Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Seychelles Comedy - State House Anytime Now

Cameras, lights, teleprompter, and … Cheap politics

This dreaded month of June is here again. The OLD dictator aka Per Fondater has finally given up on the struggle. President James Michel of Seychelles is now figuring out how to end his own legacy. Caught between the rock of ’77 and the hard place of a plundered Seychelles in ’09, he has to add some shine and gloss to his presidency and savour all the great moments despite all the shortcomings. This Michel presidency has inherited only bad times it seems but he will not go down in Seychelles history as the poor president. It is time to usher in the era of cheap politics…

Mr. President: How are you on this lovely morning JP? I must congratulate you and your steering committee team for such a great handling of all the events at our national day. I am amazed at how stage management can change things around. I was basking in the spotlight and I am starting to get used to the teleprompter. Except that it keeps me turning my head left, right, left right… It puts me in the same league as the great political orators of our time like Obama. But I was so disappointed with the turnout. Obama can galvanise the masses but we cannot pull a decent crowd at our national day! Even with the 45 free buses on hand. What shall we do at our future rallies? The people are starting to see through our lies JP. We need to be more on the offensive.

JenPa: Sir we still have some adjustments to make with this teleprompter, as the lights of the device keeps reflecting in your spectacles. We will have to get this one fixed. Perhaps you should go for contact lenses and we will have no more glare. Or better yet, maybe eye laser surgery which is as simple as the plastic surgery you had a few years ago to make you look younger. Anyhow, we missed out on the surprise behind the golden curtain at the stadium. Morgan spoiled the show as he had a briefcase load of fake dollars delivered to the pirates and they had already got wind of his US$ 4.5 million scam. So they did not buy into his latest trick and therefore you looked more like a fool after we had revved up the crowd.

Mr. President: The verdict is that the ceremony was very bleak, despite my attempts to sound more like the old man. His scare tactics used to work in the days of one party state. I tried to absolve myself by blaming all those who were not present. It is the best way around all our problems. If we are failing today it is thanks to an opposition that is trying to slow us down. You see JP, by calling ourselves ‘Parti Lepep’ we can at least try to convince the few odd supporters to stay on board. When they cannot make a distinction between a government and a party, the choice is clear. We obliterate the opposition!

JenPa: Sir, we need to tread carefully. We have done a series of faux-pas recently which has eroded your already waning popularity. The populace is starting to complain about your aloofness and the fact that you have to travel around with an army of aides and bodyguards and a security detail that even Zuma or Obama do not have. Is this an indication of popularity? I do understand your concern about security but everyone seems to be saying that you are more obsessed about it than Ton Albert. Do you have that much to hide, or are you really that afraid of our Seychellois people?

Mr. President: Of course I’m afraid! Albert and I have so many enemies, and many families want revenge. Why do you think Albert has a whole Army at Barbarons watching over him? And now that he has dumped all the dirt on me, I need protection JP. Don’t you know how things operate in the mafia world? The bigger the “Don”, the more elaborate the security details. But you have a point. I need to also play the cool guy and try to mix more without being scared for my life right?

JenPa: Precisely Sir. We need to start implementing a weekly stroll through the streets of Victoria to feel the pulse of our people. We have lost that bond and need to re-connect. Remember that all our James Bond spies on the streets are reporting back with not so encouraging news. So you should do like Obama and go out and buy some fast food… maybe show up at Madame Yunas’ King Neptune takeaway at lunchtime and buy a chicken and chips. Or even Ramadoss’ Pirates Arms for a pizza? Hmm, or even Marine Charter or Yacht Club for a Curry & Rice, although I don’t think it is a great idea since you have sold their sites to these Arabs from Oman.

Mr. President: Oh yes, I had forgotten about these Omani guys. We better stay away from Marine Charter and the Yacht Club then as the members hate my guts. Plus I’m not much of a boating person, and I just insulted those fishermen as well in my speech, as well as the taxi drivers. So we have to be really careful if we go on any walkabouts in town. I might get a bottle smashed on my head from one of those dustbin hunters; or one of those heroin drugged-up hookers in the precinct of the Independence House might strangle me with her g-string or throw a high heel at me.

