Tag: Democratic Alliance

Helen of Troyeville – The face that launched a thousand tweets

Dear Madam Premier Helen Zille the First, Grand Panjandrum of the Western Cape and Lady of the House,

When I read your tweets suggesting that colonialism wasn’t an entirely bad idea, I immediately suspected your phone had been stolen by an erudite thief whose idea of fun was to hijack politicians’ social media accounts and destroy their careers. On closer reflection, this seemed unlikely. Our phone-snatchers are of the common or garden variety who wouldn’t recognise erudition if it bit them on the bum.

A more plausible explanation was that you had succumbed to the curse of the legendary Singapore Sling and, finding yourself hysterically drunk inside an opium den at 3am, you went berserk and tried to call for help via Twitter but somehow ended up defending colonialism.

Apparently, though, you weren’t off your well-preserved face or even temporarily insane when you implied that were it not for the Europeans of yore popping over for a spot of the old rape and plunder, the natives would still be hacking paths through the bush, drowning people who claimed the earth was round and relying on lightning strikes to start the cooking fires because even cannibals enjoy a hot meal now and then.

You’ve had a chance to have a bit of a think and hopefully understand by now that there wasn’t a benevolent bone in colonialism’s bloodless body. Those early invaders brought guns and disease, slavery and Christianity. Sure, they also brought tobacco and alcohol. But is this enough for us to condone their war-mongering, land-grabbing ways? Almost, but not quite.

On the other hand, your ability to look on the bright side of one the most organised crimes ever committed is commendable. A lot of bad stuff happened in the past. It still happens. And it will continue happening. But is it really all bad? I’m sure if we dig a little deeper, we can find a silver lining around the most gloomy of clouds. Let’s give it a shot.

War. On the surface, war appears to be a negative thing. Particularly for those who get shot or blown up. But did war ever really hurt anyone’s feelings? No. Being told by an airline that you have to pay for two tickets because you’re massively fat is a lot worse than being on the Syrian frontline. War also gives people a chance to travel for free. And who doesn’t like free travel? I certainly do. Without war, thousands of Americans would have been denied the opportunity of a lifetime to visit exotic countries like Vietnam, Haiti, Guam, Iran, Afghanistan and even, for a lucky few, Somalia.

Hitler. A monster or simply misunderstood? Have you heard Germans talking among themselves? Not even they understand what they’re saying. It’s just one of those languages that sounds like everyone is planning a weekend of genocide. Hitler had his bad points, sure. For a start, his art sucked. But he did bring people closer. Or, in the parlance of his times, “rounded people up”. Then he put them on trains and sent them off to concentration camps, which, according to historian David Irving, were treatment centres for attention deficit citizens. Also, large parts of London were flattened during the Blitz, which saved on demolition costs when it came time to put up fancy new buildings.

Stalinism. Forget, for a moment, the millions of people Uncle Joseph ordered executed in the purges and focus, if you will, on the enduring magnificence that is the Moscow Subway. Let us not even speak of the glories of Stolichnaya vodka. Ah, yes. Socialism. What’s not to love?

Apartheid. Millions of black people were spared the indignity of having to go to school and the army. The benefits of this policy didn’t end there, either. There were also laws keeping black people safe from whites, a surly tribe isolated in their own suburbs with their own facilities. With the end of apartheid this protection was withdrawn and black people today still risk being abused by caucasoid neanderthals everywhere from public beaches to Spur restaurants.

Paraplegia. One word – wheelchair. No more walking means enormous savings on shoes. Also, no more sitting down and standing up hundreds of times a day, something that leaves non-paraplegics drained and miserable.

Hijacking. In a country that desperately needs employment opportunities, every bit helps. The man pointing a gun at your head and stealing your car is doing a job. He is self-employed and showing initiative. He isn’t hanging about the robots with a piece of cardboard covered in illegible scribbles, making you wind up your window and feel like a tight-fisted bastard until the lights change.

Alcoholism. The body’s way of letting you know that you’re still alive. Well done on not being dead. Alcoholics and their “social drinking” cousins keep the breweries ticking over nicely. Countless jobs would be lost and millions of lives destroyed if everyone had to stop drinking.

These, Helen, are just a few examples that tie in with your refreshing new way of thinking. Feel free to use them at your disciplinary hearing. Well, I say hearing, but it’s really going to be more of a medieval scheissesturm of monstrous accusations, desperate denials and multifarious explanations. You’re going to need to suppress your inner Attila for this one. Avoid stamping around the room barking at everyone. Your enemies in the party smell blood in the water and they’re not going to let an exposed flank go unsavaged.

