Deon Opperman

Deon Opperman
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Friday, 13 June 2014


In April 2013 I wrote a short essay entitled Why people who are usually sane are buying bitcoin. At that time the price of a bitcoin was hovering at around $100.  Since I wrote that piece, bitcoin has had a roller-coaster ride that has not been for the faint-hearted.  Some highlights include:

  • A price surge (thanks to Chinese manic buying)  to just over $1000, only to fall back to $400 before settling in the $500s for quite some time.  Volatility continues, but nothing as violent as this one was (yet) . 
  •  The largest bitcoin exchange, MtGox, turned out to be a poorly managed enterprise, if not downright fraudulent. It's collapse cost bitcoin investors millions.
  • The Chinese government went from allowing the promotion of bitcoin on national media, to the prohibition of bitcoin trading for any banks in China, which caused the massive plunge from $1000 to $400. 
  • Prominent figures of the bitcoin community were charged with illegal activities, some of which resulted in resignations from the newly formed Bitcoin Foundation board. 
  • High-profile prosecution of the (in)famous Silk Road website owner and the confiscation by the US government of his large cache of bitcoins.
  • An almost non-stop barrage of vilification by the main stream media of bitcoin and all things Bitcoin, particularly with reference to narcotics, money-laundering and other illicit dealings.
  • Chronic uncertainty regarding state regulation of the bitcoin currency, particularly in the USA.

And yet, despite all this battering and bashing, bitcoin has simply chugged on, like the little train that could.  


Well, first of all, disregarding the bitcoin cryptocurrency itself, it has become clear that the Bitcoin protocol as created by Satoshi Nakamoto, is a robust protocol with vast potential for many other applications other than a cryptocurrency.  Consequently Bitcoin has seen substantial (and growing) investment from VC companies ever vigilant to catch a ride on the next big thing.  Like candy floss around a stick, more and more clever minds (technical) and greedy hearts (capital) have gathered around the Bitcoin stick.  It is now clear that the Bitcoin protocol is at the heart of a bifurcation that is fundamentally changing the way we think about money, banking, contracts and even personal freedom.

Second, I would argue that during the course of the year since last April it has become more clear to more people around the globe that the world economy indeed  is in deep trouble, despite the economic “growth and recovery” propaganda pumped out daily by central banks and governments.  The Sword of Damocles hanging over fiat currencies’ heads is plain for all to see. It is becoming harder and harder to pull the wool over citizens’ eyes. 

So you have bitcoin surviving all measure of scandal and assault as well as seeing an increase in its credibility precisely because it has survived AND endorsed by Wall Street capital on the one hand, and on the other hand you have the growing realisation by more and more people that the probability of a worldwide economic meltdown is high and growing higher every day.

In short:  faith in bitcoin has increased over the last year while faith in the world economy and fiat currencies has diminished.

Therefore, it seems to me at this point in the parade, where the custodians of our economic system appear to have gone insane, that, unlike it may have seemed to Joe Smith a year ago, having some bitcoin in your portfolio is one of the more sane things you can do to increase your chances of survival when that sword comes down.

Saturday, 25 May 2013


Let me make it very clear:  I am an avid supporter of cryptocurrencies, of which Bitcoin is arguably the most dominant at present.  I own bitcoins, and consider every retreat or crash in the bitcoin price as a buying opportunity.  I do not speculate. I buy and hold for the long term.  I encourage my friends and colleagues to buy bitcoin and take the time to explain to them how it works (not easy when dealing with a non-tech friend).   I am, as they say, “in it for the ride”.

That said, I also warn my friends that we are in uncharted territory here.  And as any pioneer will tell you, uncharted territory is fraught with danger.

Bitcoin supporters frequently point out that the great flaw in fiat currencies is precisely the word “fiat”.  A fiat currency is a currency that has no intrinsic value.  It has value because a government says it does, i.e. the government has issued a fiat declaring it to be so, and then, when the citizens accept the government’s fiat (which they usually do having little or no alternative), the currency becomes legal tender.  Given the questionable integrity of governments one must rightfully have grave concerns about the reliability of such a currency.

