldn't match the farce of politicians.
South Africa is a very strong contender for having the most farcical politicians. The African National Congress (ANC) - South Africa's governing party - has just wrapped up its national policy conference held once every five years. South Africa is in dire straits economically, caused mainly by the wholesale looting by the political elite and the disastrous race-based distributive and socialist policies. However, once again, they fail to recognise their policy failures and lay the blame at what they call "White Monopoly Capital" - whatever that might mean. But they don't all quite agree on that - some say it should just be called "Monopoly Capital". The main debate has been around which of those two terms should be the official one. >Sigh<
Here's a little parody....
This is a tale about a great building, erected by energetic and visionary owners, built on strong foundations, stout walls and a sturdy roof, giving protection and security to its many tenants. For the first few years the tenants flourished. Those in the larger, sunnier Northern rooms paid their rents in ever increasing amounts to the owners, which helped subsidise the rent due from those in the smaller Southern rooms. All seemed to be well.
But then the owners decided to keep more of the rental income for themselves, and reduce the spending on the great building. When maintenance work had to be done they chose their cronies to do the work, even though they didn't have the skills to do it, and charged far more than those who did. The once pristine building started looking a little shabby. First the paint started peeling, then the roof started leaking. Then broken windows were papered up.
The tenants started complaining. Those in the smaller rooms looked on enviously as those in the large rooms kept their walls freshly painted, redid their kitchens and installed their own heaters. "Our rooms are small, cold and dirty. The paint is peeling and the ceilings are collapsing. This is unfair - DO SOMETHING!"
The owners heard. So they started debating among themselves: what to do? They were experts in building management, having learnt all they ever needed to know from a book written by a 19th century German who - although he had never built anything - knew exactly how to maintain a building. His recipe was as a simple one: at all costs, protect the building from the Wind, and all will be fine.
So the owners started erecting wind barriers around the house. At first they were modest, and those in the sunny front rooms didn't mind paying for them since they believed the owners knew better, and didn't want to get on the wrong side of their fellow, less fortunate, tenants. This also meant that even more money was diverted away from the building maintenance and into the pockets of owners and their cronies.
But the building deteriorated even further. Cracks appeared in the walls. The pipes spluttered, the lights flickered intermittently. The tenants complained even harder: "What happened to our water? Why are the blocked drains not fixed? We are getting sick! The building is unsafe and is starting to fall down: DO SOMETHING!"
Once again the owners met to decide what action to take. The Book said, "protect the building from the Wind". So they built even bigger barriers. Then they built barriers to protect the barriers. But as the building deteriorated even further, the cries of the tenants grew louder. So the owners called a great conference among themselves. An increasingly strident faction of the owners - with the support of many of the tenants in the smaller Southern rooms - were asserting that it was particularly the Northern Wind that was to blame. If the building could be shielded from the Northern Wind then all would be well.
So the conference broke into a number of committees to discuss which Wind was to blame. The Northern Wind Faction said there was no doubt that it was the Northern Wind, and no further discussion was required. The senior intellectuals, being steeped in the Book, argued that yes, the Northern Wind is definitely to blame, but it would be wrong to single it out. In other parts of the world it could be the Southern Wind, or even the South-Easterly Wind.
In the end, the committees reported back. Most agreed that the Wind was definitely to blame, but it shouldn't be called "Northern Wind". However, all the resources should be used to protect the building from the Wind that blows from the North. The Northern Wind Faction was bitterly opposed to this, and said they would fight this regressive decision, even if they had to raze the building to the ground in the process, rather than letting the Northern Wind get away with merely blowing from the North.
At least they're doing something.
Image created by author, using credit