The new world is the place to be

26 November 2010

Hi guys,
What a year! Feels like I’ve been in an old SpeedQueen tumble-dryer. I’m dry, but at some point it seemed the machine was going to blow up…

Started the year with some lows, (the Sunday Times stuff was so much fun!), had a life-changing experience in the States in March, decided to start new venture on 1 April (some would say an inauspicious date, I say bollocks to you), went into the Soccer World Cup thinking we were going to fail and Bafana wouldn’t score a goal, totally rocked the world with our performance off and on the pitch (Tshabalala you beauty), felt cheated by those damn Uruguayans (oh sweet BaGhana BaGhana), were vindicated by the Spaniards (the good guys always win in the end), patted ourselves on the back for job well done, immediately started bemoaning the post-World Cup hangover and white elephant stadiums, sat quietly in corner whilst half of Europe went bankrupt (everyone is a German now), welcomed three of the biggest companies in the world to  sunny SA (Wal-Mart, NTT DoCoMo, Vodafone), and watched in disbelief as interest rates hit a 36-year low and the Reserve Bank announced a strategy of weakening the Rand.

Weakening the Rand? Who would have said we would be trying to weaken the Rand in 2010?

Feels like I’m Alice and the Mad Hatter just spiked my drink.

It was a tough year! Personally, I almost ran out of money (point forward: don’t run out of money.) The USA and UK are a mess. The UK is retrenching 25% of public sector. That is one out of every four jobs in government!

The USA is bankrupt with unemployment at a 65-year high. The yanks are addicted to debt, and like a heroine addict they think the cure is one more massive shot of heroine. You think Julius is a political problem? The USA is considering the presidency of a woman who said, “I can see Russia from my doorstep.” She lives in Alaska.  Or used to, until she launched her reality show and pointed out that, “We gotta stand with our North Korean allies.” Mmm, alrighty then.

China is going ballistic (although I’d rather eat plankton that live there), India is going ballistic, Brazil is going ballistic, and Africa is finally taking a break from genocide and war. Touch wood.
We’ve got some big challenges, but, as always, we’re confounding the critics. Thank the big guy upstairs you didn’t pack your bags in 1994, 1999, 2002, or 2008!

The biggest advantage we have is that most South Africans don’t remember having it easy. There are families in the UK where 3 generations have been on welfare. The whole of France strikes because the government tries to raise retirement age from 60 to 62.

The majority of people in these countries think the world owes them something. “Its unfair to be expected to work hard, the government must look after me.”

The majority of people in our country (with some notable exceptions J) know that the world came first. It owes us nothing.  That’s our edge. The hunger to get ahead.

The new world, our world, is the place to be.

Cheers,
Alan