Newsletter 5: The lies we tell ourselves

Lies we tell ourselves, accountability, 2020 in a nutshell - Ostrich sticking head in ground

Hellooooo there, just 55 days till 2020 is over!

I’m not sure about you, but I for one shall be astonishingly glad when this year is behind us. Having said that, I am also not so stupid that I really think everything will miraculously come right on 1 January, or that 2021 will not be another hard (and heartbreaking) year for many. However, we all do seem to be spending ridiculous amounts of time deluding ourselves into thinking that, somehow, things will be different next year.

These are the three daftest things I tell myself:

1.     COVID-19 will miraculously disappear on 31 December 2020;
2.     The economy – and especially tourism (I have close friends in that industry) – will instantly revive, as millions of wealthy foreigners return to our shores with even more spending money than in 2019; and
3.     I will NOT say ‘Can you hear me?’ in Zoom meetings.

Perhaps it’s part of being optimistic – or choosing to be – just taken to an extreme that is faintly risible, but there you have it. And I don’t think I’m the only one. What are you holding out for in the closing months of this dramatic year? We all need to hang hope on something these days.

2020 in a Nutshell

Most Asked Questions

When will Corona end?
When will Vaccine be ready?
Can you hear me? Am I audible?
Can you see my screen?
Can you unmute me?

Policing in a time of crisis

Image of the word "accountablility" written out in words, 2020 in a nutshell

We’ve noticed a theme running through much of the work we’ve done for our NGO and research clients over the past few months, around police violence and accountability, specifically during states of disaster and the lockdowns brought about by COVID-19. Last month we spoke about the erosion of our freedoms, including freedom of expression, that has taken place across the globe in 2020. Here we delve deeper into how the law enforcement agencies have exceeded their mandate – and how to hold them accountable when that happens.

One of the many organisations we work with who have not been sticking their heads in the sand in 2020 is the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum, APCOF. The three research reports below reflect on the following themes: how to ensure that police are held accountable for human rights violations; how civil society can assist in setting up structures to make this happen; and how to manage the far-reaching threats and risks – to individuals and to society at large – of weak or ineffective regulation of surveillance operators, be they the security services or private entities. These topics have never been of greater importance, amid the rise of populism and flouting of the rule of law. Click on the covers below to read the reports.

Cover for APCOF RESEARCH 25 Cops Accountable, Lies we tell ourselves     Cover for APCOF Research Paper 28: Promoting effectiveness of South Africa’s NPM, Lies we tell ourselves     Cover for APCOF Research Paper 29: Collateral intrusions: Safeguarding in an age of surveillance, Lies we tell ourselves

Wishing you all a great month, with just enough self-delusion to reman positive through a most divisive US election period, and just enough grit to keep fighting for peaceful discussion, respect for our differences, and upholding of the rule of law.

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