Paul Lismore


Rédigé par Paul Lismore le Dimanche 12 Avril 2020

" The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little" — Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States.

I don't wish to sound alarmist but the evidence is so clear that only intentionally blind and incurably selfish, thick, and greedy people will ignore it.

I shall leave the economic scenario to those who love calling themselves "economists", esp the macros who continually bore us to death with their fanciful macroeconomic theories and those with micro penises who love to pontificate about micro economics. To each their own, as they say....

No one could possibly not feel alarmed by the manufactured shortage of fresh food and basic necessities on the shelves of our supermarkets, and even these are being sold at prices that the poor simply cannot afford. Yes, the government did a good thing with its measures to provide some reassurance to working people with both its furlough measures and the Rs 5,100 to those working in the 'informal' sector. Only a rabid opponent of the government would criticise this.

Unfortunately, the massively extortionate prices charged by thieving shopkeepers and supermarket owners, and a black market created by spivs and government arse lickers mean that Rs 5,100 a month will pay for no more than a fraction of the shopping normally needed for a whole month.

It certainly does not help the government's cause that many of those greedy bastards are shady, nasty individuals who happen to be too close to ministers, and the Agricultural Marketing Board charged with the distribution of popular vegetables used daily in our kitchens is now run by one of those pathetic government nominees still trying to cope with the intricate business of tying his own shoe laces every morning....

This is the "mission" of the AMB that it proudly announces on its website. Read it and you will see that the current situation, esp over potatoes, onions, etc  clearly demonstrates that it has abysmally failed on all counts:

" Mission
The objectives of the AMB are to:

1/ to encourage local production of as much of the country's food requirements as is economically feasible;
2/ to ensure that marketing costs are at a minimum, consistent with satisfying consumer demand;
3/ to limit price fluctuations in line with consumer preferences;
4/ to operate its installations and other resources with maximum efficiency for the benefit of producers and consumers;
5/ to regulate standards and quality of products falling under its control."

Unfortunately, failure in a government regulated body in Mauritius means that the sap will be rewarded with more missions, more per diem, and a whole lot of unsavoury monetary privileges.

The arsenic in this cake is of course the creation of new 'distributors' who coincidentally happen to be very proficient in licking the arses of government ministers and who are primarily responsible for the hoarding and extortionate prices we are all suffering from.

So, what can we do to prevent the starvation looming for many in a few months' time? Remember, soon we will not be able to import food from abroad because the food exporting countries will rightly want to keep the food they export to us for their own people. I am afraid there is only one solution, and it makes me look back to the days when the MMM was a truly Lepep party until it was unfortunately taken over by the caviar and champagne mob represented by the darlings of the press like Dev Virahsawmy, Jean Claude de L'Estrac and many others arrivistes and assorted snobs.

The MMM gained enormously popularity in every corner of the island with its agrarian policy that demanded a redistribution of land and self sufficiency in vegetables, milk, meat, etc. Remember, the MMM had at that time within its leadership a certain Sir Aneerood Jugnauth, and I am sure he will still be able to pass on those policies to his son...

What have we had instead? Prime agricultural lands have been converted into so called Smart cities and gated communities and, to make matters worse, the owners were rewarded with huge tax exemptions to the tune of billions of rupees, despite the taxpayer funding the construction of roads and providing utilities free of charge to them!

Now, is that greed or is that simply the immorality of our politics where politicians are quite happy to grab an egg from the chicken's arse whilst those owners continue to enjoy the whole chicken?

Planters have seen their hard labour and sweat guzzled by 'intermediaries' who charge them a pittance for their product and then these parasites will at least double that price to market sellers. The market sellers have to rightly make a profit on what they have bought and the end result is food at a continuously high price for the rest of us. More and more planters have abandoned their fields and the end result? scarcity of fresh food for us and consequentially, a price that a lot of us can no longer afford.

So, what can be done now to forestall the impending disaster facing us? If Pravind Jugnauth wants to regain some popularity, he will have to do one of 2 things:

1/ tell the big landowners to play the game now and to use a few thousand acres of their land for the cultivation all year round of the vegetables that we all need, and to sell them at a price that allows them a decent margin without strangling us. If 1/ fails, then he has no choice but to implement

2/ : Confiscate as many acres as will be needed to feed this population, and allocate them at minimum rent to real planters (because many chancers and opportunists will not miss the chance of putting their filthy hands into this too...). Monitor the output from these lands on an annual basis and cancel the rent of those ki p zis kass ene poz, and transfer the lease to people who want to work the land. This would also be an ideal opportunity for our downtrodden Creole community to get a share of the cake that they have been denied for far too long.

Some people will scream "outrage" when they see "Confiscate as many acres as will be needed"...Please ignore them in the same way that they ignored with incredible callousness the confiscation of all the assets and properties of Dawood Rawat. As they say, what's good for the goose is good for the gander too, non?

Pravind Jugnauth has come to the crossroads of his political career. He can afford to ignore the largely pointless and stupid complaints and interventions of the opposition. But he will not be able to ignore the rumblings of empty stomachs soon. Unless we become self sufficient in food, and as soon as possible, we are doomed, and the future will be very dark for all of us. 

It is up to Pravind Jugnauth whether he wants to face our grim reality or he wants to continue down the well beaten path of maja karo for a few and hardship for many. People can cope with anything, but an angry mouth will lead to loss of self control, believe me. And the way they have dealt with the potato and onion crisis does not augur well for the safety of this nation.

Bob Marley was not stupid when he wrote  : " Them belly full but we hungry/ A hungry mob is an angry mob"

Dimanche 12 Avril 2020

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