Touria Prayag's Blog

Move along, nothing to see here 20 February 2014

Posted in Uncategorized by touriaprayag on January 23, 2015

The dilly-dallying expressed by the leader of the
opposition, Paul Bérenger, has marked the
political scene this week. Not that it is anything
new. You will recall that, not long ago, there was
a “cooling off period” (Oh, I just lurve the terms
Bérenger effortlessly coins!) during which the
koz-kozer with the Labour Party resumed before
we heard that it was business as usual within the
remake and move along, nothing to see here! So,
we have become perfectly accustomed to the
morality which makes it absolutely fi ne for
someone to propose to his girlfriend while
cheating with his mistress.
Still, a lot of speculation followed and the press
had a fi eld day grinding out endless stories – spun
for maximum shock effect – about whether the
remake is going ahead or not. What was new
perhaps was that Bérenger has now openly stated
that the MMM could either go it solo, with the
MSM or with a junior partner – options best
summarised through the reaction of the
cartoonist Deven T., who portrayed Paul
Bérenger publicly announcing: “We have a
choice between going to the elections with a
junior partner or going to the elections with a
junior partner.” Seriously, what exactly is the
choice? And how many major parties are there
in this tiny country?
Whether Paul Bérenger’s outburst was an
attempt at taming his partner or a genuine desire
to give the militants a say, the fact that he added,
in the same breath, that Anerood Jugnauth’s
resignation did not make a dent on the political
scene, shakes the very foundation of the alliance.
We will recall that after May 1st rally, Bérenger
had expressed his disappointment that the
newly-born remake did not attract the expected
crowds and even congratulated Navin
Ramgoolam for “having kept his head above
water”. The municipalities followed with pretty
much the same lacklustre effect.
Could the leader of the opposition be taking stock
at this late hour or is he really pressured by the
grassroots militants who are alarmed at the
number of investitures slipping through their
fi ngers? Is there pressure from those who would
be relegated to playing second-fi ddle if 50% of
the grub were to be given away?
What is clear at this point is that whether the
recalcitrant militants have it their way or not will
depend on their options. Some still believe an
alliance with the Labour Party is possible and are
looking out for any sign that one of the two longterm
lovers may be sending to the other: a hint, a
word in a public statement, body language… Some
have even delved into sartorial language: the
mauve tie the prime minister was seen wearing at
some event was interpreted as a sign to the leader
of the opposition to ‘come hither’.
A Facebooker compared this political situation
to that of someone who has only two sets of
underwear. “Every time the chap has a shower,”
the Facebooker says, “he has to make a very
important decision: whether to put the dirty
underwear back on or change into the other dirty
set which is in the laundry.”
Remember, co-gullible voters, that all the politicians
have worn, re-worn and exchanged the same dirty
underwear. We just tend to forget every time the
polls open. Which is why we have been pleading
for political parties to opt for post-election alliances.
That would give them time to acquire new
underwear and pay a fair price for it – the currency
being the number of votes we choose to give.
weekly@lasentinelle.mu

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