Furthermore, because governments and/or their central banks control the fiat currency, they can inflate or deflate that currency’s value at will, by either reducing or increasing how much of that fiat currency is in circulation, either by withdrawing some from circulation (literally burning notes or pressing delete buttons) or putting more into circulation (printing more or typing a one followed by a couple of zeros on a spreadsheet).  The quantitative easing (QE) programs of many governments since 2008 is an example of the printing side of this equation.  Markets are literally being flooded with money – trillions! - created out of thin air, with the result that the inherent value is decreasing.  The current currency devaluations have led to the current global “currency war”.

Like a nuclear war, a currency war carries the danger of mutually-assured destruction (MAD).  As one country devalues to give its currency competitive advantage in the global markets, so another country devalues its currency even more to counter and negate that advantage.  A global  tit-for-tat reaction is triggered and countries find themselves locked in a race to the bottom.  At some point a tipping point is reached and then…chaos.  Hyperinflation or severe deflation or stagflation, massive economic turmoil and even war.  Citizens wake up in a post-apocalyptic  economic wasteland.  Once financially sound families find themselves , through no fault of their own, in queues at soup kitchens.

The global economy is currently experiencing  a currency war led, most notably, by the USA and Japan, with the European Union and the UK hot on their heels.  Make no mistake, these are big guns, and they are firing wildly.  There will be blood.  You can run, but you cannot hide.  Or maybe you can.

Bitcoin supporters, having pointed out the above, claim that Bitcoin offers a way out. Follow the literature, the tweets and the soapboxes and you will hear the following:

·         Bitcoin is not issued by government fiat.  As such it is not controlled by any government or central bank anywhere in the world. Bitcoins are issued by a computer protocol in the cloud, which has (so far) proved itself impervious to hacking or manipulation.
·         Consequently the Bitcoin money supply cannot be inflated or deflated at the whim of a government, or anybody else for that matter.
·         The Bitcoin protocol is programmed to issue only around 21 million bitcoins by the year 2140, at which point no more will be created.  In other words, the money supply remains fixed thereafter and the value of a bitcoin determined solely by unfettered supply-demand market forces, i.e. the value of a unit determined by perceived value.
·         Bitcoins are stored with the people who own them, and can be transferred peer-to-peer.  This means that banks and central banks are removed from the equation with an attendant drop in transaction fees and general “bankster corruption” and, very important – central bank manipulation of value is negated.

This all sounds good.  And it is.  But show me the gain without risk and I will show you La-La Land.

Much has been written regarding the inherent (and very real) risks attendant upon the storage of your bitcoins, the reliability of your bitcoin client wallet, and the vulnerability of bitcoin exchanges to state regulation and even shut-down (using the criminal use of bitcoin as an excuse).   This author is of the conviction that these are issues that the profit motive will incentivise some clever people  to solve in due course.

But the issue that is seldom addressed or discussed is ironically one that lies at the very heart of Bitcoin’s apparent strength – that it is not a fiat currency.

No-one really knows for sure who created the Bitcoin protocol in the first place.  There is a name – Satoshi Nakamoto – but whether this is one individual or a group, a pseudonym or the actual name, nobody knows…for sure.  And I mean for sure.

So here you have a currency that has been created, not by a government, but by a mystery. Citizens can call a government to account, even storm its Bastille (or White House) if they choose, but how do you call a mystery to account?  More important:  How do you know for certain, as in one hundred percent certain…and let me repeat that:  ONE HUNDRED PERCENT! – that the apparently impervious Bitcoin protocol really is just that…impervious…especially to manipulation by its creator/s.

Yes, avid Bitcoin supporters will tell you that no-one, not even the mystical Satoshi Nakamoto can alter the protocol, and they will inundate you with techspeak, but say what they might, the Bitcoin protocol was written by a person, or persons, and as such cannot, by definition, be declared to be “untouched by human hands”.  And we all know that where human hands can go, well…things don’t always turn out for the greater good.

