Brent Meersman
Brent Meersman

How spooky is President Zuma?

Boss, the old apartheid Bureau of State Security, is back, says Laurie Nathan, director of the Centre for Mediation in Africa. A process of ‘Stasi-fication’ is underway, claims DA MP David Maynier. What they are referring to is the proposed Intelligence General Laws Amendment Bill, the latest assault by the executive through the legislature on the democratic freedom of all South Africans, rich and poor.

Alarmist? Maybe. But one should make no apology for asking a few hard questions when dealing with proposals that affect our fundamental rights.

For now let’s dub it the “Stasi Bill”, because it brings into existence an organisation with the same name as the one that existed in East Germany, and it legalises broad powers of interception and surveillance of our telephone conversations, email, and internet communications without a warrant.

The Stasi Bill will bring the Secret Service, National Intelligence Agency, the Office of Interception Services among several others – under one Big Brother bureau. In 2009, this single department, the State Security Agency, was established by Presidential Proclamation (probably unlawfully).

As I wrote here a month ago, it is damaging that the debate around the Secrecy Bill has become couched in the public mind as a battle between the media and a majority government. It is much more than that.

The Secrecy Bill and the Stasi Bill form part of the same revision process ordered by the president and pushed by the intelligence community. The express purpose of the Secrecy Bill is to make for iron-clad classification of the activities of the State Security Agency. Together they will create a security state within the state.

These development need to be seen in context.

Jacob Zuma was for years head of intelligence in the ANC. We must assume he knows what he wants out of this process. His closest confidants have been spooks in one guise or another: Mac Maharaj, Moe Shaik et al.

Zuma has been the target of attempts to abuse the intelligence services for political gain (the infamous Browse Mole Report, the hoax emails, the Zuma spy tapes, Billy Masethle’s firing etcetera).

Subsequently, Zuma himself has been accused (by Athol Trollip of the DA) of using the intelligence services for political surveillance.

Our security establishment is certainly populated with colourful and shady figures. In 2003 there was the so-called sensational “Bheki Jacobs” dossier (it led to his arrest). That dossier would have had us believe ‘Operation Vula’ was still going and that Mbeki would be deposed and replaced with Jacob Zuma and his co-conspirator Mac Maharaj. Clearly, as time has shown, this was nonsense.

Conflicts within the intelligence services arising from different political agendas are therefore an irrefutable reality. Amalgamation will not solve that problem; all it means is there is to be just one agenda, and the man in charge will set that agenda.

After the horror show of apartheid our state intelligence community was “reformed”. But recidivism among spooks is high. Do our intelligence operatives finally embrace the spirit of the Constitution? Has our President for that matter – with his very different intelligence roots – embraced it?

Both the apartheid securocrats and the intelligence agents of the liberation movement operated in a highly secretive ethos very different from the democratic intelligence service we now wish to establish.

It is discouraging then when senior politicians have this nasty habit of make-believe, seeing “bloody agents” and “foreign spies” among civil society; while our officials are two-thirds of the time unable to tell state from party. The ruling party would do well to humbly remind itself of its many intelligence failures historically, and its overzealous internal security department that still has things to answer for.

What will stop operatives interpreting their mandate as they see fit? When accountability is so low in almost every government department, how can we be assured state security will be an exception?

Times have definitely changed. Our Ministry of State Security no longer exists to strike fear into the hearts of the public. It even has a Facebook page (‘Liked’ by only 50 people) and a Twitter account (you can follow their rather wry interactions with Maynier). This is to be encouraged. A new democratic culture of intelligence has still to take root. But the Stasi and Secrecy Bills could strangle that process.

That our intelligence service has in the past decade leaked like a sieve and is not widely considered to be very effective is a real concern if we accept that our national security is under threat. But what is the threat? Is it Tibetan separatists? Industrial spy rings? Crime syndicates? The Landless People’s Movement? Political dissent?

Or is it – to use that dreadfully vague, ideologically loaded word from our past and the USA’s present (which in my view we should not have imported into our legislation) – “terrorists”?

You would know if NIP, the list of National Intelligence Priorities approved annually by Cabinet, wasn’t classified.

A member of the parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (JSCI) murmured darkly to me that there are malevolent forces at work in the Republic. Listening to him you would have thought the JSCI were the ‘Men in Black’ allowing us lowly citizens to happily get on with our lives oblivious to the flying saucers invading from outer space.

