As long as the Tories fail to solve the housing crisis, they will struggle to win

The fall in the number of homeowners leaves the Conservatives unable to sell capitalism to those with no capital.

For the Conservatives, rising home ownership was once a reliable route to government. Former Labour voters still speak of their gratitude to Margaret Thatcher for the Right to Buy scheme. But as home ownership has plummeted, the Tories have struggled to sell capitalism to a generation without capital.

At the 2017 general election, homeowners voted for the Tories over Labour by 55 per cent to 30 per cent (mortgage holders by 43-40). By contrast, private renters backed Labour by 54 per cent to 31 per cent. As long as the latter multiply in number, while the former fall, the Tories will struggle to build a majority-winning coalition.

More at: New Statesman

Senzo Mchunu’s chilling testimony exposes ANC’s killing fields

‘The difference between KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo is that when they resolve problems they use muti. In KwaZulu-Natal you kill’

Senzo Mchunu. Picture: SOWETAN

Senzo Mchunu. Picture: SOWETAN

Councillors’ proximity to tenders, and power, prestige and pay cheques, are promoting political violence in KwaZulu-Natal – and the ANC is at the heart of it.

This was the thrust of explosive testimony by former ANC KwaZulu-Natal chairman and premier Senzo Mchunu at the Moerane Commission in Durban on Wednesday.

More at: RDM

Basic income after the elections in France and the UK | ubie

Two of Europe’s biggest countries, France and the United Kingdom, had elections this year, and both caused the continent hold its breath for a while. The first was anticipated anxiously for quite a while, whereas the second came out of the blue. Dániel Fehér, chair of UBIE, talked to Aurélie Hampel, UBIE board member and basic income activist from France, and Barb Jacobson, former chair of UBIE and coordinator of Basic Income UK about the implications of both elections for the basic income movement in Europe.

Dániel: While all of us were watching anxiously how France would respond to the populist challenge posed by Le Pen, something unexpected happened in the outgoing president’s Socialist Party: The outsider Benoit Hamon won the primaries with an explicit leftist agenda – and basic income. Aurélie, how did this change the perception of this issue in France?

More at: ubie

Analysis: The damage the Zuma Tsunami has wrought | Daily Maverick

The speed at which a tsunami can move is frightening. But what is less dramatic, and sometimes more important, is the speed at which the tsunami pulls out, as its power is sucked away and what has been destroyed is revealed. Tuesday was a day in which we saw some of the devastation that has been wrought. As the power is sucked away from President Jacob Zuma, as the wave that brought him to the highest office in the land withdraws, so we see the stark damage that has been done to the ANC. And to the office of the Public Protector. Unfortunately, in the case of this particular tsunami, it has the potential to cause as much damage during its withdrawal phase as it did when it first broke across our political banks. By STEPHEN GROOTES.

 News editors of the land didn’t know where to start at 10 o’clock on Tuesday morning. A set of legal papers filed by the Reserve Bank had revealed that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane had met the Presidency and the State Security Agency before releasing her finding that the inflation setting mandate of the Bank must be changed. Exhibit A in the papers was a note, purportedly in her own handwriting, made during her meeting with the SSA, in which she posed the question about the Bank, “How are they vulnerable?”. Then, just as the legal reporters were digesting that, the KwaZulu-Natal correspondents were fighting to be the lead with the court ruling that the conference that saw Sihle Zikalala elected leader of the ANC in the province was illegal, and thus null and void.

In so many ways these two issues, taken together, say so much about the last decade of our politics. They are two completely separate developments. One is about economic policy, the other about a provincial conference of the governing party. And yet no one can deny that they are both about Zuma. Mkhwebane was clearly part of a plot to undermine and destabilise the Reserve Bank. After her ruling on the ABSA/Bankcorp bailout (which she then abandoned when challenged by the Bank, Parliament and the National Treasury), there were only two possibilities. That her time as a spy proved the adage that “once a spook always a spook” and she was working for Zuma, or that she was a loon. Now we know that she was working for Zuma. The KZN ANC ruling is also all about Zuma. It is about his determination to cling to power through any means necessary, by breaking the rules of his own party. Zikalala is one of his strongest supporters, it is obvious to everyone how important the province will be in December, and so he was making sure that it was in his grasp.

More at : Daily Maverick

Remembering Biko: Black Consciousness Movement leader’s killers must sit in the dock | Daily Maverick

Forty years after police killed Black Consciousness Movement leader Steve Biko, no one has been prosecuted. That’s despite five officers being denied amnesty by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. As the country commemorates another year since the struggle hero was killed, the inquest into Biko’s death should be reopened. The recent inquest into Ahmed Timol’s death sets an example. By GREG NICOLSON.