One thing that characterises a zealot is confirmation bias – the inclination to exclude any evidence that negates his or her belief structure and focus only on the evidence that confirms it.  There are many Bitcoin zealots.  I am not one of them.

Yes, I believe that cryptocurrencies are the future of money.  Yes, I believe that cryptocurrencies offer a place to hide from the vagaries of central banks and governments and the corrupt practices of banks. And yes, at the moment Bitcoin is the crypto to beat.

But there are also deep uncertainties involved, and only time will tell whether I used my devalued fiat currency to buy bitcoin…or a bitcon.

Monday, 6 May 2013

One could not watch the events in April surrounding the massive naked shorts issued on gold, the sharp plunge in the price, and the subsequent gold rush for physical gold,  without shaking one's head at the astonishing levels of delusion demonstrated by the guardians of paper fiat. What did they think was going to happen when, like gangsters,  they put out a contract on gold and whacked the price overnight? People cheering in the streets?  Accolades and praise?

Perhaps they were expecting  a general panic and rush for the door.  Certainly they did not expect the Chinese housewives to lead a charge, not for the door, but deeper into the room to grab all the physical gold they could like so many little dwarves.  But that’s the thing about dwarves – they like gold.  The kind you can touch and bite and rub.

There is a form of cognitive bias referred to as ‘attribution bias’.  This describes a cognitive bias in which individuals see their own responses as the reasonable response to a situation.  In other words, you think that everyone else sees the world in the same way that you do. 

Attribution bias becomes a real problem when reinforced by ‘groupthink’,  especially when the group that is doing the groupthinking also thinks that it is cleverer than the rest of humanity.  And when there is no-one in the group to play devil’s advocate, to shout, “Hey, the emperor has no clothes!”, then you get the kind of reversal of expectation that the masters of the paper fiat universe suffered in April.  

Clearly the little dwarves did not get the message the masters intended : “See, your gold is worthless!  Get rid of it now before it loses even more value!”

Indeed, the masters of the universe must have felt a little less masterful when the sheer volume of physical gold being snapped up all around the globe, especially in the East and near-East, drove the price right back up, with one crucial before-and-after difference:  more real gold was now in the hands of the little dwarves than there was before.  I can actually hear those masters contemplating the aftermath of the gold rush and sighing (with a certain John Cleesesque on-the-out-breath tone):  “Right…” as they turned back to their drawing boards.

What these mighty masterful morons don’t get (and maybe this is a side effect of million dollar bonuses) is that while the little dwarves might not be clever, they do have common sense.  And common sense tells you that something that has retained its status as a store of value since homo sapiens replaced bartering with coin, that unlike paper money cannot be printed at will by a central bank or government, stands an infinitely better chance of continuing to store value than pieces of paper that have been around for less than a century, especially when the reliability of those pieces of paper as a store of value is faced with a very clear and present danger . 

While ordinary, non-economist-type folk  may not be able to articulate their sense of that clear and present danger using the opaque language of econospeak, they nevertheless know, down in the very marrow of their bones (where common sense lives), that the danger is very clear and very present.

Perhaps the little people know only to well that, unlike the masters of the paper fiat universe,  they will not be bailed out when  the dollar, the pound, the euro and the yen are  used for confetti  at weddings.  They know this, not as an intuition or a suspicion; they know it for certain, because when the dung hit the fan in 2008, instead of being bailed out, they saw their taxes being used to bail out the very masters that had caused the problem in the first place, while they, the little people, lost their homes and their jobs. And a few years later, when the government of a  certain little island in the Mediterranean needed more cash, they saw that government simply reach into the savings accounts held in its banks and steal the cash.

So when the banksters  issued that contract on the price of gold and it got whacked, rather than mourn and lament the price’s  passing, the little people cheered and charged.  You could almost hear them from around the globe:  "Get gold!  As much as you can.  The kind you can touch and bite and rub.  And then dig a hole in the cellar of your house and bury it like a squirrel buries acorns for the winter."

