I do not want to intoxicate you with the exuberance of my verbosity or ignite your passions with inflamed zeal of great expectations because, the prosperity you seek I cannot deliver nor can I deliver on I will promises make. What I will do however, is enlighten you on how to read the words of politicians so that you do not become the rock which will be hurled at glass rather, you will become the air and be the winds of change. The verbosity of politicians has intoxicated us beyond stupor and drunkenness therefore, our awakening is the hobble of a drunkard yearning to be sombre only to find millions more in stupor. The grotesque image that pervades is that humanity is sidling along like zombies looking ghostly and scary but, having no clout and not knowing what to do. The drunkenness is not the induced stupor of liquor but the intoxication of verbosity flowing from the jaws of politicians.
In 1994 when South Africa became the Rainbow Nation as the new democracy in Africa, the world embraced it with flamboyance and confidence. South Africa under the leadership of Mr Nelson Mandela captivated the political centre stage because the transition from Apartheid to Democracy did not come through a civil war or civil strife which is signposted with bloodletting and refuge crises. The Madiba magic became iconic. Leaders from around the world made all arrangements to meet with Madiba and their meetings were always flavoured with appreciation, accolades and awe because of how lives in South Africa were saved in comparison to the rest of Africa where up to now, civil strife and wars dot the landscape. The dots are now becoming blotches that scars the topography with huge refugee camps, squatters, war ravaged villages, mass graves, farm killings, illegal land invasions and genocide which breaks the sanctity of society. South Africa, as the world understood it, was the fulfilment of a dream written in the threads of democracy where peace prevails upon majority vote and justice ushered in on the platter of truth and reconciliation. True, South Africa has come through peacefully and today South Africa is on the slipper slope of corruption and injustice.
Nelson Mandela is a bronze sculpture in Parliament Square, London, of former President of South Africa and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela. Mandela’s legacy overpowers me! In wonder I looked at the man and said, “Madiba, your legacy in trampled upon in South Africa.”
Injustice is not only the macro issues of foreign policies played out in the General Assembly and Security Council of the United Nations seeking world intervention to institute justice. It is also how on the very micro level in each country how citizens are served by those in authority. Our community, Roshnee, and surrounding towns have been without water from 1 December 2020 to 10 December 2020 all because the local Emfuleni Municipality faltered on its Four Hundred Million Rand debt with Rand Water, its more than One Billion Rand debt with Eskom and a failed of more than Million Rand deal to install smart meters through a Chinese company. This injustice is not causing a national stir because the trend of failed municipalities is common across South Africa and looting of resources looms larger than life therefore, justice cannot be served. From failed dairy farms to failed fresh produce farms there is just no action taken on the culprits therefore, the verbosity of politicians’ slogans on fighting corruption encourages voting but, it all comes across like a cocktail drink ordered at a bar – the name of your drink is just fancy but drunkenness soon follows no matter how expensive the drink was. The madness is the same. Injustice is a madness fed with selfish interests that overwhelms the senses.
What overwhelms the senses too are the promises made by politicians and this has to be explored. Please read the quote below from the Mail & Guardian to note the spin of the $4.3bn (R70-billion) IMF loan which includes the IMF’s loan of the government’s R500-billion social and economic response to Covid-19 which up to this date the expenditure is not accounted for. The media spin on it is hyped to cover the looting of it or the misappropriation of it.
Mboweni told Parliament this week that the “misunderstanding” that the IMF loan is “the biggest devil in town” is untrue. “[We] have to understand it [the loan] in the context of Covid-19 and the borrowing requirements that we would have had to enter into anyway either by issuing a global bond or some other domestic bonds,” he said.
The spin is so deluding that it confuses the mind of people and this is the language of politicians which is not simple but full of jargon that can be interpreted on the rise and fall of currencies as a case in point on foreign policies of superpowers. We get the feeling that the stock exchange is a beast of its own kind acting on its own knowledge without the hand of man and this, is not the case. The cases cited above are within South Africa and when we look at the horizon beyond South Africa, most definitely the intoxication of verbosity becomes even more charming, almost like a snake charmer except that the snake charmer is more venomous than the snake.
The venom of Guantanamo Bay on the Cuba’s soil will kill more souls than bodies because it was established to jail terrorists following 9/11, the abbreviation for bombing of the Twin Towers. Innocent men have been released and many more still suffer the humiliation of savagery. The savagery is not the gruesome dismembering of body parts, but the horrid treatment of people and how in the name of justice Guantanamo Bay exists is something extraordinary. It came into being during the Bush administration as response on war on terror which sounds so omnipresent with the underpinning created perception that it will end the war of terror. Barrack Obama used Guantanamo Bay as political leverage and scored well to get elected but failed to close it falls on how ingrained words have intoxicated the people that we do not see the wood from the trees. After more than 16 years of detention Nashir/Abdullah is going to be released from Guantanamo Bay with no charge save to say that he is no longer a significant threat to the United States informs you on how verbosity can change mindsets so easily. Those without political might, their words are direct but, used by the mighty to make it grotesque or humane depending on the need. No matter how you interpret the establishment of Guantanamo Bay, the intoxication of the verbosity that is inexorably interlinked with sensationalism, dramatisation, stereotyping, jargon, innuendo and generalisations makes it very difficult to separate fact from fiction to justify it. The intoxication of verbosity blindfolds statutes of liberty thereby making justice impotent in courts. Courts of the UN General Assembly and Security Councils also intoxicate the world with such verbosity that Iraq was invaded on a lie under the banner of Weapons of Mass Destruction. This banner conjured up the Nuclear Missile Crises and therefore, it opened the gate for the dogs of war to unleash their horror.