If you do get fired, there are plenty of other opportunities out there. Afriforum, for instance, would be keen to have you. Their reputation as a coven of white supremacists is improving, thanks in part to that prosecutorial pit bull Gerrie Nel, and you will be among like-minded folk who believe that “speaking while white” is not, in fact, one of the deadly sins of democracy.

Your days at the Leeuwenhof palace do seem numbered, though. It’s a good thing you have mastered the power of positive thinking. You’ll probably need to leave Cape Town for a while. Property is dirt cheap in Orania, a town where “critical race theory” relates to strategies in the wife-carrying event on their annual sports day. You’d like it there.

As for that leadership baton you passed to Mmusi Maimane not even two years ago? There’s a good chance he’s been whittling it into a sharp point all this time. Watch your back, madam.

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Small change makes big trouble

I’ve been wondering if xenophobia really is a phobia at all. I mean, it’s nothing like arachnophobia, for instance. If it were, people who suffered from it would run screaming whenever they saw a Congolese car guard heading their way. Instead, our xenophobics actively seek out foreigners, then run aggressively towards them. It’s an odd way of showing fear.

Everybody seems to have something to say about the fresh hell erupting around Joburg. Here’s an excerpt from Trevor Noah’s contribution. “I don’t see (my) fellow African as a competitor, but a fellow compatriot who is struggling to feed his family and have some comfort in this short lifetime.”

Yeah, I guess you won’t see many unruly mobs of Africans outside your Manhattan studio fighting to get application forms for your job, Trev. Not much competition from these parts, mate. And, yes, of course you can relate to your fellow compatriot struggling to feed his family. After all, you’ve just bought an apartment in New York for the knock-down price of $10-million. That’s R130-million in our rinky-dink currency. Or, in a language your struggling African comrade might better understand, a billion Happy Meals for him and his skinny-ass family.

Moving on to that wretched cybernated universe infested with cats, food and other people’s children – yes, Facebook – where a DA uMhlanga councillor earlier this week pronounced on our own itinerant colonies of fringe-dwelling gutterpups.

“Wanna know why vagrancy is such an issue in North Durban? Cause some people still continue to give beggars and vagrants money. Like the man who just gave a beggar R50 bucks in Broadway, Durban North. There are NGOs and welfare organisations who would love that R50. Instead he will go make the bottle stores rich.”

While we’re making wild assumptions here, I bet it was a white man who gave the beggar that red lion. I’m also willing to wager that the mystery benefactor is involved in one or other white-collar crime. No law-abiding, wage-earning office drone has that kind of cash to give away willy-nilly. I’d say our guy is likely up to his eyeballs in one or other commercial crime. Whiteys, even the compassionate ones, love tax evasion and fraud more than they love fishing and golf. No mess, no fuss. Hell, if he’s a genuine empath he probably turned to crime just to be able to support the destitute as well as his family.

I give money to beggars at robots, but only if they get to my window before I can close it. If they tap on the glass, I drum on my steering wheel to create the impression that I can’t hear them because the music is too loud. Sometimes they jump on the bonnet and bang on the windscreen. Then I have to pretend I’m blind, which is harder to do.

When I was growing up in the area, Broadway was lined with trees alive with millions of screaming, defecating Indian mynahs. You wouldn’t be able to hear a beggar if he exploded. You’d see it, though, and perhaps wonder why a beggar had exploded. The only possible explanation would be that the mynahs had driven him mad and he’d blown himself up.

The trees and mynahs are long gone and, if the DA is to be believed, have been replaced by marauding bands of mooching dipsomaniacs who, upon receipt of a modest sum, will proceed as fast as their suppurating legs will take them to the nearest bottle store instead of doing the sensible thing and using the money to enroll their bastard children at Kearsney College.

In the minds of some, seekers of alms will forever be associated with alcohol. Journalists, too. When I get paid for this column, I take the money directly to the bottle store. The only difference between me and the Broadway beggar is that I work for it. Okay, fine, this can hardly be called work. In fact, I’m drinking on the job right now – something you rarely see beggars doing. I’m worse than a beggar.

Beggaring is a lot tougher than my job, let me tell you. On your feet all day staring beseechingly into one impassive face after another, a curt shake of the head or a dismissive wave of the hand the only validation that you even exist. God help us if they ever sober up enough to form a militia.

