Thought for the Day 19 July, 2017


Thought for the Day 19 July 2017

The Scottish poet, Robert Burns once wrote a poem to a field mouse, which his plough turned out of its nest. A line in the poem says, ‘the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” (I have translated the line out of the Scottish vernacular it was written in.) My best laid plans were disrupted yesterday, by a dysfunctional laptop. The problem prevented anything that used the internet and one of the casualties was my thought for yesterday, so I guess, by default, my thought for yesterday is that line from the poem.

Now on to today. I have been watching with interest the various conferences of politicians that occurred recently. I have been struck by the way they talk a great fight, but do very little, particularly about the clear an unambiguous flaws in their collective behaviors. I wondered what Nelson Mandela would have made of it all so I looked in the book “Nelson Mandela By Himself – The Authorised Book of Quotations.”

On the very first page, I found two quotes on accountability that seemed relevant.

  1. “There is an absence of democratic accountability and control in every sphere of government and the state. To address this debilitating legacy requires determined action and a deep commitment to transforming our society from a crisis ridden present into something all South Africans can be truly proud of.”

This quote is from 1994. I am saddened that today these words apply even more so than they did then. After more than twenty years of democracy we seem to have gone backwards.

  1. “We were mindful from the very start of the importance of accountability to democracy. Our experience had made us acutely aware of the possible dangers of a government that is neither transparent nor accountable. To this end our Constitution contains several mechanisms to ensure that government will not be part of the problem, but part of the solution.”

This is a quote from 1996. I believe Mr. Mandela is turning in his grave as he watches the present government make a mockery of the high ideals he set for himself and his fledgling government. I think he would have refused to believe that his ANC could have fallen so far as to protect a regime that is clearly corrupt, self-serving and immoral. He would not have credited that its leaders would have tolerated the highest of the high behaving in a manner that flouts the law and the constitution, he and his colleagues worked so hard to establish.

Which, leads me to my thoughts for today:

“If the NEC of the ANC, continue to support people who are clearly more interested in self-enrichment and aggrandizement, to the detriment of the country and ALL of its people, then those leaders are equally subject to condemnation, and deserve the flawed and failing party that they will create!”

And arising from that thought, there is a supporting thought.

“If the people of South Africa continue to elect a flawed and failing party that espouses corrupt, self-serving leaders, who flout the law and the constitution, to the detriment of the country and its people, then this electorate deserves the government they receive!”

Beware, South Africa that we don’t join the ranks of failed countries, which tolerated clearly unsuitable governments for too long until it was too late.

You have been warned.

Cheers, Dave


About Dave Macfie

Dave Macfie is the General Manager and Lead Consultant of Unique Advantage South Africa, a consulting company specializing in creating unique business advantage from purpose, analysis, insight, alignment and action. Dave’s qualifications include a double honors degree in mathematics and physics and a post graduate certificate in education. (Cum Laude) His career spans forty five years of experience in IT, business, property development and high school teaching. He lives in Johannesburg, South Africa with his wife Sandi and three of his seven children. Dave loves addressing business performance challenges, reading, writing fiction and non-fiction, gardening and spending time with his family.

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