The horror of the wars in Yemen and Syria is today covered up in the jargon of political language that we forget the carnage and the savage ravage of peoples lives. We are intoxicated by the UN envoys, the UN peace deals, the UN commissions, the UN peace keeping forces and the UN Security Council’s push for the end of the conflict without clout because, there is so much of words that has to be unpacked to get started. In getting started the countries who have power of veto slow justice to a snail’s pace through the very effective wording of resolutions and counter resolutions that amount to nothing. Analyse this carefully and you will see that you and I are caught in a word web under the UN’s web of incompetence to solve all the man made conflicts.
Conflicts will be with us until the of time. From time to time we got news of the Two State Solution in Occupied Palestine and I cannot fathom how this verbosity still gets attention when it is flawed from the outset. How can there we two states in an occupied state and where the balance of power, the means of production and statesmanship is skewed obtusely in favour of the Zionists. Yet, the phrase, two state solution is still the anchor for striking peace deals that fail or mean nothing. It is the anchor because the phrase is so intoxicating in that it idealises independence and freedom that is associated with developing and first world countries. The mind then is mesmerised by the grass on the other side but the nose is closed to smell the crap on your feet. The slogan that enchanted the world to establish the state of Israel was, “A land without a people for a people without a land“ coined in the 19 & 20th centuries is still intoxicating us when the truth has smashed it as a lie. This is the power of verbosity when backed by great influence, power and support. Zangwill like others used propaganda as a powerful support to engender the idea of Jewish home in Palestine therefore, today its is effect sticks like truth and not falsehood.
In 1917 he wrote “‘Give the country without a people,’ magnanimously pleaded Lord Shaftesbury, ‘to the people without a country.’ Alas, it was a misleading mistake. The country holds 600,000 Arabs.”I. Zangwill, The Voice of Jerusalem, MacMillan, 1921, p. 96
Falsehood has many tricks too and language covers the horror. Consider the phrase, ethnic cleansing. The oxymoron here is startling but intoxicating too. Cleansing is of pure denotation and when set aside with ethnic it gives a favourable image but, the connotations attached to the phrase makes it the vile deed it is. This is how words intoxicate. Consider the plight Rohingya people who suffered the savagery of mass killings and the UN failed to term it as genocide. The verbosity from the UN was so intoxicating that Aung San Suu Kyi has been elected as President of Myanmar and her Noble Peace Prize has not be stripped from her accolades even though there are direct links to her involvement in the genocide of the Rohingya people. When words become the wine of politics, injustice becomes the stupor and want for absolute power becomes the drunkenness. The deceptive appearance of the most expense cognac hides the reality of dulling the senses, the innate power to stupefy and the nauseating mindset to blame bad action on its side effects. The side effects, we say, submersed us into illogical action that influenced incongruent behaviour. So we say, for example, he killed because he was under the ‘influence’ thereby opening the doors of mitigating circumstances which leads to innocence. The effects of alcohol and the addiction is that of power too.
Power is intoxicates with great enticement. With power comes the greatness of being a word mason where minds are crafted to believe in what you want them to believe. So intoxicating is the verbosity that it gave Hitler the belief he was right when he perpetrated the horrible holocaust. In the new spin of word masonry, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, Tunisia and more countries have fell to a plan designed as the next world order. In the wake of these failing states, the siege of Kashmir and the oppression of the Uyghurs in China are still considered under new words for the world to believe they are oppressed or truly under the yoke of huge human right violations. The spin on this is still worked out so that the likes of the Al-Jazeera journalist, Mahmoud Hussein and Dr Aafia Siddiqui have to wait for the right words to either convict them or set them free because, there is just so much of reasonable doubt that they were rightfully arrested. The intoxication of verbosity has and is a crime against humanity but we don’t see it that way all because, like poetry we feel great when we interpret and cast opinion. It is the poets themselves, who see the intoxication of political speech and tell us the truth.
The truth about Orwell’s Animal Farm is that it shows how clever people in power are. Take the oft quote from the novel, “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.” and reflect on how the mind is twisted and belief established. The intoxication lies in how in one sentence all animals are affirmed and suddenly all are not but, those not affirmed are left unsure and think that striving harder will make them of the more equal. This is what politicians leave us with – a sense of promise and at the same time a sense of hopelessness because, life is unrelenting and there are always those in humanity who just don’t give up. Their spirit drives us and they show us the chaff from the corn. The reality is the Afghan people who, after bearing the brunt of wars for decades by the allied forces numbering 48 countries, did not fall prey to intoxicating verbosity of war talk but, the allies did and still continue to spend billions on the already spent 6,4 Trillion Dollars.
Words have not run out its just that I am sobering you up from your intoxicated stupor and giving you this to sip on so that you don’t die at the hands of politicians. In the hope that what you have read and what you applied your mind too was not a display of exuberant verbosity, I leave you to think on all that you swallow from the lips from of politicians that is slowly brewed and distilled thrice in the wooden barrel of their bellies because in the main we are led to the polling booth on a pack of lies laced with intoxicating verbosity. Wise up and give the poet in you life so that people don’t die at the hands of politicians and their empty promises.