Technocrats to blame
SIR — It was Paul Keating, the 24th prime minister of Australia, who said: “Politicians come in three varieties: straight men, fixers and maddies”. We should believe him. Politicians come in different varieties indeed.
Those who will ordinarily heed Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s advice not to do as they please are probably the straight men and, to a lesser degree, the fixers. The maddies are the ones John F Kennedy was referring to when he said: “Mothers all want their sons to grow up to be president, but they don’t want them to become politicians in the process.” Of course, he meant a president who understands the level of integrity and sense of responsibility required and expected of him or her. His reference to politicians meant marauders.
Perhaps, the politicians are not to blame. We ought to look at the technocrats who are supposed to be nudging them to do the right thing. Politicians by their nature are mostly maddies. That is why they should have a solid team of technocrats keeping them on the straight and narrow.
Unfortunately, we seem to have a rather astonishing dispensation in SA, where technocrats no longer give the right advice and ensure the politicians do the right thing. The technocrats are not true technocrats anymore, they are political deployees. And so, we have a cocktail of politicians running things to the ground.
Knowing the difference between a thin blue line and a thick blue line takes a certain kind of sensitivity politicians generally lack. All they see are blue lines.