If such threats exist, what evidence is there? Are these clear and present dangers or just the amorphous imaginings of securocrats? The government must take us into its confidence. It should keep us informed. Even the CIA manages that without jeopardising their operations.

Are these two bills intended to bring our intelligence agencies to proper order, or is it about bringing them to political heel? What does “protecting the state” mean when politicians and state bureaucrats do and can use state power to serve their interests against their opposition or rival factions?

Do these bills promote a new intelligence culture or are we backsliding? Constitutional Law Professor Pierre de Vos points to the fact that the bills ignore some of the Johannesburg Principles on National Security, Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, and do not take sufficient cognisance of the recommendations of the “Matthews Commission” formed under former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils. The latter found that our intelligence services often do not obey the law, and that they repeatedly breach the constraints and guidance of the Constitution.

Then there is the security budget. It too is classified and that is no small matter. It was precisely this kind of classified funding that allowed the most egregious (and illegal even under apartheid law) violations to happen. Both the Treasury and the Auditor-General finds it hard to see how classification is justified.

The only ostensible oversight is from the JSCI’s perusal. And those minutes too are classified.

In a living democracy each and every secret should be robustly justified. Are we instead setting off down the same road of current international bad practice that we witness happening in Western democracies around the world? Why should we think South African securocrats would behave any less badly given such laws?

That our state security is on a roll was in evidence this week at the arrangements around the State of the Nation address in parliament. Even pedestrians were banned. We the people we not invited to the opening of our parliament. Prince Buthelezi, in one of his moments of clarity, complained that the “extreme”, “unnecessarily tight security measures” was proof enough that “the securocrats have taken over”. There were even snipers on the roofs.

Such is the nature of any security bureaucracy once set in motion; it develops a life of its own, ever more perfected, increasingly impregnable and secret. As its methods are refined and its abilities become more exhaustive, it transforms into something quite different from what was initially envisaged. As perceived or actual enemies are uncovered, it expands its definition of what constitutes a threat. Success breeds suspicion. In the end, comes a mindless tyranny over which even its creators lose control – Vlakplaas, Guatanamo Bay, the Stasi.

Far-fetched? We have already deported at least one individual to extraordinary rendition. Do our agencies see international co-operation as more important than protecting our constitutional rights?

Paranoid? Of course, but I’d be less paranoid if I knew this legislation was more tightly drafted in line with the Johannesburg Principles and the 2008 Ministerial Review Commission on Intelligence (for openers); if I knew it was free of executive agendas.

We must hope our Constitutional Court will help us find the balance between democracy and secrecy. But there is enough here to unsettle one, not least the slippage between law and practice. When it comes to the activities of a secret police, as with the classification of state information, society needs to be extremely vigilant and everything that can be done to counter potential abuse now or in a future dispensation should be done.

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    • benzo

      You say: “We must hope our Constitutional Court will help us find the balance between democracy and secrecy. ”

      News24 -today- reports: Johannesburg – President Jacob Zuma wants to review the Constitutional Court’s powers, according to a report on Monday.

      There has already been enough fiddling around the judiciary to become afraid….very afraid.

    • Tofolux

      @Brent, I am disapointed at your lack of contextual interrogation. I dunno if I am in lacking in cognition at this point but really David Maynier, cmon now.
      Brent, lets look at this objectively. We seem to have become embroiled in a symphony of fear politics since 1949. I am wondering if these chains that has a firm grip on our minds, will ever be broken. Please tell me it will happen.
      Now, I dont think there has been any govt in the history of this country who has experienced this amount of interrogation into its politics or its policies. I also dont think there has been any govt in this history of this country who has enjoyed such robust civil interation. At least that hard fought for right that is enshrined in the very constitution that this very ruling party fought for, protects us. Now where is the point of departure and why are we hell bent on ”exposing” this liberation party for ‘actions” which we consistently fail to provide any proof or evidence thereof. It is mind-boggling to accuse a liberation movement, the very one who died at the alter for your rights, of rightwing antics. To crown it all, the very watchers who watch this govt has NO experience in covert or overt actions and yet will alarmingly ”cry wolf” at every turn. It is sad to realise that maybe our expectations from you was huge. Expectations to fight for the same ideals and principals. I dont think that this alarmists actions help or add any value. What is your value to new SA?

