Home Opinion and Features Why hot air gives only cold comfort

Why hot air gives only cold comfort


By now we should all know that our vote is by secret ballot. Nobody looks over our shoulder to check where we put our X on voting day.

File photo: Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA).

I am always mildly astonished when I watch TV news coverage of political rallies and see there are actually people sitting in the stadiums. I presume they are real people and not inflatable dummies that get hauled from venue to venue as decor. We seldom get a close-up view.

Why on earth would anybody attend a pre-election party rally? No matter what your political leanings are, do you have nothing better to do on a public holiday than sit in a crowded (if they really are crowded) stadium and listen to politicians make ridiculous promises? We all know politicians’ promises are just meaningless wind, like flatulence without the smell.

They draw up a wish list and then promise to make it come true, no matter how outrageous we all know it to be – free houses, no more crime, better education, reliable public transport, free health care, jobs for all – we know it’s not going to happen because there’s no money for any of it. The Guptas got it.

So, what’s the attraction? Do they hand out free lunches or party caps and T-shirts? Surely nobody’s life is so empty that they actually choose to go and listen to the politicians.

Frankly I think it would be more fun being run over by a bus than attending a political rally. I have never attended a political rally, nor have I ever been run over by a bus, so I admit my opinion is not based on experience.

By now we should all know that our vote is by secret ballot. Nobody looks over our shoulder to check where we put our X on voting day.

And surely at this late stage we have made up our minds how we intend to vote. Are the attendees just going from rally to rally collecting free T-shirts? I can’t believe there’s a single voter (or inflatable dummy) at any of the rallies who actually has a light-bulb moment and yells: “Eureka! Now I know which party I’ll vote for because this politician has revealed a great truth!”

I can only conclude that life must be unspeakably dull for South African voters.

Don’t they have hobbies? In remote rural communities they get together on slow public holidays and enjoy such simple pastimes as cork spitting competitions and tossing sticks at a peg in the ground, which is basically jukskei when it gets serious.

Nobody stoops as low as going to party rallies. It’s all a lucky dip anyway. We don’t vote for people, we vote for parties. And once the parties get to that magic swill trough they can do what they like. As we have seen so often.

Last Laugh

They say American aeronautical engineers have finally developed the perfect “stealth” aircraft. It is totally undetectable by radar. Not even a blip shows up on the radar screen. When they were testing this amazing aircraft over the Mojave Desert a surveillance sergeant told his superior: “We have a mysterious phenomenon here, sir. There are no aircraft but our radar has picked up two little people passing overhead in a sitting position at 40000 feet.”