I don’t know if the councillor happened to be passing by when he witnessed this evil money-giving thing happening or if he regularly patrols Broadway monitoring the indigent. Incidentally, councillor, it’s called Swapo Avenue now. And has been for years. If you go berserk at the sight of someone giving R50 to a man who has nothing, I imagine you’re still not comfortable mentioning Swapo unless it’s followed by the word ‘terrorist’.

The councillor’s post received 20 ‘likes’ plus four ‘Wow’ and four ‘Angry’ emoticons. Vishen was the first to suggest that vagrancy in Durban North wasn’t so much caused by people giving beggars money as it was by the failure of the government, NGOs and welfare organisations to deal with homelessness in the first place. Pamela and Cristina agreed with Vishen. Bloody communists.

Rick said beggars are there because they want to be there. On three occasions he had offered R200 on condition they came to his house and did yard work. He said they refused. Of course they did. I wouldn’t get into a car with a strange white man either. Well, I might. But he’d have to offer a hell of a lot more than R200. I’d also expect unlimited access to beer once we were there. And a guarantee that I won’t have to take my broeks off.

Johan said, “I had some Aussie friends over a while ago and they were not impressed when approached by a beggar in Broadway.” Shame. I hope they went for trauma counseling. Australia doesn’t have a problem with indigenous folk loitering in the streets because they had the decency to allow themselves to be decimated by the settlers before going walkabout into areas where respectable white Australians wouldn’t have to be offended by looking at them.

Lurching back into the fray, the councillor threw a second punch in case anyone had mistaken him for a bleeding heart altruist. “People who donate money to beggars in Broadway do nothing but encourage alcoholism and drug abuse.” I always thought unscrupulous employers, appalling working conditions and an intolerant, insular society which shuns the sick, lonely and weak was responsible for that. And, of course, marriage, which has done more than anything to encourage people to hit the bottle or reach for the meds.

Claire, who seems to be another avid beggar-watcher, chipped in. “There is a vagrant who sleeps on Savell Ave by the petrol station. And as he gets food etc he stays.‬” This is outrageous. Money is one thing, but food? What next? Silk pyjamas? Tickets to the ballet? Timeshare in Margate? You give these people food and all they do is put on weight. The next time you see them, they expect a gym contract.

Nkosinathi, who must be one of the DA’s black members I’ve heard about, had his own tale of horror. “I’ve just seen 3 guys outside the church in Broadway, they looked quite high on something, definitely not from juice.‬” High on Jesus, maybe? I prefer to think they were high on life, Nkosinathi. After all, Durban North is essentially Stepford without the submissive and impossibly beautiful wives.

Theo was clearly on drugs when he wrote, “I will rather give that beggar the R50 irrespective of what he spends it on than give it to some organisation who takes R40 to cover their expenses and only R10 goes to the homeless.” We don’t need your kind here, Theo. Humanitarianism is nothing more than satanism in a cheap suit. Once word gets out that there are kind, generous people in Durban North, it’s only a matter of time before the Syrians start arriving with their tattered children, crudely severed limbs and cheap plastic begging bowls.

But don’t for a minute think that’s where our problems end. Our fearless councillor posted this a day earlier. “Have been keeping track of people in public restrooms. Wanna know why everyone is getting sick? So many people do their business and just walk out without washing their hands. It’s disgusting!” Trumpian parallels aside, I’d also be reluctant to hang about and wash my hands if a creepy white guy was standing in the corner watching me.

A few days earlier, he posted this. “Who can help their poor long suffering councillor with some furniture for his office? Need a coffee table and a couch or two.” Begging for a handout, councillor? Hmm. How do we know you’re not going to pawn that couch and buy a bottle of vodka or a bag of weed? It’s a slippery slope, my friend. It starts with free furniture and before you know it you’re sucking on a bong and snorting cocaine off a Cambodian hooker’s belly.

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Vote Warthog

I suppose I can’t put it off any longer. I really don’t feel like getting my mind dirty, but it must be done. So. Big decisions to be made on Wednesday, yes? Do we lie on the beach, go shoplifting at the mall or stay in bed with a bottle of gin and the curtains drawn? Hard times call for hard choices. I suppose some of you may want to vote. Suit yourself. Just don’t come crying to me afterwards.

I haven’t received a single pre-recorded phone call or sms from a political party. It’s almost as if they don’t want my vote. Good. Because they’re not getting it.

