Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Friday, August 11, 2006

Never saw that coming?
I am constantly amused by the naivete of the DA's speechwriters and public relations managers, and I had another reason to smile today. On Women's Day, Tiger Tony led a personal attack on both Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, saying rather bluntly that they were incompetent and that the only reason they are in the cabinet is that they are women. A may agree with his broader comments on their flaws in results, but his comments on gender are an incredibly stupid route to follow for two reasons.

Firstly, it immediately puts Tiger Tony out there as some sort of sexist bigot making those calls on Women's Day of all days. Secondly, and most importantly, it is the easiest thing in the world to retort, as Manto did today, that Tiger Tony is the last person in the world to be talking of gender equality. He leads, as Manto says, a "party of white men", which is largely true.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the only way for the DA to become a serious opposition contender is to become more inclusive and less abrasively combative, both of which make the DA a laughing stock for non-white support. Either Tony has to realise he is not in the House of Commons, or he needs to be cognisant of the fact that it's time for him to go.