Tuesday, October 25, 2011

China - Africa's new colonial master

Dear African Leaders,
        Yippee, isn’t it Great! The  Chinese are coming, sorry they’re actually here.  They’re swarming all over Black Africa.
         They have come as saviours of this dictator riddled, corrupt, incompetent, poverty stricken continent and are busy showing the clueless, work-shy locals how to put in infrastructure and how to build office blocks, bridges and other impressive structures.
         So you mustn’t do anything to offend them. You must all follow the excellent example set by South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma. He and his Government ensured that the Dalai Lama was not given a visa to enter the country when he was invited to attend the 80th birthday celebrations of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
         This Tibetan, Buddhist high priest has been living in exile for years and has been hounded by the People’s Republic of China ever since it took over his country.  It has done its best to ensure that he doesn’t get into countries it can easily kick around.

         And those are mostly in Africa.

         A White friend, who travels a lot in Central and West Africa, told me that whenever he has taken a flight in this part of the world recently he has been just about the only non Chinaman on the plane.
         Of course the pay off for the little yellow men is a lot more than just keeping Tibet’s spiritual leader out of Africa.
         Could it be minerals and other raw materials to keep the burgeoning Chinese economy on the up and up? And will it mean that the Chinese will one day make everything in the world while everybody else is starving because that cut price, oriental competition has closed all the factories where they earned a living?
         You Africans mustn’t deluded yourselves into thinking you can apply your normal job reservation policy to these new colonialists.
         In South Africa for instance the Black Government has replaced Grand Apartheid, the previous White Government’s Whites only policy, with Grand Black Economic Empowerment. This is designed to ensure that Blacks outnumber every other race in Government and business by 10 to one or more.
        But they dare not try that with the Chinese. My friend tells me that on Chinese construction sites in West Africa you won’t see a single Black. Everybody is Chinese, even down to the labourers pushing wheel barrows full of cement.
         So however much they improve the infrastructure in your countries there are billions of Chinamen who all have to be working before they will make the slightest dent in your millions of unemployed Blacks.
         That’s what happens, my fellow African’s, when you sell your soul. And I wonder how much you leaders are getting out of this sale and whether you were happy to take your fees in Renminbi or if you got it in Dollars.
         You’ve been complaining for years about what White Colonialism did to your countries and your self esteem. So who will you blame now that the Chinese are doing the same thing all over again?
         But as you leaders have proved time again you don’t care a damn about what happens to your subjects as long as you are alright living in your mansions and travelling the world in your private jets.
         As you might have gathered I live in South Africa and I wonder if you could ask our President if I could have permission to replace our Black cook, maid and gardener with Chinese because I’ve just invited President Hu Jintao to stay for a few days.
I’m worried that if I don’t do that he will be insulted and that’s a risky thing to do to your Master. And it could also be very bad for the development of our country.
        It goes without saying that he won’t have an entry problem like the Dalai Lama because he doesn’t need a visa to visit one of the new outposts of the Chinese Empire.
         Yours respectfully,

P.S. I heard that women in China are flocking to plastic surgeons to have their slit eyes made more Western so presumably Africans will soon be forced to have it done the other way round.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Oh my God! you know you're in the USA now

Dear American Christians,
         I see that Christianity in one form or another is by far your biggest religion. You’ve got Catholics, Protestants, Baptists, Evangelicals, Latter-day Saints, Pentecostals and goodness knows what other ones.
Out of a population of over 300-million, 75% of the people profess to be Christians so you would think you would take the 10 Commandments pretty  seriously.

And the Lord said to Moses, Come up to Me in the mountain and be there, and I will give you tablets of stone, with the law and the commandments which I have written that you may teach them. Exodus 24. 12

Does that ring a bell anywhere? Have you guys ever heard of that?

And then there’s this, He gave to Moses, when He had ceased communing with him on Mount Sinai, the two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God. Exodus 31. 18

You can’t get more sacred than that. But does it mean anything to your so called essentially Christian nation?
Those were God’s rules that he personally wrote and he didn’t compile them just for fun. He expected his followers to abide by them. But how many of you do?
Doesn’t it say in the Bible that Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
That’s the third most important Commandment. And under this one it goes on to say, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.
You would think that this is the easiest of God’s 10 main requirements to uphold.
Well it looks as though you Christian Yanks have been giving the Lord thy God the two fingers regarding this for years. So it’s not difficult to imagine what you have been doing to the other nine.
On news bulletins, in television programmes and in films you hear it all the time. You are not a bit ashamed of taking the Lord’s name in vain on a grand scale.

Oh my God! has become a national saying.

It’s used on every kind of occasion to express delight, surprise or even horror.
It must be far more well known in the US of A now than the actual Commandment itself.
Has that got anything to do with the fact that your country has got into such dire financial straights?

Oh my God!, that can’t possibly be the reason – can it?

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Power Report short circuited

Dear Megan Power,
What a let down that was. Your power has been advertised recently all over the place as if you were some supernatural being who could perform miracles for consumers.
The Times carried a whole page with your stern looking image peering out of it and we were told, Ripped off? Fight back.  Megan Power. Batting for you.
We were assured your Power Report in the Sunday Times each week would be championing our rights as consumers and exposing the bad.
Featured this week it said, would be defective new cars, shoddy repair jobs and appalling service.
All very impressive. People must have rushed out to get the paper in which you were going to tell all about how you sorted out these rip off artists in no uncertain terms.
Perhaps I’m being a bit na├»ve. I always thought the main purpose of a consumer column was to ensure, as far a possible, that consumers got justice. And with the huge circulation of a paper, like the Sunday Times behind you, suppliers would be more likely to come to heal rather than risk further bad publicity.

But that means they have to fear being named.

That brings me to that let down I mentioned in the beginning.
Your first report after that massive promotion in The Times (the Sunday Time’s little sister) consisted of a litany of complaints against SA’s top car brands and leading dealerships and involve new, and mostly very expensive cars.
After that build up complainants had every reason to believe that your power would result in having their problems sorted out.
They must have got a shock because all you did was to list a dozen anonymous complaints about nameless vehicles and dealers. If that’s all the power you’ve got you should team up with Eskom. It also specialises in keeping people in the dark.
You told us things like how dealerships had reneged on promises to replace a R275 000 car, after it was stolen while in for servicing; damaged a car worth R250 000 while in for repair; driven a customer’s vehicle into another one while it was being serviced and done a shoddy repair and so on.


I know you are only as powerful as the paper your work for so I have to asked: Hasn't the Sunday Times got the guts to allow you to name all these dealers and top car brands?
Or is it that your power has been short circuited because your paper doesn’t want to offend them in case they might cancel million rand, colour adverts in your paper?
All you ended up doing was passing the buck. Your article concluded by telling readers they could take their grievances to the Retail Motor Industry Organisation, but only if the supplier is one of its members. Last time I contacted them I was told to pay a fee of several hundred rand for the privileged of lodging my complaint.
You also suggested the Motor Industry Ombud or the National Consumer Commission and you added that patience is required when dealing with these organisations.
That’s exactly why people contacted you because they were hoping that the Sunday Times had the power to help them quickly, especially as patience is not a virtue that is easily cultivated when you haven’t got wheels.
Yours watchfully,
Jon, Consumer Watchdog and Poor Man’s Press Ombudsman.
P.S. Please lodge this as a complaint.

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