Meanwhile, parties are still moaning about their posters being vandalised. Please. Give me a break. Here at election time the complaint is, “They tore my poster off.”

Elsewhere in Africa at election time the complaint is, “They tore my leg off.” Get a grip. Don’t go whining to the IEC unless your polling station gets blown up and you’re carrying your kidneys in a bucket.

I felt a brief surge of hope when I saw the poster, “Chainsaw attack on DA man”, but it turned out that the merry prankster had merely sliced off the side mirror on Pietermaritzburg mayoral candidate Mergan Chetty’s car. The politician was part of a 75-car motorcade. I don’t even know 75 people with cars.

Chetty said he shouted at the man, asking him what’s wrong. This is an indication of Chetty’s commitment to politics at the local level. Even as the Imbali township version of Leatherface launches his one-man chop shop, he wants to know more about the man’s problems.

There are 206 parties contesting Wednesday’s elections. I imagine that most of these people filled in their applications to register as candidates for the same reason they fill in their Lotto cards every week. Tata ma chance. Councillors earn between R40 000 and R80 000 a month depending on the municipality. Nice work if you can get it. I use the word ‘work’ loosely.

Last year, only 40 of the 278 councils in South Africa received clean audits. Ten had sold the office stationery for zamaleks and were unable to to submit their financial statements on time.

Warthogs wallowing in bottomless pools of money.

If you’re not sure which party to vote for, here’s some information that might help you make up your mind who not to vote for. The governor of the Reserve Bank has forecast 0% growth for 2016. If, like me, you have trouble understanding numbers, let me break it down for you in words. Zero. Percent. Growth. The good news is that we all get to star in the movie, Honey, I Shrunk The Economy, produced by the ANC and directed by Jacob Zuma.

Before you vote, think about what kind of South Africa you want to live in. I already know the answer and I’m not even voting. I want to live in a South Africa where colour doesn’t matter. A South Africa with no white people. No black people. No people at all. Just a country full of animals.

That, however, might take a while. Ask yourself, then, what kind of South Africa do you want to leave for your children? If you don’t have children, or have children but don’t particularly like them, you may skip this section.

Actually, don’t ask yourself anything. Ask your children. I expect the answers will include an end to compulsory education, free money and cheaper, better weed. If these are, in fact, the policies of any party out there, please let me know before Wednesday.

Speaking of delusions, we are lucky to have such an awesome president. Speaking to ANC supporters in Inchanga a few days ago, Zuma slammed independent candidates for dividing the ANC vote. He described them as “witches” who would’ve been “impaled back in the day”. It’s common knowledge that anyone who isn’t a rabid fan of the ruling party must be a witch, warlock or goblin. Impaling is too good for them, I say. Burning at the stake. Now there’s a fitting punishment for the 21st century.

But then Zuma said they couldn’t be killed because “we are now living in a democratic system”. This must have come as a huge disappointment to everyone who had already begun sharpening their impalers. There’s not much use for a sharpened stick without having a witch to stick on the end of it. I suppose you could buy a pig and have a spit braai, but it’s just not the same.

Even though I’m not voting, I thought I should at least make the effort to find out who is standing in my area. When I say ‘effort’, I mean I walked down to the main road. I don’t know what ward I’m in. Most of the time it feels like the psych ward.

The DA says we should vote for someone called Geoffrey Pullen. It doesn’t say why. He looks like a Spitfire pilot cryogenically frozen in October 1940 after the Battle of Britain and has now been unfrozen to fight a far more cunning enemy than the Hun. Good luck, ace. Hold your fire until you see the yellows of their eyes.

DA

Then there’s Mervin Pillay from something called Minorities of South Africa. The slogan on the poster says, “Claim your space.” I don’t know what that means. Or even if I’m entitled to claim it. I expect so, though. In these parts, if you’re not a Zulu you’re a minority. This country is awash in minorities. If we all began claiming our space, there’d be nothing left for the majority. That’s how civil wars get started.

MOSA

The IFP has a photo of that old warhorse Gatsha Buthelezi, who looks remarkably well for a 107-year-old man. The message is, “Trust us…” I think the ellipsis might have been a mistake because the temptation is to finish the sentence and it might not always count in their favour.

