Politicians are so damn predictable—and tribal. Either you are obviously with them (better to say, one of them!) or deemed against them. The only loyalty they recognize is the loyalty of thieves. It is the kind of loyalty normally associated with organized crime. Whisper one word in the wrong ear about the Mafia’s activities and you might just as well have committed suicide. For death is the Mafia’s penalty for breaking its code of silence, known as omerta.
To the best of my knowledge, our politicians have not yet sunk to such depravity. But, as I say, I’m only guessing; wishful thinking, since I’m not nearly as informed on the subject as is the US State Department that more than a year ago ceased funding our police force for reasons related to a number of homicides, possibly involving local politicians. An investigation by IMPACS into the alleged police executions has been underway for at least three months.
Certainly we’ve heard enough from our easily over-heated politicians to believe there is truth in one MP’s famous public confession that “there are criminals on both sides” of the House.
In more recent times, the leader of the present government had placed on the record allegations that in other zones would certainly have resulted in criminal investigations or libel and slander suits, at the very least.
Alas, the people our parliamentarians serve have themselves grown so accustomed to hearing MPs refer to one another as money launderers, cheats, child molesters, violators of human rights, liars and renegades that by now they believe politics and anti-social behavior are synonymous. Joined at the hip, so to speak.
If I may be permitted a personal note: I have always been especially careful not to refer to individuals—whether or not in public service—as corrupt; at any rate, not until they have been given the same defense opportunities afforded regular citizens.
Back in 2005, it seemed government officials were engaged in a devilish conspiracy to tarnish indelibly one particular candidate on the eve of an election. That one of the officials was also a candidate in the same election did not seem to matter; not to the media and certainly not to the guardians of the nation’s soul, not even when the official publicly leveled charges at his opponent that remain even today unsubstantiated.
Of course there has been the odd farce that passed for an inquiry. But all they proved was that vengeful lawmakers are far less interested in upholding the law than in causing their opponents a moment of embarrassment—maybe!
We’ve had the Rochamel fiasco that spawned far more questions than answers. There was also the matter of Rochamel’s close relative Frenwell—unheard of until the Ramsahoye commission of inquiry—for which the public paid through the nose and received nothing in return, as usual.
The DPP, meanwhile, has demonstrated little interest in the Ramsahoye Report, or, for that matter, in any other report following our expensive sham commissions of inquiry. Still we pretend to be shocked when our police department is accused of egregious criminality, including extra-judicial executions.
With elections likely to be called whenever the government imagines its chances of winning are guaranteed, by which I mean to say, when the unprepared opposition least expects the announcement, accusations are being broadcast from the floor of the privileged parliament and from every Internet launching pad.
Much of the artillery, not coincidentally, seems aimed at the Castries southeast MP Guy Joseph, his party leader Allen Chastanet and their chairman Ezekiel Joseph—the biggest bombs reserved for the first mentioned.
All of which brings to mind the 13-year concentrated war on Castries Central MP Richard Frederick—all to no avail. These days, Frederick and his UWP colleagues are engaged in their own internecine conflict, while the gleeful government reminds itself that the enemy of its enemy is its friend.
Of course, the dangerous farce is being played out with no concern for its devastating impact on the people, some of whom have always known politicians are, as they say, in it only for themselves; never for the people. The Compton dam may be close to dry but there’s always water under the bridge, however unfit for use other than by politicians selfishly seeking rebirth.
Meanwhile, the media has been rendered next to useless by several official threats of libel. Fear has remade the local press into a shameless disseminator of transparent, intelligence-insulting, egregiously composed propaganda. And not only for the government with his own TV, radio and newspaper!
Finally this: It is not nearly good enough for accusing government ministers to level charges at their opposites from
the privileged floor of the House. It is not nearly good enough to convene press conferences that pretend to be court sessions with an MP as judge, jury and executioner. It is high time a crooked politician was brought to book. It should’ve happened a long time ago, perhaps dating back to the heyday of John Compton.
It will never happen, if we permit ourselves to be treated as imbeciles by mindless and possibly crooked politicians. We should be demanding that politicians who stand accused of abuses of office be brought before the courts. Bellowing epithets and allegations from the floor of the privileged House is equal to blowing smoke up the public rectum. And that, too, is not nearly good enough!