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Sat Aug 02 00:29:42 SAST 2014

Of insults and presidents

Bruce Gorton | 21 November, 2012 11:38
U.S. President Barack Obama. File picture.
Image by: KEVIN LAMARQUE / REUTERS

Barrack Obama is one of the most powerful men in the world, he isn’t the best president the US has ever had but he isn’t bad.

What is striking about him is that he is one of the more dignified presidents the US has ever had.

Using Google’s suggested search on chrome, I get “Obama is a” I get “Satanist”, “Muslim”, and “alien.”

If I use it on the actual site, I get "Muslim", "liar", "idiot" and "socialist". Remember this is the most powerful man in the world.

And the more power somebody has the angrier they can make people.

Does Obama suggest banning insulting the president? No, he is too busy being president.

So when Blade Nzimande, a communist as red as his wine, said we needed to ban insulting the president, it more or less brought home just where our country is going wrong.

In Gauteng no amount of discussion will change the fact that for the most part, the residents of Gauteng do not want the e-tolls, and the ANC isn’t terribly big on actually listening to its electorate.

The e-toll case is relatively minor except how it illustrates how the governing alliance has habitually ignored the people it claims to serve. It only seems to listen when there are burning tyres and half-bricks being thrown at it.

I mean for crying out loud, it took the best part of a year of lawsuits just to get the education department to send textbooks to Limpopo.

If the alliance took governing half as seriously as it takes its precious dignity, we would probably be in a first world country by now. Instead we are coming 62 out of 62 countries when it comes to maths and science education.

And here is the thing, often the biggest stories on the Times LIVE website at any given moment, are science stories. I don’t mean stories about the new iPad either; I mean physics, genetics and archaeology.

We have the base interest to excel at the sciences, so why aren’t we doing it?

Edna Molewa has one of the most important positions in government. We aren’t a water rich country, and with one of our major industries being mining and another being tourism, the environment is of major economic concern to us.

Molewa is alleged to have intervened when the department of Water Affairs took five companies that were part owned by Cyril Ramaphosa’s Shanduka to court for operating without a water license.

She obviously doesn’t much care about the portfolio she is supposed to manage, but you can bet she care’s about the president’s precious dignity.

The Department of Housing at the moment is knocking down houses in Lenasia. The people who built those houses were victims of scammers who "sold" them government land, which the department had earmarked for government employee housing.

Some of the scammers seem to have been employed by the department at the time.

Those people had been scammed so thoroughly that even the banks that lent them money to build their houses fell for it, and yet there is a distinct impression of "showing who is boss" when it comes to knocking those houses down. There doesn't seem to be a concern for the victims of that scam, there is a concern for maintaining government's image of being in charge.

We need a government that isn’t so concerned with its dignity, and a whole lot more concerned with its duties and its people. We shouldn’t be talking about whether we should respect the government, but what the government has done that is worthy of respect.

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Sat Aug 02 00:29:42 SAST 2014 ::