    • Siobhan

      Excellent analysis. Spot on defining of the crux of the problem.

      Would that there was someone in the office of the president who exhibited such appreciation of the constitutional crisis that the ANC is steadily building toward. And all to protect the interests of those who do not grasp the implications of what they are doing beyond the immediate effect of insulating them from prosecution. Any law can be abused but those that deliberately violate democratic principles can do the most damage and come back to haunt the very people who insisted on instituting them. God help anyone who crosses Zuma or his minions if access to information is cut-off and a security state takes over the country again. Absolute obedience will be demanded and Zuma may yet be proven to harbour a hidden agenda that would make him president for life…

    • Brent Meersman

      I read all comments and will reply so do come back to check.

      #Tofolux I think you should re-read. I have been pretty fair and measured; taking into account the predicatable objections of alarmist, paranoia etc.

      1. You shouldn’t knee jerk against Maynier just because he is DA. Laurie Nathan made a much more severe statement. So has Seven Friedman on this issue.

      2. Sorry to tell you, but you are quite incorrect to say the watchers who watch have NO experience in covert operations. Furthemore the sources on how our intelligence networks are measuring up are mostly from our intelligence services. I’ll leave it at that.

      3. I assure you I did not write this article because the ANC is in power. I’d write this in whatever country I was in if I felt its democratic culture was being stifled not nurtured. I am horrified at the Obama state entrenching the Bush military security complex (a threat to freedoms across the world) and the surveillance big brother state now in operation in the UK.

      4. The real fear mongerers are not the like of me, but in fact the securocrats who are the fear mongerers trying to frighten us into these laws.

      5. Proof, evidence – There is tons of it. How many more scandals do you need?

      6. As you say: “I dont think there has been any govt in the history of this country who has experienced this amount of interrogation into its politics or its policies” – Quite right. Exactly true. It is called democracy. Why don’t we both try and keep it…

    • Lennon

      @Tofolux: “Now, I dont think there has been any govt in the history of this country who has experienced this amount of interrogation into its politics or its policies.”

      That’s probably because no other government in the history of this country operated under a constitution which was written to prevent any future government from oppressing the citizens as previous governments did.

    • benzo

      Dictators come to power using “dictatorial creep”.

      throw a frog in boiling water and he jumps out immediately, throw him in cold water and bring it slowly to the boil, he will die with a smile on his face.

      Dictators use similar tactics. One morning you wake up and it is a done deal.
      Someone reminded me of the Africans culture where one obeys the chief. This culture lies at the roots of many of the African governments.

    • MLH

      The SS is with us…here and now.

    • Kwame

      I think this article is riddled with imagination, speculation and rethoric. It assumes that the public has no clear understanding about the role of intelligence, its history and its challenges. More so it casts suspicion and cloud on every item of government, as if to say things can only go right when Mr ‘know it all’ is in town.

      Well, for starters the role of intelligence is constitutionally bound, and as such has been transformed to a civillian intelligence body with a chapter 9 institution and parliament oversight. More so, the so called ‘secrecy bill’ is proposing a further oversight body to have access to ALL classified documents. Further more, our intelligence bodies have no executive powers to interfere in the daily lives of civilians, only the police and the army in their specific roles are allowed to have search warrants, powers to arrest etc.

      Coming to the idea of a ‘Stasi-bill’, out of all the things that Brent could ponder on, he forgets a simple notion of ‘effeciencies’ within our administration. As it happens, many of our departments have been called on by our treasury to meet deadlines on how to trim their budgets and limit duplication of functions, conduct skills audits, limit the wage bill etc. In the case of Intelligence, such measures gave birth to the state security agency.

      Now, perhaps Brent has a point that the implementation of the strategy is a bit messy, but please give us the benefit of mind and spare us the speculation of a spy…

    • robert mcgrath

      Dear Kwame, I take it that you jest when you say “and parliament oversight.”

    • Brent Meersman

      Kwame # Thank you for reading and responding.

      I’m afraid generally the public has little clarity on the role of intelligence, its history and its challenges.

      When you say the article “casts suspicion and cloud on EVERY item of government” (my emphasis), aren’t you employing a bit of rhetoric yourself?

