TOM EATON: Who do kingmakers serve? Ultimately, only themselves
A kingmaker is not a ‘democracy-maker’, ‘consensus-finder’, ‘poverty-ender’ or ‘job-creator’.
Kingmaker. It’s a sexy word used to describe sexy people, transporting us into a wood-panelled, cigar-scented world in which Ralph Fiennes, Michael Fassbender and the sweary Scot from The Thick of It trade exquisite barbs over who should become the next minister of foreign affairs.
In SA, the word describes slightly less sexy people, unless your kink involves hypocrites in red overalls tweeting veiled threats to journalists.
The word, however, has retained its appeal: on Thursday it was in the headlines yet again, as an amaBhungane investigation hinted at dirty dealings in Johannesburg, where the local “kingmakers” allegedly made the DA an offer it couldn’t refuse.
Yes, we’ll be hearing about “kingmakers” for as long as creaking big parties need noisy and opportunistic small ones.