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Richard Calland

On the outside looking in

A bookshop's windows are boarded up. You can't see inside. Then, happily, the shutters are removed and suddenly you can see through the windows. The bookshop is now transparent. But is it open?

War puts US values at stake

American values are at stake. Really, what values? That is the response of many; contempt for the United States has never been higher. Asked, as I was last week, by a group of Americans how the world sees their country, one is forced to reply: you are detested.

A betrayal of democracy

Many Zimbabweans feel betrayed by South Africa's response to the crisis in their country. A group of about 50 leading Zimbabwean human rights and democracy activists heard a representative of the government speak with impeccable clarity about South Africa's approach to its northern neighbour at a conference facilitated by the Institute for Democracy in South Africa.

Doing the Right Thing

There is another world leader out there who is like Saddam Hussein. He has been in material breach of United Nations Security Council resolutions for years. He flagrantly disregards the Geneva Convention. He has ordered the death and destruction of an ethnic group within his nation-state domain

A slippery slope to invisibility

Frene Ginwala wants to move the media out of the precincts of Parliament. Not out of Parliament, it must be emphasised, just out of the precincts. They are to be rehoused across Plein Street in an admittedly ghastly building. But moving the press away from Parliament will have dire consequences.

A statement of leadership

The spin doctors of the left had a very hard time convincing anyone, but their line at least was clear. Trevor Manuel is a jolly nice man, well loved by his colleagues in the NEC, a good egg, whose stock as master of his financial ministry increases along with the rand.

Of sheep and the new Thatcherites

In the build-up to the last general election in 1999, I found myself sitting at a workshop lunch next to the then head of the Independent Electoral Commission, Judge Johann Kriegler. The chief story of the week concerned emigration.

The total eclipse of Thabo

I felt bad for Thabo. So I think did many people. Though most of the delegates in the hall were too busy ululating their praise song for Nelson Mandela to have time to contemplate the feelings of their current president.

Sucking the life out of the left

Edwin Castro has many of the typical personality traits of a chief whip, which is the position he currently holds for the Sandinista National Liberation Front. He is warm, charming, mischievous and full of you know what.

Who is paying the piper?

The African National Congress is obviously a very well-off organisation: R50 000 is clearly small fry to it. A cheque for this amount was sent to the party by Anglo Platinum in 1999/2000. But the cheque was not banked, it expired.

Keeping the show on the road

Small things please little minds they say. Well my favourite moment this political year (so far) was when Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Aziz Pahad came to the end of his briefing to the media at the outset of the parliamentary session.

Campaign 2004 starts now

Thank God it's over. The daily e-mailed "scoresheet", recording the latest tally of NNP "rats", is a thing of the past; the daily gloat from either NNP leader Marthinus van Schalkwyk or his ANC counterparts a footnote of history.

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