Sunday, October 11, 2009

Seychelles Comedy - State House Anytime Now


The second wave of the SPPF-Parti Lepep revolution is based around their own survival. In 1977 they wanted to create a model socialist /communist society but this cannot be sustainable in this day and age of globalisation, IMF bailouts and other hardships that this old generation of politicians have to lie their way through their umpteenth political mandate to ensure their survival. The buzz word is empowerment and reforms – the biggest smokescreen to hide behind all their incapacities. Danny Boy has been summoned to State House to discuss the way forward...

JenPa: Good Morning Sir! The Minister of Finance is at hand to discuss all the rush of bills that are being put forward to the assembly for ratification that will absolve our government of any responsibilities with regards to the hardships of the open, liberalized economy that we have ushered in. You will recall that he did a fabulous job at one of the district meetings to diffuse the bomb about the missing $2.5 billion. A true orator and champion of language manipulation!

Mr. President: Good morning JP. Hello Danny, please make yourself comfortable and give me a briefing on how things are moving along. We need brave people like you with persuasive and authoritative demeanour to push all these reforms through. Government needs to come clean in all this as we do not want to be losing any votes along the way. The district meetings are already doing a lot of damage on the ground and the damage control is costing us a bomb.

Danny Boy: Good Morning Mr. President. I have been labouring the whole week to put this scheme of privatising the government services from cleaners, security, maintenance etc. We have taken this out of our realm and now the onus will be on the new cooperatives and agencies that will see to it that these services operate autonomously, without government interference. So if things do not work out, then we deflect the blame onto someone else.

Mr. President: Smart thinking my man. This is why I think that you have a great chance of taking over the VP seat. I gather that you have met with these sections of society to reassure them that things will run smoothly. I am glad to note that you are also on the same wavelength as I am and getting all of them to look at this as a form of empowerment. As our reforms take place, the empowerment process is inevitable. This is a smart way to get them to think for themselves and not depend on the state anymore.

Danny Boy: Sir but there is a lot of uneasiness and apprehension that this might be as catastrophic as the home carer system. But at least when things get sour on that front, we will not be held responsible. Empowerment is the key. They will have to take their own responsibility. No one will be able to point the finger to our government anymore as they did in the home carer fiasco. On the liberalization front, we are dismantling everything and our people will have all the choice in the world. We are in a global economy and cannot escape the trappings of this beast. We can no longer throw a lifeline at our small local industries. They will have to sink or swim. My feeling is that they will sink faster than we thought. This is what they wanted and this is what they will get. We have amassed a huge reserve of foreign exchange and this will go towards all the imports of our crazed society bent on consuming everything that is foreign.

Mr. President: Great my man! That’s a very well thought out plan. Our government must be leaner and this is one of the best ways to trim the fat. So whatever happens to this excess fat we do not care as long as we have to fulfil our mandate of slimming down this government. The IMF reforms seem to be going according to plan but we now have a major problem on our hands with too much forex and too few rupees. What will be the next move?

Danny Boy: Sir, we will have to get the banks to relax on their tight monetary policy. There are no more rupees in circulation to stimulate growth. You see all this baffles me as I studied my economics principles based on an isolated peso in Cuba. All these floatation of currencies is a real rush of blood to the head for me. I am trying my best, with the help of my huge team of advisors to get the message across.

President: Even with the IMF policies in place, it will take years before we get out of this economic mess. How are we going to go on like this now that we are making so many commitments including the Indian Ocean Island Games, even if top businessmen L’Amie Joe and Hoareau are on board to help us raise the funds? This is why I am engaging in this Constructive Economic Diplomacy with our best friends in the gulf region. We need to get them to pour some money into this economy as just the IMF program will not suffice.

Danny Boy: I can understand your frustration Sir. But it is also time for us to revamp our team so that we can show a renewed vigour. The word out there is that we are becoming more of a pantomime than a serious government. Our efforts are not coordinated and we are all looking at a hapless bunch at the controls but with no proper plan of where we are heading. We are creating a lot more bureaucracy with these commissions which do not even have a mandate. The rotation of the same heads should be discontinued if we are to remain credible. We need upward mobility, not sideways shifting. Look at you and I, we are true embodiments of such upward mobility. It is a new mindset that needs to be adopted Sir.

President: Not to worry. Danny. You have shown all the courage and determination of a true militant. I will soon put this house to order and reward those that I feel have the will power and commitment to stay on. Look at Pat, he decided to cop out and I am sure that a lot of others will be deciding on early retirement next year.

Danny Boy: Indeed Sir. We need to empower those that have shown their unwavering commitment. Look at Joel, he has been working tirelessly night and day. He is our master negotiator and I think that he will do well as the next minister of Finance with his sleek negotiation skills. We should soon retire old Joe who has totally lost interest. He has served long enough like Pat I suppose. I will make a better VP that’s for sure. We can then get rid of this Jj thing and make it more a JD team. It rings better. Think of Jack Daniels Sir! Vintage!!

