Slo­gans high­light hypocrisy

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD - GE­OFF HUGHES

PO­LIT­I­CAL slo­gans of­ten re­veal what is lack­ing in the sta­tus quo rather than defin­ing a com­mon goal.

Thus the ANC’s ear­lier as­pi­ra­tion for “a bet­ter life for all” was an in­con­testable claim for so­cial im­prove­ment.

This year’s edi­tion (Unity in Action) ap­pears when the pres­i­dent is man­i­festly un­der siege from within his own party, which is riven by fac­tion­al­ism and in­fight­ing.

There is talk of “self-cor­rec­tion” from the spin doc­tors, but so far the pres­i­dent re­mains un­apolo­getic for his self-en­rich­ing be­hav­iour and makes bizarre claims of myth­i­cal mes­sianic sta­tus.

In­stead of “pol­icy” and new ideas, the trav­el­weary crowd got the usual survey, fol­lowed by the usual tired song-and-dance rou­tine, fol­lowed by cake and cham­pagne for the elite. For the ma­jor­ity it was “cake to­mor­row”.

The theme of Unity in Action was used to ex­hort the party mem­bers against fac­tion­al­ism, not ac­knowl­edg­ing the em­bar­rass­ing fact that the pres­i­dent is the prime source of divi­sion.

On the cru­cial fund­ing of higher ed­u­ca­tion, he em­pha­sised that the par­ties must “speak with one voice”. Since the par­ties are stu­dents and univer­sity ad­min­is­tra­tors, who have rad­i­cally op­posed agen­das, this is an ab­surdly un­re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tion.

More wor­ry­ingly, it re­veals a com­plete lack of un­der­stand­ing of po­lit­i­cal dy­nam­ics.

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