Paul Lismore

[Paul Lismore] THE INSOLENCE OF OFFICE THAT STOPS POLITICIANS OF ALL PARTIES FROM ADDRESSING THE REAL ISSUES.

Jeudi 6 Décembre 2018

" For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, The pangs of despis'd love, the law's delay, The insolence of office, and the spurns, That patient merit of the unworthy takes..." Hamlet, Act 3 Scene 1.


The celebrated pop artist and film maker Andy Warhol once commented that "They always say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself." 

That comment rings so true for Paradise Island where the inhabitants continue to vest an inordinate amount of confidence in the ability of their politicians to live up to the promises made with such synthetic sincerity in the days preceding a general election. 

A population that has been reduced to a state of learned helplessness continues to participate like automatons in the cruel game of musical chairs that inevitably means the alternate positioning of a repeatedly failed group of politicians to take over the levers of power every five years. 

How do we get out of this mess? How do we find a new group of real patriots who will see our votes for them as a sacrosanct and incorruptible privilege to govern this country on behalf of all its people and not as a short cut to undeserved wealth for their families and friends, or as the opportunity to indulge themselves to satiety with the exorbitantly expensive fripperies that successive generations of politicians have quietly voted for themselves? 

Perhaps the more pertinent question would be to ask whether there are still sufficient individuals who have remained unscathed from the suffocating fog of corruption and nepotism that has shrouded this beautiful island since its independence.   

What is becoming increasingly apparent is the need for a wholesale injection of fresh blood into a political process that is bogged down in a quagmire of corruption, selfishness, and a fake grandeur caused by all the governments of this country. 

We have political parties that are led by leaders in perpetuity and who talk about democracy all day long without ever subjecting themselves to any democratic accountability regarding the leadership of their own parties. 

This crude political dictatorship is then shamelessly transformed into a dynasty and the son (never the daughter, in this so called land of equal opportunities…) takes over the mantle of leadership without any democratic consultation or election; and the toadies queue along with the appropriate amount of forelock tugging to express their gratitude to the new leader, in the hope that they will be appointed to a position that is distinctly way above their intellectual pretensions.  

The history of Mauritian politics is littered with brave and foolhardy promises made in opposition which are reneged on the moment the Electoral Commissioner declares the merchant of dreams as the new Prime Minister. 

Politicians in opposition never feel better than when spitting venom on the vast amount of money spent on missions, and then show the same level of obscene prodigality whenever we have foolishly entrusted them to run the country responsibly on our behalf; promises are made that all appointments and promotions will be carried out in total transparency, and we then find out that the new government has blatantly appointed a worse group of idiots to run our ailing para statal organisations than those whose integrity and competence were questioned whilst in opposition; the MBC is rightly criticised by every opposition for its crude impersonation of Pravda and for its lickspittle tendencies towards the government of the day, only for its management to be replaced by a new bunch of sycophantic toadies who consider a good day's work as the number of times the ministers of the new government are allowed to break into and enter our living rooms at will. 

The examples of saying the right things in opposition and then jumping on the same roller coaster ride of pomposity and self importance fed by the reckless and criminal expenditure of our money by all governments are too many to mention. 

And there is no better example of this callous behaviour than the self serving nonsense of every idiot under the sun being provided with a limousine entirely at our expense, simply because his appointment as chairman/director/advisor, High commissioner, etc stems entirely from his support for the idiots we have voted into power, and has no relationship whatsoever with his/her ability to fulfil the functions of the new role with a modicum of efficiency.    

It is obvious that we can rely on all our governments to stretch our credulity with the sheer stupidity of their decisions and the criminal abuse of taxpayers' money. Isn't there any politician who can summon sufficient energy and moral backbone to scream to any government this simple word of three letters: 

WHY?  Let me give some examples: 

1/ Why do our politicians find nothing wrong in earning much much more than 95% of the citizens they are supposed to serve? When you add their basic salary to all the privileges they are 'entitled' to like duty free cars, free phone calls, free phones, entertainment/travelling/petrol allowance, per diem, free 5* nosh in the National Assembly, etc,  each MLA receives well over Rs 200,000 a month from us. As for ministers, we are looking at Rs 400,000 and above plus an incredible amount of taxpayers' money as per diem for useless missions. 

Someone like SAJ receives not only his minister's pay but also his pensions as President (tax free, siouplai...), as PM, as magistrate, as God knows what else...which can't be far off the million rupee mark every month.  

How on earth can these extravagant salaries etc be given to people who never tire to tell us that they are servi nou pays? 

2/ No politician ever talks about the true scandal of the massive theft of our Prime State Lands by politicians and their friends. On the rare occasions that they do mention it, it is merely to score cheap political points whilst leaving the real problem untouched: how a bunch of rapacious individuals can become enormously rich simply by 'renting' themselves a prime piece of OUR land, turning the tenancy from one owned by an individual to one owned by a company/or into an industrial lease in order to pay a lot less rent, selling the shares of the 'company' to someone with perhaps too much money to launder and who now becomes the new tenant. 

Overnight, tens of millions of rupees are made this way. For further details, see Vishnu Lutchmeenaraidoo, Ayatollah Soodhun, etc, or even the biggest fraudster of the lot, the man who has the balls of our politicians in his hands, the Rake Gooljaury. 

3/ Politicians talk about missions/per diem/limousines/state lands/gaspiyaz/ diktatire/korription/commissions/nominations/copins/copines, etc only when in opposition; once we elect the bastards into power, the first thing that they think of is how to become filthy rich using exactly the same methods they decried until polling day. 

Reza Uteem rightly asked a question about the salary of Namrata Teeluckdharry on Tuesday. He was right to do so as this is taxpayers' money. 

But shouldn't he show the same regard towards taxpayers' money by also questioning the morality of politicians in awarding themselves huge pay rises and privileges, and by himself refusing any increase to his own salary that to his fine morals and hugely principled ears seem excessive? 

Shouldn't he also question the morality of giving ex presidents and that useless breed known as ex Vice Presidents 2/3 of their gigantic 'emoluments' as a life long tax free pension plus numerous other expensive entitlements? Individuals who have been in office and hence leading a luxurious life, whether for 1 day, 1 year, or even ten years? 

Shouldn't he decry the massive corruption involved in the braderie of our state lands by politicians too? He doesn't have far to look for an example: 2 years ago, Soodhun reminded him of this, in yet another lurid example of la mare p mok la bou: " Soodhun allègue qu’une compagnie dont Reza Uteem est le seul actionnaire est mandataire a obtenu un bail pour un site de 634 mètres carrés « pieds dans l’eau », à Quatre-Cocos. La compagnie est mandataire d’un trust dont les seuls bénéficiaires, selon le ministre, seraient tous mineurs, membres de la famille Uteem." 

You see, our politicians love to score points off each other and nothing else. When in opposition, they will question the salaries and privileges of every political nominee, and rightly so. They will pinpoint acts of malfeasance and misgovernance, and rightly so. But they, whether in opposition or in government, will never question the massive salaries and privileges that they award themselves.  

And when the opportunity arises, they too will display the ghastly insolence of office that we all hate, and will feed themselves like barbarians let loose on the juicy meat known as tax payers' money.

Rédigé par E. Moris le Jeudi 6 Décembre 2018

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