Because that’s another thing those little people know:  Squirrels might not be clever, but they have a lot of common sense.

Friday, 3 May 2013


If it is an irrevocable law of physics that energy cannot be created out of nothing, then it is also irrevocable that money cannot be created out of thin air.

Money is "stored energy" -  it stores work.  When you spend money you unlock energy, e.g. the work  that went into making the candy or clothes or whatever,  for which you exchange the money.  So when you simply print money with no reference to any work done,  the energy that is stored in all the “good”money that was created with reference to work will have to spread out to cover the “bad” money that was simply printed with no reference to work, thus devaluing the “good” money. 

To use a metaphor:  If you turn one bottle of whisky into two bottles by watering it down, the whisky that you then will have will not be as potent (energised with alcohol) as the whisky you had in the original bottle of undiluted whisky.  While you may have two bottles of whisky, you will have to drink twice as many shots to get the same level of inebriation achieved before you watered the whisky down.  

If you were to buy this watered down whisky in a bar, you would be paying twice as much to get the same level of inebriation that you got when you were served whisky that had not been watered down.  In other words:  the same amount of money now only buys you half the pleasure (if inebriation is your pleasure).    Subsititute  “pleasure” with “standard of living” and you get my point. You will be paying twice as much to maintain your standard of living (getting as drunk as before) or you will be spending the same amount as you used to spend, but you will be living at half your previous standard (leaving the bar half as drunk).

This would not be a problem if your income doubled every time the purity of the whisky was halved.  Yes, you would eventually need a very large wallet, even a wheelbarrow, to carry the cash needed to pay for your whisky, but at least you would still leave the bar as drunk as before.  But, and this is a big but:  Will your income double each time the purity of the whisky is halved?   Ay, there’s the rub.

Economists argue extensively about the why’s,  the  if’s,  the how’s  and the when’s  regarding the relationship between income and cost of living.  But ask yourself this:  Does it feel like your salary is keeping pace with the cost of living?  If your answer is yes, then you are as happily inebriated as you were before;  if no, then you might want to consider to what levels of  sobriety all the money that the central banks of the  largest economies in the world are printing will drive you in the coming years.

Sunday, 28 April 2013


Who in their right mind would take their hard-earned cash and convert it into a unit of supposed value that is:
·         not insured;
·         not backed by gold or silver or any commodity of any kind;
·         extremely volatile in its price movements, so much so that its daily movements would be considered insanity on any stock market in the world (including those in the Third World);
·         traded on exchanges of which nearly 50% have been shut down and its largest exchange brought to a halt by hackers, traderbots and DDOS attacks;
·         kept in digital “wallets” of which some brands have been hacked, and others simply closed down;
·         and which poses the biggest threat to central bank power since…well, since central banks were invented, making it a prime target for the banking monopolies (and their friends in government) that dominate world finance?
Who in their right mind would do this?  One would hope very few, except that more than a few, normally right-minded people around the globe have done just that (this author included).

The question is:  Why?

A thought experiment:  Imagine you are standing with your back to the edge of a cliff.  A river courses through the bottom of the ravine two hundred feet below.  In front of you a pack of twenty wolves slowly advances in a semi-circle. There is no escape.   If you stay where you are, there is 100% certainty that you will die.  If you jump, there is a 95% chance that you will die, and a 5% chance that you will survive after plunging into the river.  Would you jump?

