Wednesday, September 15, 2010

An interesting... elitism

Jack Bloom is a DA member of the Gauteng Legislature. He wrote a rant against Cosatu on politicsweb - his point of view is no great surprise (he is not a Cosatu fan - no one saw that coming) and I am not really here to debate unions vs business because we'll bang on endlessly. You can read the article here.

It's a whole debate that can run forever and we've been doing it for 3 of the last 4 weeks.

However, a tiny section of Mr Bloom's write-up caught my eye. He is quoting Mike Schussler, a noted economist, and says this "He calls the public sector "the new elite" as even cleaners in government get R5000 a month."

Yes, he called people who earn R5000 a month "elite".

To be honest, out here in Mzansi, where blue-collar workers are black and poor and the majority of voters, this chap calls them elite. Those who board buses and taxis every morning from Soweto and townships around the suburbs to hike into rich areas to clean things that we're too lazy to, and may be paid more than the extorted cleaning staff who earn fuckall are elite?!

It has long been noted that there is a communications problem between the DA and poor, black folks (and unemployed folks, to be fully honest), and public statements calling R5000-per-month-cleaning-staff elite is an excellent example thereof.

There is a problem when we're happy that someone is earning R5000 a month, let alone ascribing them something with such positive connotations.

This kind of attitude needs to be dropped for the DA to make any notable headway into the electorate. While calling someone "elite", the DA is, ironically, opening itself up to accusations of being "elitist".

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