Sharp Thoughts

  • In an Age of Unreason

    In an Age of Unreason

    ‘BREXIT means Brexit’; except that for Theresa May it failed spectacularly to do so. It could yet elude Boris Johnson, too. At a superficial level the June 2016 referendum result reflected English nostalgia for a […]

  • SONA and the State of the Nation: 'System Down'

    SONA and the State of the Nation: ‘System Down’

    SURPRISINGLY, there was a well-timed reminder by snail mail: my driver’s licence was due for renewal on 29 April. Surprising because officialdom has publicly said it’s not responsible for reminding us about anything and then […]

  • Reflections on D-Day after 75 years

    Reflections on D-Day after 75 years

    ‘DESPITE appalling weather conditions, we were given the go-ahead. We left harbour in failing light and picked up our group of landing craft. They fell into line behind us, twelve ships enormous in bulk compared […]

  • Which General - Which ANC?

    Which General – Which ANC?

    AT the time of the May 1987 South African general election, when the apartheid government was on its last legs, stickers were distributed reading ‘The trouble … is we don’t know which general we are […]

  • To Kill the Truth

    To Kill the Truth

    SAM Bourne is the author of political thrillers. His real-life persona is Jonathan Freedland, one of the Guardian’s acute columnists and a commentator on British current events, especially Brexit, and Jewish affairs. His opinion piece […]

  • Africa's Holocaust

    Africa’s Holocaust

    ‘IN Rwanda I shook hands with the devil. I have seen him, I have smelled him and I have touched him. I know the devil exists, and therefore I know there is a God.’ Those […]

  • Social media and the coarsening of debate

    Social media and the coarsening of debate

    VIEWERS of the SATV soap opera ‘Isidingo’ will recall Horizon Deep mayor Sechaba Matabane-Moloi being set up in a supposedly drug-induced orgy at a Christmas party by his deputy Gabriel Motusi. The devious Motusi missed […]

  • Lies, politics and history

    Lies, politics and history

    A CONVENIENTLY forgotten aspect of the long, convoluted and unresolved saga of Brexit is the fact that the successful Leave campaign in 2016 was based on a stack of lies and a raft of other […]

  • Disappointments of working lives

    Disappointments of working lives

    A CROWNING moment of a lifetime’s professional work would in the past have been a handing over to one’s younger, competent successor confident that while times inevitably move on values and principles would be carefully […]

  • Driving and the national psyche

    Driving and the national psyche

    LAST July we drove back home from the Eastern Cape via Transkei. Forty years ago this stretch of the N2 was regarded with extreme trepidation by drivers as posing every conceivable danger: hazardous road layout […]