      When you say “the role of intelligence is constitutionally bound” – it is true, but there is a ton of evidence from government’s own commission that they often don’t abide by this. Surely this must stem from an untransformed culture in the service?

      You point to the good work done by the treasury: “As it happens, many of our departments have been called on by our treasury to meet deadlines” etc etc But our intelligence agencies are exempt from this.

      I want to share your optimism. The proof will be in how this bill is dealt with on its journey through parliament. If our agencies are as transformed as you claim, then we will have less to worry about.

      From the way you use “our” and “us”, am I wrong to assume you are working for government?

      I still find it odd how few people are prepared to use their full real names in comments, while we Thought Leader bloggers stand and fall by our words openly.
      It’s not exactly like we live in Syria or China, where “free” speech requires anonymity. We live in a democracy. What are people afraid of?

    • The Visitors

      Brent – you note “It’s not exactly like we live in Syria or China, where “free” speech requires anonymity. We live in a democracy. What are people afraid of? ” I like the word EXACTLY. No, it’s not like we live in Syria or China. But we sure don’t live in a normal democracy either. People are very well aware that we live in a Party State – not a normalm Western style democracy. By the way, I am always impressed by your bravery and your intellect. You strike me as one of our few heroes – although you would probably be embarrassed to own the label.

    • Tofolux

      @Brent, I am still not convinced even about David Maynier not because he is frm DA but simply because their security practises in the COCT leaves much to be desired. I mean passing a law that dictates how many times a dog barks(!). And he condones this! But lets stick to the subject. Cybersecurity also goes with security of classified networks. We cannot begin from a premise that say there is no malicious intent from any citizen. And we cannot begin from a premise that says that no person enjoys constitutional protection in terms of their privacy and rights. We begin from a premise that there is growing danger from cyber threats and are we adequately prepared to identify malicious activity. Now cyber security does not just involve citizenry it involves, govt depts, private sector, economic activity and strategic investments, etc etc. So in this global world, Brent, what are the digital challenges? Personally I believe that we need increased security of classified networks. here i am reminded of the postnet robbery of 42 mill. I believe that cutting edge research is not enough. Simply because we have seen many cases of unauthorised users gleaning information from protected sites. So how do we argue that real time detection and inspection is a must and how do you provide correlation of data? I think that the new bill houses the necessary privacy protections into the operations. What then, is yr alternative to cyber threats?

    • peter nel

      I share your paranoia and your uneasy feeling Brent. The fact of the matter is that governments across the world are becoming more and more unable to cope with the situations in which they find themselves with regard to the “control” that they need in order to function. The USA has been aware of this since their inception and are fully able to grasp this need to ” control “, hence the establishment and continued enforcement of the “police state”, the forerunner of “the new world order”. Those who fail to recognize and accept this intention to ” control ” need medication or better still a brain scan. All the leaders of the so-called free world are following the same prescription of the “elites” and the truth is that the enslavement of the plebiscites is intended. Unfortunately there are only two alternatives: either to accept or to reject these dictators and the choice remains ours to make. There is ultimately no difference between Zuma and Obama, they are on the same page, dictated to by those in control who remain totally unconcerned with the opinions of the masses, whom they consider to be dispensable. If they require to obliterate and annihilate all those who oppose them, they will. Bet on it, prepare for the mayhem ahead which is not too far away at all.

    • Havelock Vetinari


      You may or may not be correct about “fear politics”, but you need to look at the effects of the writing, not the paranoia, to determine whether it’s harmful or not. The intention here is unambiguously to encourage policy that maintains freedom and discourage policy that provides tools to limit freedom. If that’s paranoia, bring it on.

      Also, it may or may not be a stretch to see concerted assault on freedom, linking the Secrecy Bill and the Intelligence Bill, but the absence of planning in the action does nothing to negate the potential combined effects of the bills. If your car accidentally loses a wheel on a bridge that coincidentally lost its guard rail to a freak flood, it doesn’t help your chances of survival that accident and coincidence are involved.

    • Tofolux

      @Havelock, it is opportunistic to argue in an alarmist fashion on bills, details of which you isolate to create unnecessary tensions. Have you interrogated these bills? And how did you unpack the nitty gritty’s. You cannot debate a bill which you half-understabld and then argue about these without taking constitutional impact into account. For goodness sake, generalisations and fear politics is just outdated and old fashion. Lets talk about cybersecurity and please guys, what is the alternative that you are proposing to these bills? You obviousl have suggestions that seeks to improve on the weaknesses of these bills. Put it on the table and lets engage!

