Thursday, May 7, 2009

Seychelles Comedy - State House Anytime Now

The grand exercise in democracy…or is it demagogy?

The Seychelles President has decided that he has been vested with new powers to give his people a grand exercise in democracy.  He obviously went to the best school in this domain and graduated with honours from a coup d’état, establishing a one-party totalitarian communist regime that muzzled all its citizens for more than 30 years. Today, Michel the demagogue is totally confused. He runs up and down the country conducting a circus that he calls democracy at work. It is more like morons at work, and JenPa is doing his best to mask the frailties of his demented demagogue of a boss…

JenPa: Salvē! Welcome to the Domus Civitas! From now on Sir, we need to start using Latin in our briefings so that we bring things to another level and few people around us can understand our drift. Mihī placet lingua latīna. By the way, we need to appoint a new candidate as Ambassador to the Holy See since Orderly is now out of our realm. An Adam fits the picture perfectly. Cīvitās Vāticāna mīrābilis est!

Mr. President: Nullum multum JenPa! It is more like a Status Quo. This is how we should call my reign at State House. We have maintained stability since I am here and we have done a lot not to upset things, despite some of our key members such as Orderly deserting us. I can confirm that there are cracks appearing in the party walls but we should stand firm where our humble abode is concerned. I have a great young team working for me. Adam and Michel are really up there in the annals of our people’s faith.

JenPa: Indeed Sir. We are the crème de la crème! Young, dynamic and committed to the teeth! We are determined to see the Seychelles University Foundation through before your tenure is over.

Mr. President: I will finally have my degree in hand – the first honorary degree will be mine. My new official picture for the next elections will see me in my graduation garb – satin gown, square hat and of course the certificate in hand.

JenPa: Sir I have arranged to meet with the new Irish experts from the Police Force and they will be here this week for your Private Presidential Questions (PPQs). They have a lot to update you about especially the new developments on the pirates’ dilemma. They reckon that we have too much cops in the force and this needs to be trimmed down.

Mr. President: Indeed, I need to get to the bottom of the incident whereby poor Appoo’s parents’ were attacked and their house raided by the NDEA. They are now traumatised and our protocol man has the shits and did not dare to inform me on this. He was scared he would have his feathers ruffled and that’s why he kept quiet. Luckily Liz took pity on him and brought this to my attention.

JenPa: You see Sir; it is good to have a lot of members on the team. It fosters solidarity. We need to take Natti on some of the district meetings. At least it will add some sparkle among those sad, morose faces we are tagging along. She would have surely turned things around if she came along to Praslin.

Mr. President: We are in the process of completing a grand exercise in democracy JenPa. India is known as one of the largest democracies in the world. But we can claim that we have the most open. Where else can you see gatherings such as the ones we are holding in the districts where we allow people to moan and groan about our frailties as leaders? The good thing is that we let them vent their frustrations and we tell them that we will look into it. At least they can let off steam. This is the best strategy. Get them to let off steam so that the lid does not blow off in our face at the next elections.

JenPa: Sir it is a good thing that we are experts at stage managing these events. Despite all the negativity, SBC has managed to throw a positive light so far. I gather that the Opposition is planning their own meetings in the districts and they might outshine us with their turnout. Remember that more than 50% are staying away. It would have been wiser and braver to invite the opposition supporters to vent their frustration. At least we would have found a way to neutralise them…

Mr. President: I have been told that I am too much of a talker. In fact I sound like a broken record at every meeting. I am paying too much lip service to all these issues raised and I know that most of these problems will never be solved for a long time coming. So the lip service continues. In fact, I had this horrible dream last night that my lips were swollen like I had been stung by ‘mous zonn’ after so much lip service!

JenPa: That’s because you have been mandated to do a lot of cover ups and deflect attention on the real issues that we are facing today. At the time of assuming office you did not realise that you would have to wiggle your way out of those rat holes to protect the rodents that have ran away with the cheese. It is time to try and get some of the stolen money back. You don’t want people to be pointing the finger at you and sticking the corrupt label on your back right? OK, you have a few assets such as your presidential villa on Desroches but these are the trappings that come with the status of a dignified head of state…

Mr. President: I know JP but the bank accounts and the paper trails is what I am starting to get worried about. We have taken too much and we cannot pretend anymore. Only if Albert would have a change of heart and go back to his socialist principles of the early days. Mind you at that time he wanted to take from others to share and now he will have to take from himself and family. I will not be able to heal this country – I have come to the conclusion that the country will always remain divided. The task is beyond me. We need help to go back to the coalition days. We have all squandered too much and we will never be able to repay back. But payback time seems upon us and I will soon retire to my villa on Desroches. At least the South Africans have been good to me and I will be under their protection if all hell breaks loose.

JenPa: Sir you do not need to worry yourself too much. The economic reforms are on track. The haves are not being affected at all. And these are the people who will continue to back us as long as we support them with the privileges. Democracy is about money Mr. President. We have loads of it and no one will be able to give a better lesson in democracy than the one who has the most money!

Mr. President: Well JP, I’ve always believed that democracy works with a stick. Just like when you are trying to train a donkey. If you wield the stick and give the donkey a good beating, then it learns to obey. Our stick has always been the AK 47. It is important to intimidate people. You not only get the respect – no one wants to mess with you – but you get them to fall in line. That’s why we have an exemplary democracy. Everyone accepts what we say and do and there is no chaos. We have perfected the art of a ‘disciplined democracy’. We control everything and everyone looks happy. All the visiting dignitaries see this entire subdued people and believe that all is well. After all, who can best administer democracy than those who took it away? By giving it back, we are the champions of this cause.

JenPa: But Sir, we cannot confuse democracy with demagogy! Freedom is the keystone to democratic principles. Choice is a key element in the fostering of a democratic society. People have to be able to chose which papers to read, which radios to listen to and perhaps an alternative TV station to tune in to...

Mr. President: Our people will never be satisfied. I try to open up to them and they are fearful of my good intentions. I am disgusted to have been part of this revolution that has led us to nowhere except a bankrupt country that I now have to salvage. And on top of it, I am the one mandated to preach about democracy. All I have been used to is dictatorship. One voice - many followers! Too many voices lead to chaos...

I am starting to get fed up of dealing with these local situations JP. I desperately need to open up my mind to the outside world to maintain my sanity. Can you look into the planning of another overseas trip? Perhaps a summit with one of the Somali Pirate Kingpins or Warlord for us to discuss on the trade off between our hostages and the pirate captives we are holding. We will show the world how we are masters of demagogy… or is it what you call diplomacy... no, democracy??

JenPa leaves the President in his wayward thoughts and tries to hatch a plan on how to resolve this hostage vs pirate captives’ dilemma once and for all. Perhaps we can use one of the captured skiffs and head into the sunset towards Somalia to meet up with King Galeeb who is prepared to extend the Somali welcome to the Seychelles high level delegation. A request for a swap between Andromache and a mother ship is high on the agenda as one of the conditions of the release of our captive brothers... But King Galeeb also wants a Presidential Villa on Desroches or another remote island where he can also retire!



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