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Culture, Reality

Dear Mr Griffin

by Wian Van Den Berg / 11.06.2013

Howzit Nick,

On Sunday afternoon I sat on my porch with my feet up, smoking a pipe and reading the newspaper, while keeping a close eye on my cattle herding near the farmhouse. You see, we’ve got a huge problem over here with poaching at the moment. Those guys will shoot anything with a horn these days.

But let me tell you, the moment I read what you said on twitter about President Mandela, I almost broke my bloody neck. The shock of it threw me backwards over my chair and before I knew it I smacked my head against the stoep tiles, rolling around screaming on the floor, trying to scratch spilled ash out of my eyes.

I’m still holding yesterday’s bag of frozen peas to my head as I quote your every word:

“Saint #nelsonmandela on last legs it seems. Make sure to avoid BBC when the murdering old terrorist croaks. It’ll be nauseating.”


“Statesmen’ must be judged on results not rhetoric. Before Mandela, South Africa was safe economic powerhouse. Now crime ridden basket case.”


“No surprise #Mandela’s lungs are shot – all those burning tyres. Smoking necklaces very bad for the health.”

Now don’t worry Nick, I’m not writing to claim compensation… Sorry, I didn’t even ask. Can I call you Nick? Or do you prefer Mister Griffin?

Mister Griffin, Mister Griffin, Mister Grif…

No, you know what?

The more I say it, the more you sound like one of those cartoon villains from back in the day. You know; the ones that always dreamt of sad barren lands without Gummy Bears and Smurfs to colour it all in. And I’m sure, like the rest of us, you don’t really want to be pictured as a villain, do you?

No, you actually remind me more of the stud bull I bought the other day. I haven’t given him a name yet. But come to think of it… I might call him Nick from now on. He’s a big boy, a huge Red Angus bull in his prime. You should see him. The thickest red neck with the biggest nut-sack I’ve ever seen. When he walks through the field, he knocks over anthills with it as he swings by. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not his nut-sack that reminds of me you, bloody hell that’s the last thing I ever want to see. I mean, I once overheard you had both of yours removed just to be that one step further over the edge than the Fuhrer. Is that true?

Griffin Twitter

Anyway, I’m sure as you may already know, coming from England, that there are only two kinds of Aberdeen Angus cattle that originated in Scotland and like the rest of the farmers around the world, we also refer to them as Red and Black Angus.

And that’s the problem. For some reason my bull – I mean, Nick – refuses to herd with Black Angus. He stands there every day, in a lonely corner of the field, bordered by a shallow stream, feeling sorry for himself, stampeding if any one dares to try and get close to him. But that’s all going to change as soon as my left eye can start seeing again, because like you, all he needs is just a new spin to his tale as you MP’s like to call it. However, his will involve more of a shock culture treatment than anything else, a gentle nudge in the herd’s direction, and I think my electric cattle prod might come in handy as well. Nick, don’t worry, that’s not what I have in mind for you. But those tweets you wrote on Saturday did fly faster than a Gupta police escort does to Sun City, so I think a wiser man than me would also suggest a long holiday, unless you really prefer to bask in the glory of your 1.9% of the British vote.

By now, I can imagine, you’re asking yourself; who the hell is this South African telling me what to do? What does he know about British politics?

But let me tell you, during the two years I spent in London on a working holiday visa, I picked up a few things… about your politics. Ja, I know how you feel about Britain’s migrant workers. But it’s nice to travel sometimes, to see other cultures and countries from time to time. Even if it means getting crammed into a tube train like cows on a cattle truck at 7 in the morning, standing in queues, working and chewing your way through 9-5 bullshit wherever you are, only to end up being milked raisin dry by the taxman because they have to fix the shit that your supporters broke during yet another one of the BNP’s beer fuelled balaclava tantrums, or protests as the media has to politically correct it. Other than that, you should try it sometime, maybe come to South Africa first. I’m sure you’ll still be more than welcome, even after what you said about Madiba. That is after all one of the biggest lessons he taught us… to forgive.

But don’t buy a Vuvuzela at the airport; a poacher might think it’s a horn when you go on safari.

My point is, some people fall in love with countries and end up staying, some have no choice in the matter, and others leave but still like to follow its progress. For instance; the British General Election, I watched the whole thing on BBC News here in South Africa, every endless speech on the campaign trail until David Cameron and Nick Clegg walked down the aisle in the end. You see, now there’s an example of a “Nick” who had the right spin at the right time. But I think the day their Coalition Party moved into Number 10, Mister Cameron shoved a cattle prod so far up Nick’s arse that all Dave has to do now is pretend to press the prodder’s button and the Lib Dems immediately vote like Conservatives. I think that’s why David does that funny thing with his thumbs when he talks, you know during speeches and debates in your parliament? It’s like he keeps locking and unlocking his car door with an invisible remote car key.

Anyway, speaking of David Cameron, that’s where I think you should focus your new political spin, your new public persona. Everyone knows that if you can undermine your current leader with charisma, you are as good as elected the next time the ballot or your own personal mob swings by.

Now, your supporters already tick all the boxes needed to start a mob, even though most of them are staggering around half of the time. Just keep them bunched up together, no one will notice. But may I suggest you tweak your flag colours a bit. It needs a lot more red with some black and white in the middle, you know, the standard stuff.

Another thing is suits. Stop wearing suits. You should all stand out from the crowd. Rather start wearing khaki outfits and mix it up with camouflage or even light brown track suits will do. And then there’s you, Nick… Nick the Great Commander.

Firstly, can you ride a horse? You’re going to need a big shiny black one. I know it’s not your favourite colour, but a black cavalry horse is the essence of charisma and power. Your men will follow that horse with red swollen noses, chanting songs in between hick ups, fearlessly stepping into horseshit with their bright white sneakers. But keep a close eye on it, because when times get tough on the road, and they will, your horse might end up in a lasagne or a burger patty. Also, find yourself a decent leather hat and start growing a beard. But only trim it when it begins tangle into your chest hair amongst the unbuttoned collar of your short sleeve shirt.

And finally, you can never under estimate the value of a pair of well stitched khaki shorts. People fall off of their horse’s backs at the most unexpected times. Wear them as often as you can, even in the snow. Your men will respect you for it. Your legs might chafe a bit at first, but you’ll get used to it, and at least the last thing you would have to worry about; is freezing your nuts off.



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