 In 2014, auctioneers Westgate Walding tried to sell Steve Biko and Ahmed Timol’s original autopsy documents. Biko’s had a reserve of R70,000 to R100,000. The families of Timol, who was allegedly killed by apartheid police in 1971, and Biko, killed by police in 1977, hired the same pathologist to conduct autopsies. He left his records to his assistant and when she died they ended up with her children. Then Westgate and Walding tried to sell the autopsies, including certificates from pathologists and post-mortem reports.

The auction was interdicted, but the grotesque attempt was symbolic. How can someone so blatantly disrespect South African struggle heroes, who were killed while fighting for freedom, their remaining loved ones, and the country? It’s simple, really: because justice, much like democracy, has never quite arrived and we commemorate the dead without actually honouring them.

More at :  Daily Maverick

Our 9/11 Heroes |

Normally Chris Young wouldn’t have been anywhere near the World Trade Center. But on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, the 33-year-old actor was temping for the Marsh insurance firm and had volunteered to shuttle reports from the company’s midtown office to the 99th floor of 1 World Trade Center. He delivered the reports by 8:40 a.m. and then got back in the elevator for what would turn out to be the longest and scariest ride of his life.

Thousands of feet below, 38-year-old attorney David Draigh was just getting out of a taxi. His metered receipt recorded the time as 8:39 a.m. He then walked through the north tower’s revolving door and headed toward the elevators to go up to his 54th-floor office. Before he could get there, the building shook around him as American Airlines Flight 11 hammered into it. “Next thing I knew, a fireball of debris was headed right at me” says Draigh, who dived for shelter behind a steel planter. As black smoke mushroomed through the lobby, he choked for air and then jumped through the lobby’s blown-out windows. Once outside, he says, “I thought about my mother and my boyfriend, John. I was just glad to be alive.”

Source: Our 9/11 Heroes |

Fashion designer Tom Ford says sleeping with men ‘doesn’t make you gay’ · PinkNews

On Aug. 24, there was an introductory session for delegates to share their personal stories and outreach programs to support their fellow LGBT people. The participants who were from Benin, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Togo told passionate stories of judgment, denial, shame, violence, rape, hatred and pain.

Participants on Aug. 25 focused on developing religious texts aimed at pushing for LGBT rights advancement and acceptance on the continent. As part of events lined up for this diversity event, the first-ever LGBT-specific interfaith worship in West Africa was held with IDNWA Co-chair Davis Mac-Iyalla presiding.

More at: PinkNews

Schools around the country to stamp out LGBT bullying – GOV.UK

Over 1,000 schools this academic year are launching projects to stamp out homophobic, biphobic and transphobic (HBT) bullying in the classroom, the Minister for School Standards and Equalities Nick Gibb confirmed today.

The £3 million initiative led by the Government Equalities Office aims to ensure children are free from being bullied for their sexual orientation or gender identity, as part of the duty all schools have to ensure effective measures are in place to protect pupils from bullying.

The programme will see primary and secondary schools across the country partnered up with organisations such as Stonewall, Barnardo’s and the National Children’s Bureau, to educate young people to accept and respect each other’s individuality in an age-appropriate way.

It is part of the government’s drive to deliver further progress on LGBT equality and to help prepare young people for life in 21st century Britain.

More at : GOV.UK

Scotland to introduce bill to pardon historical gay sex offences · PinkNews

Scotland is set to introduce its own ‘Turing Law’, after England, Scotland and Northern Ireland introduced legislation to pardon historically illegal gay sex offences in January this year.

Previously raised in October, if approved by the Scottish Parliament it would mean that all convicted gay and bisexual men would receive a formal pardon for past convictions for their “crimes”.

The bill will be announced this week, BBC News reports.

The pardon would only apply to men as gay and bisexual women were never legally criminalised.

Source:  PinkNews

President of Chile to introduce same-sex marriage bill in August · PinkNews

Chile could soon become the latest country to introduce same-sex marriage as the country’s president Michelle Bachelet, plans to introduce a bill to legalise it.According to LGBT organisation The Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, the measure will be introduced by Bachelet on 28 August.A lawsuit was filed by the organisation back in 2012 along with the Inter-Amerian Commission on Human Rights on behalf of three same-sex couples.It is unclear whether the bill to introduce same-sex marriage will also include adoption rights.

Source: PinkNews