Paul Lismore

[Paul Lismore] " Gouvernman bizin donner!"-- The cry of a demented parrot in the wilderness

Rédigé par Paul Lismore le Jeudi 9 Avril 2020

" There is nothing more foolish, nothing more given to outrage than a useless mob"----Herodotus.

It really is incredibly easy to make all sorts of fanciful suggestions and then dress them up as a serious policy designed to extract us from the terrible situation this country finds itself in.

Is it really that difficult for politicians and various idiots in the public domain to understand a basic thing, that we are in shit street as far as the economy goes and there simply is no money to finance all the ludicrous suggestions being made in order to garner some cheap popularity?

These people are now the equivalent of the huge number of attention seeking idiots on Facebook who will copy/paste anything, esp some emotive, tear jerking nonsense in order to get the pathetic 'likes' their lives apparently depend on. 

Let us look at one of the policies that Ramgoolam announced 2 days ago with all the bluster and braggadocio that comes so naturally to our politicians, and which he described as " courageous and responsible proposals":

1/ " The Government to reduce the prices of electricity, cooking gas and fuel by 25% across the board." Why should millionaires and the middle classes benefit from this too when they already benefit from all sorts of ludicrous tax exemptions? Why is it so difficult in our so called "I.T. hub" to devise a system whereby only those on minimum wage, the unemployed, and those really in need benefit from this substantial reduction?

2/ "  The financial assistance to the informal sector to match the minimum wage." Really? Where is the money going to come from? Already, over 80,000 individuals in the informal sector have received a cheque worth Rs 5,100 (half the minimum wage), which lest we forget, is a lot more than the old age pension given to our elderly less than 5 years ago, when Ramgoolam was PM. And we know that a lot of that is being fraudulently claimed. 

3/ " The MRA to suspend the payments of NPF and NPS with immediate effect." Really? Where will the money come then to finance old age pension and welfare payments? Got any suggestions, good doctor? Shall we just wish it to magically appear in the Government's coffers and then praise the Lord for it?

4/ "  Mauritius Telecom to provide free domestic internet connectivity to every household". Again, why to everyone? Haven't the rich, the middle classes, and the well off been pampered enough already by successive governments? When will our politicians be honest enough to understand that we have a large underclass of poor, desperately needy people and that they should have priority over every one else, if only on humanitarian and moral grounds? 

5/ " To suspend the payment of all allowances to ministers." Why only the allowances to ministers? What about the huge number of ludicrous allowances to all parliamentarians to the tune of tens of thousands of rupees, for doing nothing but gratter senti? Why should the opposition be exempt? What is so special about the millionaires in the opposition that they should be allowed to grab these immoral allowances with such greed and impunity?

Roshi Bhadain is for once right to highlight these allowances, allowances which incidentally he himself was happy to grab in his short stint as minister and as a parliamentarian... I have been condemning that immoral nonsense for the last 10 years at least...and it is gratifying that our zourlanus are at last talking about them when they had been quite happy to maintain a conspiratorial silence over them for decades...

It is of course not surprising at all that neither Ramgoolam, nor Bhadain, nor anyone else who has only now removed their kk lizier, has mentioned the biggest financial obscenity in our island: duty free cars to people who can easily afford to buy them at their real market value. Billions of rupees have been wasted on this ludicrous bribe to the middle classes and the rich. Why?

Having said this, Ramgoolam is of course right to mention the other measures he would like to see implemented during these terrible days. Pravind Jugnauth might hopefully decide to abandon the crap advice he is getting from his so called 'advisors' and adopt a few of them. Same as the advice from Arvind Boolell that under no circumstances should he decide to lift the confinement unless clearly directed by scientists and only after a serious study of what is happening elsewhere in the world.

The way this confinement has been handled in Mauritius suggests that people either do not understand what it means and how it protects their health and that of their families or, the police are not implementing it rigidly enough. There simply can be no excuse for the huge number of people still on our streets, because they are putting all of us at risk.

If Pravind Jugnauth is wise enough as a politician, this is what he should do, and fuck the moaners and the whingers:

In this state of emergency, he should amend the criminal laws and impose an immediate, short sentence of imprisonment to any shopkeeper and supermarket owner, and official or unofficial seller of foodstuff and vegetables who clearly has been profiteering from our misery and charging us extortionate amounts of money for articles which should cost half or even less the prices they are charging us.

It does not need a genius to make a list of at least 10 basic items with recommended prices that should be plastered outside every shop and business premise. That will stop the thieving bastards, believe me! And seeing a few being carted off to jail as soon as their blatant attempt at stealing from us is recognised will give the right signal to all shops.

None of us holds the monopoly of ideas on how best to combat this virus and its social ramifications.

But a mindless policy of "Gouvernman bizin donner", albeit used with great success during electoral campaigns, does not help at all. Asking for petrol prices to be reduced because oil prices have fallen on the world markets ignores one basic fact: How will you replace the money from taxes on petrol in order to finance the huge number of welfare payments and subsidies on all sorts of things? Other countries can do it because they have a well structured industrial base, or sit on huge amounts of oil and all sorts of mineral deposits. We don't. 

An island with 1.2 million souls and well over 500,000 motor vehicles ought to instead consider whether we have got the right priorities on financial, environmental, and moral grounds. A policy of helping those who need financial help the least and ignoring the real needs of the poor is immoral and indecent. Politicians ought to know better than hitching a ride on every band wagon being pushed by the selfish and the greedy.

Yes, Pravind Jugnauth could have handled matters a lot better. But one has to appreciate the real help he has given to those on the bottom rungs of the ladder so far. If only he could now take immediate action to put a stop to the thieving activities of our supermarkets, shops and assorted sellers....and implement the confinement with more seriousness and severity.

Jeudi 9 Avril 2020

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