JenPa: Sir, we need to find ways to conceal our lust for power. These mega bikes did not go down well in these hard economic times. We should have asked the Moroccan government for some lampposts or even one ambulance. We are on a collective guilt trip now and the people are judging us by our actions. There is already a petition out that the seven super bikes need to be allocated to the doctors in the districts so that they can provide a mobile home visit emergency service. The machine is big enough for the doctor to travel with his nurse and there is plenty of storage space to fit a small pharmacy…

Mr. President: That’s an idea JP! Perhaps we can convert them as such and call it the fleet of SOS Medecins! We could even throw in the Rolls Royce as well. Then we will be bringing the service right to the doorstep of our people. You know, I also think that two bikes would have been enough and seven is a bit too much…but boy, between you and me, I wouldn’t mind taking that hot Serbian chick for a ride on that big vibrating machine… Oh JP, where has my youth gone?

JenPa: Sir, I am sure Srdjana would go for a ride with you because after all, you are the President of Seychelles. And if the machine fails (wink wink), you can always pop one of those little blue pills Rama sends to you and Big Boss every month. But Sir, this is no time to be thinking of younger chicks as you need to be focussing on your popularity ratings which is dropping at an alarming rate. You know, it was not a very good idea to point fingers at our taxi drivers, merchants and fisherman, let alone talk about cheap gutter politics. I know it has always been Ton Albert’s style to have a dig at them but it is costing us some vital votes. We have now alienated about two thousand voters.

Mr. President: Well I had to make reference to all the cheap politics. I am getting beaten at my own game. You see politics is really an art. It is also a dirty game and we should leave this to the politicians who know how to play it.

JenPa: Sir, I admire your resolve in comparing yourself to the Michelangelo or Picasso of the political world. I would put the art more in the league of great veteran actors such as Clint Eastwood, John Wayne or Bruce Lee. After all these years practicing this art, you are the true master. These youngsters trying to take you on cannot and will never master the true art of cheap politics like you do.

Mr. President: Yes, I’m like an old Kung Fu master and that’s why I am a great admirer of Ton Jim who has Chinese blood running through his veins. This is why I am trying to imitate him. You know JP, I am starting to see the light of 1976 and Ton Jim’s ingenious and artful ways. I even borrowed a line from him when I mentioned in the speech that we are tired of politics and need to put the country first. I do feel a sense of apathy in Lepep…and maybe next year we can use “Our Country First” as our new motto. People are just not buying into this “Koste Seselwa” B.S.

JenPa: Sir, the month of June is surely a nightmare for us. It divides our people more than it unites them. As long as the old Per Fondater is alive we will not be able to change the course of this county. He is so obsessed with the 5th of June. He gave us the 18th as a compromise and it still does not work.

Mr. President: Well JP, let us hope for the best. Albert said that he has a few more years to go, and he is like an old Aldabra goat that one. But let us just hope that by the next elections, he will be senile and you and I can chart a new beginning….a renaissance of some sort.

JenPa: Sir, we have received some royal congratulations from the extremely rich Sultan of Brunei. Perhaps we can approach him to get some money to wipe out our debts. Here’s my 10 point action plan to tap into this new contact:

1. Invite him to Seychelles

2. Kiss and hug him

3. Give him a coco de mer

4. Sell him an island & snub Glenny by sending him to run PDF to increase the water supply on Praslin

5. Give him Desroches to develop as the South Africans are simply too slow

6. Take over Ste. Anne from Francis as he has shelved his Zilwa hotel and marina project

7. Give him a casino license to wipe out Ramadoss who has become a huge liability

8. Let him take over Air Seychelles to rid us of David who can go run SPTC with Joel

9. Give him a mountain to strip like we have done with Prince Talal on Praslin Raffles

10. Invite him to bring a few of his megayachts into our waters to distract the Somali pirates.

Mr. President: Great food for thought as usual JP. We need to look into wooing more royalty now that I am emulating them in our own little kingdom. I need company as I am feeling too lonely up at top…

The President is already contemplating what to do next in order to placate a disgruntled populace. Perhaps a historic meeting with Mancham to pick his brain on how to best celebrate our Independence Day (he has vast experience in frequenting royalty). This will surely do the trick and raise his profile as a caring and sympathetic leader… Or is it apathetic?

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