Last night Hot Chick took me to see Sexpo . . .
Now that I have your attention let’s talk about sex and Helen Zille and the ANC. In brief, things went like this: last week Helen became the premier of the Western Cape and appointed a cabinet consisting only of men, most of whom were white. She justified this by saying that she was confined to taking people from the elected list, and that her main consideration had been service delivery. (She presumably knew something about service delivery, having won the 2008 World Mayor Award in an international poll.)
There was a storm of criticism from the ANC. In response she wrote a letter to the Cape Argus which contained the following sentence:
“The ANC’s alliance partners, the SACP and COSATU, are also led by men. And, more significantly, the ANC’s leader, Jacob Zuma, is a self-confessed womanizer with deeply sexist views, who put all his wives at risk by having unprotected sex with an HIV-positive woman. Even after this the ANC women’s league strongly endorsed his Presidential campaign. Their professions of support for women’s rights ring hollow indeed against this background.” (The full letter can be seen at http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71654?oid=128891&sn=Detail)
ANC Youth League spokesman, Floyd Shivambu, responded thus: “Zille has appointed an all-male cabinet of useless people, (the) majority of whom are her boyfriends and concubines, so that she can continue to sleep around with them, yet she claims to have the moral authority to question our president.”
This led to a tongue-lashing for the youth league from ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe. But the Umkonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association chairman came back with this gem: “Just recently, she appointed half her sex boys into the Western Cape provincial cabinet to keep them close enough to satisfy her well-evolved wild whore libido.”
A bit of detective work with the telephone directory and her married name led me to a quiet lane near where I live. This morning I drove down it towards number 14 to maybe get a glimpse of this wild whore, or her lucky middle-aged husband and embarrassed 20-something children. But the sight of a police van parked outside the house at the end of the leafy cul-de-sac gave me second thoughts. I wondered what the occupants of the van thought of this suspicious pervert trying to do a three-point turn and get away from the house of ill repute . . .
All this made me think back to how things used to be before the South African government changed: The media were not allowed to quote banned persons or organisations. So, even if anybody from the above organisations had had the nerve to say such things, the words would not have reached radio, TV or print media. And we would have been deprived of a lot of fun. Sex was also something that seldom saw the light of day. Local pin-up girls were stuck in the fifties. And daring photos of overseas models were noted for the black stars that covered anything resembling a nipple. Whole scenes were excised from movies. Books were banned, and there was a strong rumour that even “Black Beauty” had been seized by an ignorant official.
We can celebrate the fact that people now feel free enough to make such outrageous statements, and then go and look at Sexpo if they want to. I guess Helen could sue the pants off those who have slandered her. But she says she won’t bother. And maybe the thought of newspaper headlines with double meanings and bad puns is a deterrent.
However, some have lamented that the past week has seen a new low in the standard of political debate. Chris Moerdyk remarked on SAfm this morning that before the election Brand Helen Zille was Coca Cola, and now she is George Bush.
I thought it might be worthwhile to compare what we have heard this last week with the wit and wisdom of Winston Churchill. In my opinion he was the master of the apt riposte, the cutting jibe, and the lofty exhortation. Let’s look at some examples:
Bessie Braddock: “Sir, you are drunk.”
Churchill: “Madam, you are ugly. In the morning, I shall be sober.”
Nancy Astor: “Sir, if you were my husband, I would give you poison.”
Churchill: “If I were your husband I would take it.”
“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
“A sheep in sheep’s clothing.” (On Clement Atlee)
“A modest man, who has much to be modest about.” (On Clement Atlee)
“I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the ordeal of meeting me is another matter.”
“We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and the oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”
Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fall, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.
Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth lasts for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour!”
Did your eyes water when you read those last two? When last did a politician – or anyone – have that effect on you?