    • Brent Meersman


      Nothing in what I have written says we shouldn’t prepare for cyber attacks or internet fraud.We don’t even know if cyber protection is on NIP? As a citizen I’d like to know.

      The article is not about proposing alternative counterintelligence methods. It is about our intelligence culture in a democracy.

      Just as an aside. Securocrat congressmen in the USA a little while ago went on about how cyber attacks could devastate the USA. They said the Hoover dam could be opened for instance. They used this as an example to call for all kinds of new controls over the internet. The media amplified this potential catastrophe. Until someone at the Hoover dam pointed out that their computers have no internet connections at all. That is the kind of fear-mongering we need to guard against.

    • Paul Whelan

      Reasoned views like this test people’s loyalties, as they would anywhere of course, and loyalties will outweigh reasoning any day. More to the point, though, loyalty only means pro or con the ANC. In SA there is still almost no notion of legitimate opposition, no belief that any position outside that of ‘the ruling party’ can be respectable.

      This is the greatest ill of the party-state. Issues cannot be seen in other terms because there is no tradition of liberal govt. and the liberal values that must underlie such govt. have not rooted and grown.

      One of those values is a deep distrust of power. Tofolux (for example only) finds it mind-boggling to accuse a liberation movement of right wing antics. But a few want to know what guarantees liberation parties (or liberation individuals) will not abuse power. This suggests that ANC politicians possess a morality all others lack. Is that a safe bet? And even if it is, there will always be those who won’t think so.

      Even Brent self-deprecatingly accuses himself of paranoia at the end: To which the old joke answers:

      Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean everyone’s not out to get me.

    • Tofolux

      @ Brent you remind me of my aunti who constantly moves the goalposts in her arguments. Now you are really moving the goalposts.
      Lets recap, you are talking about, interception, surveillance, internet, classification of activities, bringing intelligince agencies to order and security. You are also asking the question about political agendas, bring to heel, one bureau and some other generalisations.
      Now lets be practical. We have the example of two months ago of a major robbery of R42mill from SOE. And the question needs to be asked, how did this happen. And if this happened, what other “secured site” is at risk. Now we have no idea of the cyber activity that is happening, hence my overt and covert remark. And i will contend that no single individual or lets say the digital workforce with its limited digitail literacy comprehends the type or amount of data that flows through classsified networks. Now what are the threats? and how do you identify malicious activity?
      Surely a single network would make sense doesnt it?
      Surely you would want protection from intrusions?
      How would you propose that detection, identification and inspection be done ie in real time.
      Brent, this debate is bigger that what you are putting on the table, And I am saying that there is limited interrogation here.
      In addition, noting that there is critiscm, then surely a viable alternative has been considered. What then is that alternative?

    • The Creator

      OK, firstly, calling this bill the “Stasi Bill” is really dumb. What is proposed is a combination of two secret services which already exist, namely the NIA which spies on South Africans and the SASS which spies on foreigners. No big deal change there.

      Is Bheki Jacobs’ accurate prediction of what was going to happen — that the spy services would be enlisted to overthrow Thabo Mbeki and install Jacob Zuma in the Presidency — being denied ironically, or does Mr. Meersman really deny that this is what happened? (Of course it wasn’t only the spy services — but the spy services were crucial to the defeating of the ends of justice which the judiciary and NPA conducted in order to save Zuma from going to prison.)

      Obviously, the spy services need to be monitored. On the other hand, the government ought to be able to monitor espionage in South Africa as well as anyone who wants to overthrow or transform the state by violence. You can’t actually do that out in the open and pretending that you can means that you don’t want it to be done in the first place. So basically, Mr. Meersman has a valid point in that the spy services are too opaque — but basically Zuma’s whole general activity is directed towards opacity and dishonesty.

      I’m more worried about the government’s corporate connections than its spy services. The corporate connections are just as secretive, but they aren’t monitored by anybody.

