[Paul Lismore] Politics in Paradise island : The cult of mediocrity

I often sit in a darkened room and cogitate on life’s iniquities; I worry over the obscenity that allows one man to be called a thief for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his children and another one to be called a politician for stealing millions of rupees from us.

I look with despair at decent people who have borrowed money from our banks at criminally exorbitant rates of interest and end up losing everything they own…. and I wonder how it can be possible for those telling us they are servi nou pei to borrow vast amounts of money and see these debts vanish overnight with the mighty stroke of their friendly bank manager’s pen.

When this gets too depressing, I like to imagine God with a great sense of humour, and this allows me to look at the world in a faintly more positive light. If God does exist, He has a funny way of showing us his benevolence. Only a mind replete with practical jokes would inflict upon this nation so many politicians of such abysmal quality, with non existent sense of integrity, and with such dubious morality that would compel a sewer rat to die of embarrassment; and I apologise to the sewer rat for putting it in such insalubrious and insensate company.

Every five years, we are exhorted, harangued, and harassed to vote for one of the two sides contesting the general elections; we are told that the other side is horrible, corrupt, and evil, and that our lives would be much better with the wonderful people on this side. I never attend political meetings as I find that lying on a bed and looking at a plain ceiling is invariably more informative and healthy than listening to liars and cheats shouting abuse and invective at liars and cheats on the other side.

Moronic individuals who used to shout « ti cretin » and throw all sorts of insults at Pravind Jugnauth are now competing with each other to be the first in the queue to wash the dirty deksis in la cuisine…Shameless individuals who believe that writing « cotomili » or « koffor » at every opportunity will somehow impress us with the range of their vocabulary, will be the first to shout « Navin to meme nou le roi » if they get the first indication that Ramgoolam could once more become Prime Minister. Those who claim to want to  »gouverner autrement » have yet to tell us exactly what that means and how they will be better than those they insultingly call « dinozor »…

What is the Mauritian version of « Putting People first », the favourite slogan of our politicians? It starts with replacing arse lickers of the previous government with brand new sycophants on salaries and expenses that defy all belief; some arse lickers are so adept within this shameful world of disreputable behaviour that they have no problems changing sides in order to find other, more convenient, and newly elected arses to lick.

The country is in economic meltdown and well over 25 cents out of every rupee that we earn every year are used simply to service the debts that successive governments have imposed on us. It is far, far worse since Padaleksi became our disastrous Minister of finance, and we now owe well over Rs 400 billions. And there is no sign whatsoever of any reduction in the insane level of public spending, waste, and theft of public money.

Has anything really changed, despite several changes of government since independence? The gap between poor and rich has become bigger, and extremely rich people call the crumbs that they throw at the poor, ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’….. The Civil Service remains grossly over manned, and by and large provides a mediocre service with incivility as its badge of honour; a vast number of ‘authorities’ remain in place for no other reason than to provide cushy jobs for politicians’ relatives and friends; a country that is dying on its feet still insists perversely to abolish car duties for its richer citizens wishing to compensate for their little willies with a massive car; ministers, parliamentarians, politicians of every political persuasion, civil servants, ‘authority’ chairpersons/ directors/ members of its management boards still swan around the world at our expense to attend conferences that provide no benefits whatsoever to our country….and many of these useless bastards get 14th or even 15th month salaries simply for being incredibly useless but extremely proficient with their tongues….

 These parasites have no problems at all in finding millions of rupees out of our taxes in order to purchase limousines for themselves and their idiotic friends; Or the Rs 30,000 that they take for every day on mission without ever providing any receipts? T

hrow in the chauffeur, the so called entertainment allowance, the free phone calls, the traveling allowance, an obscene bonus that in no way reflects their abysmal standards of performance and which is given irrespective of the quality of performance, and there is the money which ought to go to our poor citizens, or at least to invest in the future of this country. So many other freebies are dished out and which never form part of any electoral manifesto that one is bound to ask this simple question: do these idiots ever pay for anything out of their own pockets?

 There is a limit to everything and a constant diet of inane slogans, buzz words, and repetitive and outlandish mantras exulting the fallacy that gouvernman will do everything for us has resulted in a climate of cynicism; there are very few of us left who still believe a single word uttered by any politician in Paradise Island.  And that is why the opposition parties are not doing as well as they should do when faced with a government in a trough of unpopularity; people are simply fed up with the same old records being played, and without a drastic change in mentality in evidence.

The opposition parties still have not realized that simply attacking the government is no longer good enough for us; we need to know EXACTLY how their policies will differ from the lot in power now and whether their promises can be afforded by an economy in terminal decline. They would gain a great deal of credibility if they would stop parroting the usual opposition accusations regarding ‘missions’ and other ministerial excesses, and instead tell us now how they will curtail these frivolous privileges to an absolute minimum.

The times have changed and only the politicians are finding it difficult to accept this simple truth. People are fed up with politicians and the culture of lies, deceit, selfishness, fanaticism, corruption, mediocrity, and greed that they have engendered. Apparently, 40% of the population wants to emigrate and I believe that to be a gross underestimation. How can you tell people that ‘good will triumph over evil’ when we can all see the evil done to our country by our politicians? 

How can I advise an intelligent person to stay here and work hard when we both know that his/her chances in life will be superseded by some idiot who happens to be related to or to share the same religion or caste of a politician? Or, as is often the case, by the many whose tongues and their ability to probe dark crevices are the only qualifications that they possess?

In Mauritius, arse licking and Bableesque stupidity now trumps ability, qualifications, and decency by a long distance. That is what the perverts in power call our « Etat de Droit » and our « democracy »…

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