Nelson Mandela

Daniel Hannan on poverty and why Nelson Mandela was wrong

Daniel Hannan is a thinker, and an eloquent speaker.

He has challenged Nelson Mandela’s thinking on poverty and explains why Mandela was wrong.

?Like slavery and apartheid,? Nelson Mandela told 20,000 people in Trafalgar Square ten years ago, ?poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.?

They were inspiring words, and the crowd duly went wild. But the old man was talking utter, unadulterated bilge. Poverty is not ?man-made?: it is the primordial condition of all living organisms, including humans. It is wealth that is ?man-made?.

As usual Hannan is straight into it without hesitation.

Perhaps 100,000 years ago, our distant fathers hit on the idea that, instead of having to do everything themselves, they could specialise and exchange. If Ug is particularly deft at making flint weapons, let him stay behind and concentrate on what he?s good at while the rest of the tribe hunts and brings him a share of the meat. While we?re about it, Og from the neighbouring clan has a rare gift for making fishhooks: why not trade some of them for Ug?s flints?

From that simple discovery came, in due course, wheels and printing presses and spinning jennies and skyscrapers and antibiotics and the Internet. The greater the number of people drawn into a commercial nexus, the more each individual can concentrate on improving his or her particular m?tier. The hours which we need to work in order to support ourselves fall, giving us more free time ? both to employ in leisure pursuits and to come up with yet more ingenious inventions. People became longer-lived, more literate, more comfortable, better-fed, taller, more numerate and more numerous. They also, incidentally, become more peaceable: far from being ruthless or selfish, capitalism joins men and women together in a cats-cradle of mutual dependency. That, in a nutshell is the history of homo sapiens.

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Are right wing women sexier?

Cactus Kate posted the link to this on Facebook, where a?liberal-lefty-pro-feminist man ?(there is some debate over whether or not he is actually a man) explains why he thinks right wing women are sexier.

Not long ago I was out drinking with a group of friends and we started playing the If-You-Had-To game. The idea is to present players with two people they would never want to sleep with ? and then make them choose which they?d sleep with. Here are some of the fiendish alternatives I had to face: Imelda Marcos or Wallace Simpson? Ayn Rand or Yoko Ono? Gertrude Stein or Virginia Woolf?

Then one joker said: Theresa May or Jemima Khan? Everyone laughed at this no-contest choice. Everyone except me. How could I tell them the ugly truth: I?d prefer a night of passion with right-wing Theresa over lefty Jemima any day of the week.

But then I belong to that small, deviant group of liberal-lefty-pro-feminist men who find conservative/right-wing women super sexy. In an age when anything goes ? at least in terms of sexual pleasure ? ours is a lust that dare not speak its name.

I know this because later that evening, I turned to one of the group and confessed my secret longing for the likes of Theresa May, Ann Coulter and Sarah Palin ? ideally all at once. I thought my fantasy night of passion would be received with sympathy and understanding. After all, this friend of mine pays a woman in Earls Court to put him on a rack and do things you don?t want to read about. He just looked at me and said: ?You?re sick!?

Heh..sick for hankering after?right wing women?

I can just hear the chorus of left-wing women complaining that, here we go again ? judging women in politics by their looks! Well, actually, looks have nothing to do with it. By that criteria, I should be swooning over Jemima instead of drooling over Mrs May. So no, this is not about looks; it?s about the sexiness of a certain mindset and sensibility. What is the appeal of right-wing women to men like me? After all, left-wing men are not supposed to sleep with such women. (We?re meant to find their political convictions too repulsive for that sort of thing.) But politics is rooted in tribalism and dark emotions, as much as reason. To lefty men of my persuasion, right-wing women are the?Other; alluring because they are so exotic; exciting because they?re so forbidden.

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The wailing and gnashing of old media’s teeth

And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

– Matthew 13:42

Buzzfeed has obtained a report written by the New York Times on how they are going to deal with digital media, and it is dire indeed from their viewpoint. I imagine a similar document exists at APN and Fairfax.

A 96-page internal?New York Times?report, sent to top executives last month by a committee led by the publisher?s son and obtained by BuzzFeed, paints a dark picture of a newsroom struggling more dramatically than is immediately visible to adjust to the digital world, a newsroom that is hampered primarily by its own storied culture.

The?Times?report was finalized March 24 by a committee of digitally oriented staffers led by reporter A.G. Sulzberger. His father,?Times?Publisher Arthur Sulzberger,?fired Executive Editor Jill Abramson Tuesday, a decision that doesn?t appear immediately related to the paper?s digital weaknesses.

The report largely ignores legacy competitors and focuses on the new wave of digital companies, including?First Look Media,?Vox,?Huffington Post,?Business Insider, and BuzzFeed.

?They are ahead of us in building impressive support systems for digital journalists, and that gap will grow unless we quickly improve our capabilities,? the report warns. ?Meanwhile, our journalism advantage is shrinking as more of these upstarts expand their newsrooms.?

?We are not moving with enough urgency,? it says.

It is speed which is killing them and an adherence to deadlines. Radio doesn’t have deadlines, they run news as it happens. The true legacy organisations are television and print, both run a deadline model, where most people have actually read or heard about the news by time their deadline rolls around.

The deep problems, the report says, are cultural, including a sense that the?Timeswill simply serve as a destination ? leading to a neglect of social promotion. One factor is an obsessive focus on the front page of the print paper, with reporters evaluated in their annual reviews on how many times they?ve made A1.

?The newsroom is unanimous: we are focusing too much time and energy on Page One,? the report says. ?? Read more »

There must be a medical term for this sort of mental health problem…

It really is rather astounding that Len Brown carries on as if nothing has happened and everything continues to be business as usual.

This, from the Len Brown Facebook page


I am out of adjectives to describe this situation. ?Corpse hugging hoping for reflected glory? ?What a champ… ?I’m surprised he isn’t wearing a South African rugby jersey.

Thing is, the people on Facebook aren’t buying… ? Read more »

A study in conservatism


Mark Steyn writes?about the above photograph:

Not everyone at the Mandela jamboree was doing selfies with the Danish pastry. One reader passed along?this photograph: No sign of Barack buddy David Cameron, but here are three of the Queen?s other prime ministers ? Australia?s Tony Abbott, Canada?s Stephen Harper, New Zealand?s John Key ? having a working lunch ahead of the memorial service. ? Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

hone's holiday

Credit: SonovaMin

Prank of the year?

Comment of the Day

Peter McCaffrey hits the nail right on the head.


The Huddle


I was on the Huddle again last night with Josie Pagani. Tim Dower was sitting in for Larry Williams.

We were talking about.

John Minto moaning about being left out of the delegation to pay their respects to Mandela ? what a cry baby. He?s an embarrassment.

Then we?ve got?ANOTHER child poverty report?which again just moans about people with no money breeding ? then blames everyone else. It would be nice to have an action plan with actual ideas about how to stop the poverty cycle rather than the same old boring people coming up with the same problem blaming everyone else.? Read more »

Left-wing campaigning for Minto, but have they forgotten this?

The left-wing is distracting themselves by creating a petition and campaigning for John Minto to got to South Africa to attend Nelson Mandela’s funeral

But in their haste to push Minto forward they need to be reminded of this from 2008.

An anti-apartheid activist who organised protests in New Zealand during a tour by South Africa’s rugby team in 1981 has rejected nomination for an award from President Thabo Mbeki’s government.

John Minto, organiser of the Halt All Racist Tours campaign, declined the Companion of O R Tambo Award, saying the changes in South Africa since the end of white minority rule had benefited only an elite.? Read more »