Never has an X been more important
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PAY attention, people, because it’s time for a one-day struggle. And we must be the revolutionaries.
Our X has probably never been so important.
FOR decades, Saffers have been battered, abused, stolen from, cheated, short-changed, left in the dark (literally) and lied to, over and over. Every day, sometimes twice or thrice a day, we learn of yet another predatory raid on money or resources meant for us, essentially adding to our struggles.
It’s been so egregious and for so long, we have become beaten down, exhausted by impotent rage, fury and betrayal. Vulturous and shameless people manipulate that anger to get us fighting among ourselves, so we don’t harness it to unite against a common enemy.
There are so many investigations and inquiries and commissions but nothing is done to get back what is ours.
Division, misdirection, fear are parts of the abusers’ toolbox. As are empty apologies and promises that it will end, it won’t happen again.
When it’s not greed and malice, it’s incompetence. Why, oh why, do we elect and put up with people who are simply unwilling or unable to do the public work we require to build our country?
Even as a young democracy, surely we have matured enough to know that promises made are promises never kept. You may get a T-shirt, a food parcel, and the lucky one or two may be given a house. As an aside: how does that even work? Do political leaders pluck names from a ballot box? Why is that person/family more deserving than their neighbours? And will they get water, electricity and refuse removal? Clean streets and security?
There are many “we demand” statements from parties about one or other issue and because there are so many issues, there are many demands.
Very few fresh ideas or solutions, however.
These elections are even more important to us citizens than general elections because they affect every single day of our lives, and all the basic requirements of living that life in the best way possible. Most people understand how a budget works, and know we need money to pay for these things. When it gets siphoned off into someone’s pocket, and we have to cough up again, it’s time to say enough, no more, we’re done.
There are many much smarter political analysts and thinkers than I could ever be, including my highly esteemed colleague, William Saunderson-Meyer.
But this is from the heart because I have some concerns. Actually I’m scared almost out of my wits.
Election day, November 1, is a Monday. For most, that means a long weekend to party, relax, unwind, stay in bed ‒ whatever it is you do when you are freed from “working hours”. Or, if you’re among the millions of unemployed, just another hopeless day to get through however you can.
It’s not hyperbole to say your country really does need you. Every single X is a voice, whatever it’s saying. Democracy dies when we get worn out and quit speaking out.
If politics is all about messaging, it’s time to get our message right back out there: enough dilly-dallying and moaning on social media. Give up a few hours of your time for the most important election in our time. Go vote.
- Lindsay Slogrove is the news editor
The Independent on Saturday