Touria Prayag's Blog

L’express Weekly, 15 July 2011

Posted in Uncategorized by touriaprayag on July 18, 2011

pdf Weekly 15 july

A perversion of democracy

For as long as Eric Guimbeau was just being Eric Guimbeau,
harmless and irrelevant, there was no problem. For as long as he
joined the well-meaning ‘agwas’ (matchmakers) of this country, it is
still fair game. After all, making and breaking alliances has become
our national sport. But when he ventures into a profound analysis and tries
to depict the MSM as a victim having led the Labour Party to power and is
now suffering one undeserved humiliation after another, we would like to
suggest that he learns to weigh his words.
The leader of the opposition is not one not to grab an opportunity, any
opportunity, to try and get back into power. And this is as good an opportunity
as any. He, therefore, wakes up the next morning with several realizations
worth discussing.
First, that there is no problem with a minister of Finance signing a
Rs. 145m cheque to himself and his family in exchange for a dilapidated
clinic resuscitated from oblivion. The minister even becomes an icon of integrity
because he declared his interest by walking out of the meeting, in the
same way the guy the other day declared his interest by walking out of an
interview panel saying, “I must leave now because the next candidate is my
son. And he is a bloody good candidate.” We still do not know to which part
of Paul Bérenger’s memory this information had been relegated but Eric
Guimbeau’s statement did indeed help retrieve it.
Second, Cousin Maya is fi ne too, thank you. The “dear Pravind”
letter provided by the same leader of the opposition seems to have
vanished in the same way it appeared. So have all the allegations of
crookery and malpractice. As the MMM discovers a new MSM which
shares the same sense of ethics as them, parliamentary questions are
cast aside to avoid them any embarrassment. Let the outdated medical
equipment be used for the elderly. Who cares?
But beyond seeing ethics trampled upon, beyond the intellectual
paucity that has become so apparent, what saddens me in this whole
episode is that the MMM, by cosying up to the MSM, has pushed the
Labour Party on the back foot and the latter may feel obliged to protect
its ally for the sake of safeguarding its own interests. In the meantime, Rs.
145m of the taxpayers’ hard earned money, dug out of the threadbare
pockets of each and everyone of us, will have gone in the wrong pockets
without the culprits ever even having to thank us for the opportunity we
gave them to swindle us.
In this crooked exercise of outbidding, we understand how the 5 cents
ironically gets to outweigh the 95 cents. In this endeavour of upping the
ante, we understand the surprising generosity of the Labour Party towards
the MSM in the last General Elections which had, until now, remained an
enigma. What is outrageous is that we are fed exactly the same bogus arguments
about integrity, ethics, the interests of the tax-payers, etc. etc. and every
time we are taken for a ride as our politicians only look at their own interests
and nothing else. But we should be grateful for the naive grace which drives
us to forgive, forget and have the idiocy to believe them again.
“Every true genius is bound to be naïve,” Friedrich Schiller said. If you still
believe that the ‘loyal’ opposition has any intention of upholding your interests
by holding government to account, you must be a great genius indeed.
weekly@lexpress.mu

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