The behavioural psychologists Kahneman and Tversky, in their research paper Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk (1979), showed that most people would jump.  In the summary/abstract to their paper, Kahneman and Tversky summarised a key finding as follows:
“In particular, people underweight outcomes that are merely probable in comparison with outcomes that are obtained with certainty.  This tendency, called the certainty effect, contributes to risk aversion in choices involving sure gains, and to risk seeking in choices involving sure losses.”  (Kahneman and Tversky, 1979)
In summary:  sure gain = low risk appetite;  sure loss = high risk appetite.  In other words – standing on that cliff, faced with the ‘sure loss’ of your life in the jaws of 20 wolves, you will look down at that river two hundred feet below and most likely come to the conclusion that you have got quite a good chance of surviving  – better than 5% - and jump.  You will probably also be thinking something along the lines of: “If I don’t jump I’m dead anyway, so any chance of survival is better than none.” Kahneman and Tversky called this phenomenon “loss aversion” – the willingness to take high risks when faced with certain loss. 

I would argue that a significant portion of the world’s population is either certain, or at least strongly suspects, that the world’s financial system is in trouble. Deep trouble. This portion of the world’s population knows with 100% certainty, that sooner or later (and probably sooner) there will be a catastrophic collapse of financial markets that will be worse than the crash of 2008.  It also knows that in the event of such a collapse, the vast majority of the world’s population will feel very serious pain, something akin to (or worse than) the pain of the Great Depression of the 1930’s, which only came to an end with the gigantic public works project remembered as the 2nd World War.  Except this time many of the governments of the West and East are already so indebted and have already printed so much money that they would not be able to pay for a public works program on the scale of the 2nd World War to pull the world economy out of its mire.

So to return to the thought experiment:  The wolves are the “real crash” that’s coming  (to use Peter Schiff’s phrase), and the river in the ravine two hundred feet below is Bitcoin. Under normal circumstances, i.e. when not faced with certain death-by-pack-of-wolves, no right-minded individual would jump.  But these are not normal circumstances, and so, standing on the edge of the current economic cliff, usually sane people conclude that while jumping into the Bitcoin river may very well prove to be fatal, not jumping certainly will.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013


I recently had a conversation with a friend that went something like this:

FRIEND:          Bitcoin…?  What the hell is that?

ME:                 It’s a crypto-currency.

FRIEND:         (blank stare) Crypto-what?

ME:                  Well it’s a seriously encrypted protocol that exists only in the internet cloud that generates units of value called bitcoins (lowercase “b”) that you can buy and sell on an exchange just like shares, except they’re not shares, more like forex, except they’re not  forex because they’re not a fiat currency like a dollar or a pound, more like gold, except that they’re not  gold because you can’t hold them in your hand or lock them in a safe.  You keep them in a wallet that doesn’t really exist except as an encrypted algorithm , and if you lose your wallet you’ve lost your bitcoins, just like cash. But they’re not cash.

FRIEND:        (after a long pause)  What have you been smoking?

ME:                 No, seriously, there’s really a new internet currency that people from around the world are buying and selling and using to buy stuff, although the “buying stuff”part is in its infancy.  Not many places accept bitcoins as payment. Yet.  And just like a dollar can be fractionalised into a hundred pennies, so a bitcoin can be fractionalised into satoshis, hundred million per bitcoin.  And the really cool thing is that Bitcoin is a world currency that no central bank or government controls.

FRIEND:         You’re  shitting me?

ME:                  No, I’m dead serious.

FRIEND:         Let me get this straight.  Are  telling me that you have spent some of your own, real money to buy some of these bitcoin things that don’t exist?

ME:                 Yes.

FRIEND:         And keep them in a “wallet” that doesn’t exist?

ME:                  Yes.

FRIEND:          You’re out of your mind.

ME:                   Maybe, but I don’t think so.

FRIEND:          (realises that I really am dead serious) Well…where does this “encrypted protocol”    come from?

ME:                  Apparently it was written by a person…or persons… called Satoshi Nakamoto.

FRIEND:          What do you mean “or persons”?

ME:                  Well, nobody really know if it’s one or more people, male or female.

FRIEND:          Dear God! And this algorithm that this…whatsisname…?

ME:                  …Satoshi Nakamoto….

FRIEND:          …this algorithm he, she or they wrote gives out bitcoins to anyone who wants them.

ME:                  No. Only to miners.

FRIEND:          Miners?!   You said bitcoins don’t exist, except in the cloud.