IFP

The EFF’s man is Khuzwayo Mandla. His picture is in black and white, which is not in the least ironic unless you think about it, and makes him look like he’s wanted in three provinces. He’s not smiling because smiling is counter-revolutionary. If they win this ward, everyone will get a free farm, factory and two cows. There are no farms, factories or cows in my area.

EFF

The party’s election manifesto does, at least, stipulate that, “A revolutionary councillor does not dwell in the conspicuous consumerist practices that seek to blindly show off privilege.” In other words, he will sleep under a bridge and catch a horse to work.

And, of course, Jacob Zuma’s giant grinning head on a pole at the traffic circle. Not literally, unfortunately. On a poster.

ANC

Elections provide the opportunity for change. I’m a big fan of change. I never stay married for more than ten years and I leave a job after five. Not always by choice, it must be said. Julius Malema has asked voters to give the EFF a municipality so they can prove themselves. Hell, why not? Okay, maybe not eThekwini, but surely there’s no harm in giving them something like Kai !Garib in the Northern Cape?

So this is us – we, the people – sloshing about in gutters running thick with scurrilous calumny, militant hyperbole and enough hogwash to leave a million pot-bellied pigs clean and sweet-smelling while the supreme weasels wheedle and cajole, coax, fawn and pander, quibble, fence and lie – then cross their fingers and hope to die.

Lastly, in case you still give a damn, here’s a convenient glossary of election terms.

Democracy – A political system that punishes minorities for not breeding fast enough. From the Greek word ‘demo’ meaning ‘tyranny’ and ‘cracy’ meaning ‘of the majority’.

Party – A political home for like-minded people. Something of a misnomer since nobody ever gets laid and drinks are in the House every five years.

Manifesto – A document outlining a party’s policies. From the Greek word ‘mani’ meaning ‘barefaced’ and ‘festo’ meaning ‘lies’.

Coalition – An alliance of parties more interested in power than principles.

Proportional representation – An electoral formula guaranteeing members of parliament that they will never be confronted by an angry constituent.

Polling booth – A secure environment in which control over one’s life is delegated, in writing, to perfect strangers.

Door-to-door campaigning – An opportunity for poor people to get lied to directly to their faces.

Poverty – A recurring condition that distresses politicians for a few weeks every five years.

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President Zuma, you have mail

Greetings, Mosholozi, in the name of our patron saint Machiavelli and all those who follow the holy gospels of perfidy and artifice.

Well done on surviving yet another attack by the running dogs of … I don’t know what. Let’s just call them running dogs. They bark a lot, chase their own tails and eventually roll over and lie there panting, trying to look cute and pathetic, hoping someone will come along and vote for them.

The opposition treats parliament as if it’s some sort of clubhouse for over-achievers. For people with a conscience. People who care. Well, it’s not. It’s the headquarters of one of the most powerful gangs in the country.

How dare these shouty arrivistes come to your headquarters and demand you get impeached? When I was small I read a book called James and the Giant Impeachment. It gave me nightmares from which I have never recovered. Nobody deserves to be treated like that.

Cape Town has for years proudly hosted the 26s, 27s, 28s, the Americans, the Mongrels, the Hard Livings and the Sexy Boys, but yours is the only gang with its headquarters in a fancy building right in the middle of the city.

Sure, at something like 243 members, yours is one of the smaller gangs in the Cape Town precinct. But what you lack in numbers you compensate for in influence. The 28s might trade in crystal meth and crack whores, but your members, oh boy, your members get to make laws! That’s pretty wild stuff, my man. I apologise. That was disrespectful. You are nobody’s man. Well, that’s not strictly true. You are Atul Gupta’s man.

You should know, though, that any man of my man is my man, too. Whoops. That sounds a bit gay. I have never forgotten the time some years back when you said, “When I was growing up, unqingili (homosexuals) could not stand in front of me.” A lot of people can’t stand in front of me, too, but that’s mainly because they are journalists who struggle to get to their feet by 11am and are back on their knees twelve hours later.

What I’m saying is that I am not gay. However, if you have changed your position, so to speak, and your gang now embraces gayness, then I am with you. Not physically, of course. I lack the stamina to compete with your sturdily built wives. But if you need me to pay special attention to one of your top people, I shall grin and bare it for the cause of the national democratic revolution. And when I say top people, I obviously mean the top six. I am not a racist but I think I might be a bit classist.

Given a choice, I would rather not have to perform Catholic ministrations upon Gwede Mantashe or Squirrel Ramaphosa. They are hefty men and, despite my advanced age, I have managed to retain my snake-like hips and would prefer them not to be crushed.

