Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Commies in Beemers

By David J Smith

Related:
Viva Communism Comrade Blade! Viva BMW!
Blade's BMW 730i and the struggle against corruption


If I were to say to you, there is nothing worse than a hypocrite, I would be writing off 99% of the human race. What we say and what we do rarely match up. When Giovanni Boccaccio in 1350 first penned those much quoted words, do as we say, not as we do, he really was tapping into one of the great human truths. We are full of shit!

It is with this in mind that I write this piece.

Dr Blade Nzimande has just got himself a new Beemer. A 7-series nogal. With the leather interior, the low-profile rims and the seat-integrated entertainment system. It is a mighty fine car if you’re a Beemer fan. Personally I’m not. Penile extensions are much better and cheaper these days.

But any man who can afford a Beemer and wants one should be allowed to have one. That is the beauty of having power, of having money. You get to do what you like. The problems only start when your car flies in the face of everything you say you stand for.

Blade’s a commie. But not any old commie, he’s the general secretary of the South African Communist Party. And he’s not like one of these newfangled Chinese communists who are about as communist as Sol Kerzner. No, he’s old school Marxist. Hammers and sickles, class struggles and everything in between. That’s Blade. Even his name seems to suggest the worker revolution.

But the only blade it is invoking today is that of a propeller. The propeller in the logo of the Bavarian Motor Works. Dr Nzimande has got on the gravy plane and flown off into the capitalist heavens. He is riding high on a 4.4 litre fuel-injected engine, the finest German engineering money can buy.

Marx said: From each according to his ability and to each according to his needs. Did he include a BMW 750i in those needs? I’m not sure. I kinda think he meant basic amenities like a house, food, electricity and water. The stuff that most South Africans don’t have. But the state has argued a minister needs a bullet-proof car. After all South Africa isn’t that safe. Especially for a man in a car worth more than a million rand. There’s a fair few of the proletariat out there who wouldn’t hesitate to redistribute that chariot if given the chance. So fair enough, the minister needs protection. But could he not have found a solution that was more suitable to his position as chief red? I think so. Here’s my two cents on the matter. The average soldier in South Africa earns about R2 700 a month. And by all accounts, they sound like they won’t be earning much more than that in the foreseeable future. For R1.1 million, Dr Nzimande could have hired himself six soldiers for the next five years, bought this more modest second-hand 2001 BMW 530d and still had enough change (R8 050) to pick himself up an 16GB iPhone 3Gs. Not only would he be rolling with some bad-ass protection, he’d be supplying six people with a job. Plus he’d have some cool peeps to hang out with on the long drive from his home in the humble working class suburb of Emmarentia to his office in Tshwane. He could even download Das Kapital as an audiobook onto his iPhone and brush up on communism 101.

If this idea doesn’t suit Blade, there is always the more traditional worker’s solution. Do-it-yourself. DIY bullet-proofing. Che Guevara used to get out into the fields and cut cane with his bros. Maybe Blade can do something similar. Get out the toolbox, don the welding mask and pimp his own ride. I had a little squirrel around the web to see what was on offer and I found this handy step-by-step guide to bullet-proofing your own car. If any of Dr Blade’s peeps or his PR posse are reading this, please feel free to forward the link to the good minister.

Some have told us to not judge Blade by the car he drives but rather by the words that come out his mouth. Well, I’ll let you judge him from these. Something he said on Nelson Mandela Day.


” … Nelson Mandela Day must also be a re-affirmation of the values he has come to represent — that of social solidarity, selflessness, dedication, equity and fairness! It is through the consistent inculcation of these values that we can roll back the greed, corruption and selfishness of capitalism.”

Now I don’t know much about being a red. Apart from having a permanent red aura — yes, I’m a ginga. But if it counts for anything my great-grandfather was one of the thousands of workers who marched on London in the great hunger march of 1932. And my dad can still sing The Red Flag. So I have a touch of commie blood in there, somewhere. Enough to be able to tell you that my great-grandfather and his worker mates would have called bullshit on Dr Blade Nzimande. It’s like that other red who we all love to have on a T-shirt once said: If you tremble with indignation at every injustice then you are a comrade of mine.

Well, comrades, it’s time to start trembling. You can reach Blade at vuyiswa@sacp.org.za

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