ME:                  Yes.  As encrypted algorithms.

FRIEND:          Then what the are the miners mining?

ME:                  It’s a bit complicated, and I don’t really understand it myself, but the miners are like serious maths boffin geek guys who use hardcore computing power to do these really complicated sums called a hash,  that are easy to reproduce but impossible to reverse so  a hacker cannot easily reverse-engineer the sum from its answer.

FRIEND:         Okay, you lost me there.

ME:                  The point is that the sums that these miners “mine”are really hard to do and take a lot of energy and time.  So when the miners (the maths boffin geek guys) finally do a hash (sum) that the Bitcoin protocol (uppercase “P”) accepts as valid according to the rules it has laid down,  it (the Bitcoin protocol) then “pays”the miner some bitcoins (lowercase “b”) that the miner then can sell on for dollars or pounds.

FRIEND:          So the miners get real money for these sums.

ME:                  No, the miners get bitcoins.

FRIEND:          That they then sell for real money.

ME:                  Yes.  But don’t forget  that “real”money is just paper with a picture printed on it that everyone agrees has a certain value.  Just like bitcoins.

FRIEND:          At least I can put paper money in a real wallet.

ME:                  So you keep all your paper money in your wallet?

FRIEND:          Obviously not.

ME:                  Exactly.  Most of your money is an encrypted algorithm  in your bank account that is also just an encrypted algorithm…just like a bitcoin wallet.  So what’s the obsession with “real”? 

FRIEND:          At least I can go to the bank and take it out when I want to.

ME:                  Only if the bank allows you to, as the Cypriots recently discovered.  The cool thing about bitcoins is that they cannot be confiscated by a bank or government or anyone alse.  There’s no bitcoin “bank” where you keep your bitcoins, only your wallet.  And you are the only person on earth with access to your wallet. It’s like being your own bank.  That’s why you lose everything if you lose the password/key to your wallet.

FRIEND:          (after another long silence) Okay, suppose I get me some of these bitcoins,  what can I buy with them?

ME:                  At the moment, not much. But more and more shops and places are accepting them as payment .  But I’m not buying bitcoins to use to buy things.  I’m buying them as a hedge.

FRIEND:          Against what?

ME:                  The world economic depression.

FRIEND:          What depression?

ME:                  The one we’re in.

FRIEND:          We’re in a recession, not a depression.

ME:                  We’re in a depression disguised to look like a recession by the printing of trillions of dollars and pounds and yen and God knows what other currencies.  Sooner or later (and I believe it will be sonner) those trillions are going to bite the world economy in the arse because there’s no way that we can pay them back.  It’s like the God of all bankers somewhere in the universe is calling in the loan and our governments who borrowed those trillions on our behalf cannot pay, so he’s coming to repo whole economies. And then we'll see this "recession" will show its true colours.

FRIEND:          And that’s why you’re buying bitcoins?

ME:                  Exactly.

FRIEND:          What’s stopping the God of all bankers from taking your bitcoins?

ME:                 The only way he can do that is to put a gun to my head for the key to my bitcoin wallet.  By the time it comes to that the world will be in such chaos already that my bitcoins will be the least of my worries. Until then I’m buying bitcoins.  They’re very cheap now because so few people in the world are buying them, but when the crunch comes there’s a very good chance that lots more people will want to buy them and because the supply of bitcoins is limited and cannot be expanded by any government, they could be worth a lot.

FRIEND:          How much?

ME:                  No idea.

FRIEND:          This Bitcoin business  sounds  risky to me.

ME:                  It is.  But how safe are you feeling about the world economy at the moment?

FRIEND:          You could lose everything on Bitcoin.

ME:                  Sure, but only if I put everything into Bitcoin. I might be mad, but I don’t put all my eggs in one basket.

FRIEND:          So you’ve still got some of that paper money that you don’t trust.

ME:                  Yes, but I’ve also got bitcoins. All you’ve got is paper money.