Jessie Duarte frightens me, not least because she reminds me of a Lebanese biker who almost snapped my spine in a street fight 20 years ago.

And Baleka Mbete, your fighting general, is out of the question because she doesn’t recognise anyone these days and I fear that in mid-coitus she might mistake me for Steve Hofmeyr and sink her fangs into my throat.

That leaves Zweli Mkhize. He’s a bit of a dark horse, which I might rather fancy if it weren’t for his … I beg your pardon, Brother Leader. This was not what I wanted to write about. Things got away from me. You, of all people, know how easily this can happen. Oddly enough, the Guptas also got away. Late last night, I believe.

Do you have a name for your gang? Yes, I know the official name is the African National Congress. But it lacks the panache of, for instance, the Los Zetas or the Crisps. Wait, not the Crisps. That’s the posse who run the Simba operation. The Crips. And their rivals, the Bloods. Awesome names, awesome people.

Acronyms, like ANC, are not that popular in the field of organised crime. Unless, of course, you’re the IMF, a guileful gang specialising in high-octane extortion. How about something like the Aryan Brotherhood but for black people? I don’t know what’s the antonym for Aryan and, quite frankly, hazarding a guess is more than my job’s worth.

Shouting in parliament on Tuesday, Julius Malema, the leader of the EFF gang, called your gang Bloody Voting Cattle. It has a pastoral yet deadly ring to it. Cows and voting have always scared me and, quite frankly, as a vegetarian anarchist I want no part of either. That could be my gang name. Ben ‘Veggie-Boy’ Trovato.

“My biggest nephew has been named in the Panama Papers? Hehehe. Gwede, unleash Veggie-Boy.” Obviously I would need some sort of eco-friendly superhero outfit, possibly made from hemp with a high THC count so that I could really fly when push came to shove.

Even though everyone recognises you as the capo di tutti capi, the control you exerted over your members on Tuesday by doing nothing more than nodding off was breathtaking. Not one of them voted in favour of that treacherous business instigated by the gangbangers on the other side of the room. You can’t buy that kind of loyalty. Well, actually you can. And you have.

The Democratic Alliance is an even worse gang name than the African National Congress because nobody has ever been afraid of an alliance, apart from maybe a miscreant Francophobe sentenced to a thousand hours of French lessons at the Alliance Francaise.

As a patriot who hopes for great things for his country, but mainly for himself, I am very pleased that you refused to do what the enemy described as ‘the right thing’. Capitulation is for weaklings and quislings and maybe even ducklings.

Speaking of which, I see that Trevor Manuel – I’m not sure if you remember him – has asked you not to bother coming into work on Monday. Or any other day. He’s from the Cape Flats and knows his way around an Okapi knife, so you might want to be careful. Also, he’s the deputy chairman of Rothschild in South Africa, one of the richest gangs around. Watch his hands. He leads with his right and takes with his left. Go for his balls, if you must. He didn’t have any when he worked for you but it seems they might have grown back.

Comrade President, there is something that has been worrying me. Nothing to do with Nkandla – I have also used other people’s money to improve my quality of life and Comrade Jesus has always sent some of his angels to keep me out of prison, as he has done with you – but I read a report this week that said a rat carrying bubonic plague was found in Tembisa.

I don’t want to be alarmist, but my favourite book, the Bible, is full of plagues. I know it doesn’t sound like much of a fun read, and you’d probably be happier with something by Robin Sharma or some other monk who sold his Ferrari and bought a small country. Not that you’re a monk. Heaven forfend that rumour gets around town. You still have many more wives to collect.

Right now, rats are everywhere. The state broadcaster is infested with them. Even the Hawks, who actually eat rats, have been overrun. Some even made it all the way from Uttar Pradesh to 7 Saxonwold Drive, although they seem to have abandoned this particular sinking ship.

Funny things, plagues. They start with rats. Next thing you know, you’re waist-deep in locusts, covered in flies and choking on frogs. This is fine if you’re French but it’s not so pleasant for those of us accustomed to a certain standard of living.

The point is, have you done anything recently that might have offended God or any other of the multitude of supernatural deities? Think carefully. No? Nothing at all? Okay, then. It must be a coincidence.

Anyway, good luck for future brawls. Like you, I would also prefer disputes to be settled in the old ways – with pangas and knobkieries – but I guess we’re stuck with the courts. For now.

Viva the one-party democracy!