    • Sarah Britten

      I visited Berlin last October and there’s nothing quite like seeing those bottles of cloth impregnated with scent and saved if dogs were needed to track down an escapee. We’re seeing a lot of noises about the constitution this month, all of which boil down to undermining its authority. This is why the We The People campaign from Media Monitoring Africa is so important. We’re asking South Africans to make a public declaration to the world why they love the constitution as an important symbolic act (which I’ll explain in another blog). The more public the support for the constitution across a broad cross-section of society, the more difficult it is to undermine it. We might not be able to stop interference with the constitution, but we can certainly draw the attention ordinary of South Africans to any Stasi-fication. This is a chance for South Africans to display something other than their usual apathy when it comes to somewhat arcane matters as these. So I am asking anyone who is concerned by what they read here to please support our campaign (click on the link) and get everyone they know to do the same.

      We need to send a clear message to the world, and to each other. Thank you.

    • Brent Meersman

      @ The Creator – Thanks for the read and comment.

      You are quite right, corporate connections are a big worry. Apparently they are monitored – BillyMasethle has said as much.

      How effectively and to whose benefit we don’t know. I keep coming back to: when the services spy on South Africans is it to uphold the country or is it to uphold the ruling party or a faction in charge of the party? If our agencies think these are synonymous – and there is evidence to suggest some of them and some of their bosses do – then surely we have a problem.

      The seperation of the intelligence services into two was the advice of the 1995 white paper to transform the agencies out of the apatheid mould. It IS a big deal change. A lot of thought went into why it was better to have two.

      As for secrecy, this is essential if a legitimate operation would fail otherwise. Though, as with the USA diplomatic cables, we see often far too much secrecy, harmful secrecy, with no operational justifications.

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy

      What Priests and Politicians don’t like is PEOPLE talking to PEOPLE and cutting out their “leaders” version of the facts.

      The first Internet change of government was not the Arab spring but in Spain. Remember the March 11 train bombings a few days before the Spanish General election?

      The government kept telling the people it was Basque Seperatists. Then even got the UN General Assembly to pass a resolution condemning them as terrorists or genocidists.

      Then the information came out that it was Muslim fundamentalists, trained by an Iman in a Saudi built new mosque.

      The Spanish were furious, all smsed each other and their whole sms base, and the government was voted out.

      (Ref: ” Ghosts of Spain ” by Giles Tremlett)

    • citoyen

      Brent – I agree with your concern about where the Obama admin is headed.

      Did any South Africans notice that Barack ‘Nobel Peace Prize’ Obama signed the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) in Honolulu on Dec 31, while Americans were otherwise occupied with their Pina Coladas? They didn’t notice their ‘cool’ president had just signed in the law that was so hated and abused in apartheid South Africa?

      The NDAA allows for ‘indefinite detention without trial or due process”. It is, effectively, military law dressed in civilian clothes.

      Obama has also arrogated to the Presidency the right to assassinate ‘enemies of the state’ without due process – anywhere on the globe.

      The Nobel Peace Prize Winner has also broken his election promise to ‘close down Guantanamo Bay’ and extended the Predator Drone wars.
      American kids sit in air-conditioned military bases in the US – controlling deadly Predator Drones by joysticks, screens and webcams – picking off ‘the evil innimy’ by remote control ike so figures in a video game. Obama has now opened two Drone bases in Africa.

      Please support the call to award the Nobel Peace Prize this year to a man who has not facilitated any illegal wars in oil-rich nations.

      Indeed Bradley Manning’s ‘crime’ is to whistle-blow war crimes, in the name of transparency and the democratic free flow of information.

      Please sign petition for Bradley Manning to Nobel Peace Committee!

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy

      It looks, in my opinion, that we could have a repeat of the Spanish experience. Some Iranian “terrorists” have blown themselves up. They know they are Iranian because they have Iranian passports.

      Excuse me being sceptical about the efficiency of terrorists who blow themselves up and not other people, and who carry their own country’s passports!

      From what I have read the real terrorists favour Belgium passports as the most easy to forge.

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy


      I would not trust any American intelligence at the moment – not on Iran, not on economics, not the American Rating Agencies, not even Warren Buffet on the gold price.

      The world economic crisis was caused by the world going off gold as a standard and onto the dollar!

      And the only way to solve the Greek crisis is for Greece to return to the dragsma.

      Which is also why I don’t trust American rating agencies on Britain, which had the sense to keep the pound.