(Longest pause of the conversation)

FRIEND:          Sounds too complicated to me.  Can I have another beer?

Sunday, 14 April 2013


I’m a white man in Africa a survivor in the south
we got one man one vote but we live from hand to mouth
apartheid was a fuck up now we free, free at last
but some of us are paying for the sins of the past
they learned their lesson well the anger and the hate
when it comes to revenge it never is too late
it’s the spirit of the age redistribution retribution
reverse apartheid is all the rage - after action affirmative satisfaction

but this continent is cool, a place of plenty, abundant riches
we still believe in witches and treat our wives like bitches
we use cell phones to tape a friendly gang rape
and if you get AIDS spend an hour in the shower
but if it’s HIV drink garlic in your tea
welcome to Africa it’s the coolest place to be

don’t get me wrong I’m happy in this new bureaucracy
the blacks learned from the whites how to do democracy
if they lose the election don’t get an erection
it’s the basic supposition – kill the opposition
ask Robert Mugabe from Zimbabwe
Rwanda Somalia Liberia Ethiopia
Angola Uganda welcome to utopia

our misery is custom made to suit your every need
this place is a paradise with billions to feed
some graft and corruption an occasional disruption
but better than that we’re on our backs flat, check our welcome mat
unexploited mineral wealth enough for a thousand years
and a labor force to mine it with their hopes their dreams their tears

and fuck the bleeding hearts who curse the corporations
economic liberation, without them starvation
come on be rational no-one cares like a multinational
they can help you self-destruct if you got diamonds in the ground
or force-remove your locals if you got oil lying round
in your Swiss account any amount
that’s what World Bank debt is for
and if you still want more they can start a  war
nothing second rate, it will escalate
‘till all your citizens are killing each other
AK47’s for you and your brother
you can run my friend but you cannot hide
the first world will provide
especially genocide

and don’t forget the kindness of our European friends
in fact the list of good deeds is so long it never ends
the pommies and the krauts and the porras and the frogs
thank God they insisted when the heathens resisted
okay there was some slavery and they treated men like dogs
and some random orders moved a shitload of borders
which caused some double bubble toil and trouble
and reduced the continent to ashes and rubble
but they brought education medication conservation
preservation…with just a touch of deprivation
small price to pay for civilization

and besides…the Africans learnt an important lesson –
a civilized man doesn’t bring a spear to a gun fight

you can run my friend but you cannot hide
the first world will provide
especially genocide

but this continent is cooking though it might look tattered and torn
we got elephants and lions and a lot of rhino horn
our poachers are all innocent they just working for the Japs
whose cocks are all so tiny they can’t find them without maps
but hey those pricks got dollars - international currency
hallelujah Mammon and the USA – the gods that keep us free

don’t get me wrong I’m happy, at least I’m still alive
and as long as I don’t argue I reckon I’ll survive
it’s a garden of Eden owned by the ANC
I can say what I like as long as they agree
just ‘cause you can vote doesn’t mean you free
but it does mean you can live in abject poverty
oh say can you see our monopoly

it took a revolution to get this constitution
no-one is rejected all of us protected
the Party is so clever it’s going to rule the roost forever
it’s an African tradition -  we don’t like competition
but we like to trade for international aid so our leaders can get paid
and we like to fight for human rights but go to China to get laid

I’m a white man  in Africa from sixteen fifty-two
I’m stuck here can’t get out,  nothing I can do
I’ve got my dobermans, electric fence, machete and a gun
they’ll get me in the end but ‘till then I’m having fun
I’m a white man in Africa at least I got a tan
I’m feeling pretty lonely ‘cause the rest all cut 'n ran
Perth Sydney London Vancouver Quebec Montreal
they saw the writing on the wall - the colonies will fall
like rats off a ship ‘cause they saw what was coming
there were jujus in the night and they heard the distant drumming
and lucky for them they had the cash so they all ducked
but me?  I’m a white man in Africa…and I’m fucked
then again…aren’t we all.