Whenever I feel convinced I’ve seen and heard it all, something new always pops up to jolt me back to reality. Consider our prime minister’s recent televised revelation of what had long been common knowledge: his government’s continuing diplomatic relationship, despite recent history, with famously generous Taipei.
What took many off guard was how the prime minister introduced his one-choice decision: he not only leveled in absentia several uninvestigated outrageous allegations at Taipei’s former representative Tom Chou, including the suggestion that the Taiwanese government had conspired with him to place millions of dollars in the pockets of Stephenson King and his Cabinet colleagues, but Saint Lucia’s prime minister also repeated for the umpteenth time that a former president of Taiwan had since 2008 been serving prison time for corruption.
Meanwhile, he totally overlooked current world headlines featuring the once powerful party leader in the city of Chongqing Mr Bo Xilai, who has been charged with “a long list of moral and criminal wrongdoings.”
Also hot news is Xilai’s wife Gu Kailai, recently convicted for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood. According to a Washington Post report: “The moves represent a desire by China’s one-party government to forcefully put an end to China’s biggest political scandal in years amid an era in which Internet and social media have given greater voice to public dissent and underscored the challenges to political stability.”
I mention the above with admitted perplexity: what was our prime minister’s motive for choosing to resurrect yet again the Taiwanese president’s incarceration while withholding the truth about the recently accused amoral and criminal Xilai and his murderous missus? The prime minister also was silent on the unforgettable Tiananmen Square massacre of 15 April 1989—maybe because time heals all wounds, especially when you and the butchers have for more than half a century been staunch supporters of each other’s policies. Perhaps Harry Truman was right after all: just because Somoza was a son of bitch to the rest of the world didn’t mean the American president also considered him a son of a bitch. Some people will also tell you what great guys were Hitler and Idi Amin—as were Saddam and Noriega, if only for a time!
Bo Xilai is soon to have his day in court, but his wife had actually confessed to poisoning Neil Heywood. More important, however, is the fact that Taipei and Beijing have both demonstrated their intolerance of official malfeasance—something neither of our two main parties can speak of with credibility. Indeed, it may legitimately be argued that both the United Workers Party and the Labour Party, at one time or another, had actually embraced election candidates known to be the exact opposite of the images they projected from their political platforms.
Some have been so arrogant as to dare their critics to “take me to court,” self-convinced as they are that the most repugnant behavior is acceptable to those who at election time profit from pretending to be deaf, blind and dumb. Even when dubious candidates are required to account for their suspect reputations, their handlers unabashedly point out that as egregious as was the behavior complained of, it was either settled out of court or it did not rise to the level of crime or it could not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Besides, when politicians are effectively their own judges and juries, who needs executioners anyway?
Which brings me to yet another disgrace: Her Majesty’s so-called opposition. Do we really need these people? What for? I, for one, cannot think of a House opposition that in recent times had saved the people from an unjust law, an unfair government policy, unconscionable wastage of public funds and naked nepotism. The way our parliamentary system is set up stands in the way of useful opposition, even if we had one so disposed. I could question the purpose of our overseas embassies that swallow up millions of our tax dollars every year in return for delivering Don Quixote speeches in our name . . . but this particular issue which was recently underscored by the Canadian immigration authorities requires an article all its own.
It remains to say that in the people’s House, the incumbent ayes always have it. In truth, having delivered their predictable speeches MPs on the government’s side could easily retire to their private quarters for a nap on parliament’s top floor, until it’s time to cast their predictable votes.
What a farce. What a mockery of democracy. What a sick joke perpetrated by we the people on we the people. And for that privilege we annually fork out unaccountable millions. To think we the people could, with a little togetherness, a little courage, a little self respect, have our governments doing what they were elected to do: always to place our nation’s best interests first—or else!