President: Indeed Danny! You have high aspirations and I like this kind of mentality. We cannot give up the fight. There is a lot more to come. My recent visit to Ras Al Khaimah will be bringing in loads of cash and investment possibilities and I am sure this will be a tremendous boost for our economy and our quest to become one of the key energy players in the future. Watch out for the ceramic tiles and the ‘Black Marlin’. The future looks bright Danny so do not despair. I have prepared the survival of this party beyond several generations. When I am done, you’ll take over, when you are done, we’ll have others like JP to take over. Parti Lepep spans across generations and like I mentioned when I took over the most prestigious office in the land, it is like our granite of our islands. It has been there for millions of years and will remain here forever. This is why we are now called Parti-Lepep...

JenPa who had been sneaking behind the door to overhear the conversation muses to himself. Hmm... I am in the right camp after all. With Danny becoming the next VP, I can aspire to become the new Minister of Foreign Affairs and we can still continue on these famous trips together with the President to far distant places to spread our message of active, engaging democracy. ‘ Nou pe debrouye pou Sesel!’ The future looks bright indeed...


The President has requested a second summit with Danny boy to get an update on the progress of the works going on the National Assembly to transform this government. The wheels of reform are now well oiled and spinning frantically to meet up with all the deadlines. So the leaders believe that nothing will stop the ‘Lepep’ government in its quest for a lifetime mandate to govern. We are ushering in a new era of total control under the label of democracy... until all hell breaks loose.

JenPa: Good Morning Sir! The Minister of Finance has just returned from the conference in Istanbul and has some favourable updates that will give added momentum to this government as we bring further proof to our people that we are on the right track.

Mr. President: Good morning JP. Now that the district meetings are over, we need to come up with a proper strategy to subdue all these complaints. The list has grown too long and the technocrats have to start moving. We have already lost a lot of votes and we will be unable to buy them back this time around. Our people are suffering JP and I hope that Danny has the right solutions.

Danny Boy: Good Morning Mr. President. I bring you warm greetings from our close partners at the IMF / World Bank summit. Our reforms have been well received and we are on the right track.

Mr. President: Great! I can see that my young team which most people call inexperienced are doing well. With JP, we are running an efficient State House and I can see that with your young team you seem to be doing a fine job at the Ministry of Finance. The 2010 budget will be up soon and I hope that you can cope with this entire work load.

Danny Boy: Not to worry Mr. President we are taking it well into our stride. The cosmetic changes that we envisaged has now been before the assembly and approved. We have a new departure with more accountability for the parastatals with new boards. It shows that we are doing something but as usual we will exempt the untouchables under the guise that we need to protect the institutional memories of these companies. In this way, we absolve ourselves. This is what I call fine tuning Sir. Little empires can remain under this cover and we do not have to make any explanations.

Mr. President: You seem to have become a master at this Danny. You did take a lot of coaching from the old mentor of Barbarons! Indeed I also see on the new boards that we are going ahead with appointing some new princesses such as the assembly’s big man’s wife. All in all we are a big happy family...

Danny Boy: Talking about family Sir, I am glad to see that little brother will be back to head foreign affairs under your guidance. This will help us immensely as active diplomacy is the key to get these reforms sorted out. Brothers in arms!

President: Indeed we need all our combatants back by our side. The district meetings have proved to us that we have not delivered as a government and we have an uphill battle to gain political ground. Soon I will get Ronny back so that he can start walking the districts instead of the streets of New York. I am thinking of giving more world exposure to our younger generation in these overseas postings. What do you think JP?

JenPa: It will be the best motivational tool for our youth Sir. I propose that we do this on a rotation basis as I would love to gain some experience at the UN as well. This will no doubt mould me into taking over at Foreign Affairs when you deem fit.

Danny Boy: Let’s focus back on the work at hand here locally. Our reforms are more fundamental Mr. President. We have now dismantled the monopoly of the SMB / STC. With Mukesh gone and the old man out of the picture, no one seemed to have noticed that our dear institution of consumer protection is buried and gone. Can you imagine that I was once the chairman of such an institution? I will have to erase this off my resume.

President: Ha ha ha! How times have changed! But we are now in a new era of liberalization my boy. No more ‘Ser Sang’. Just let everything loose. Soon we will have to tie our trousers with ‘lakord bannan’. When Casino comes in, we will finally put an end to all the little Indians.

Danny Boy: I did my best to put it across to the assembly that with this new law we will have no more of these unscrupulous cartels that control the monopolies. I love taking swipes at things that we created ourselves. It gives me a great sense of accomplishment. It is better to undo something that you have done wrong yourself than to let somebody else do it and take pride in it.

President: Oil Danny! We need to find oil. This is the key for us to keep control. We have embarked on empowerment schemes, dismantling the controlled economy and pretty soon we will have no more power over our people and they will be deciding on out fate. Oil is the key. Then we become like the UAE and we share it amongst our people and win all of them back one by one. We can then have all our tankers come home with their bellies full of oil and gas to distribute to our people freely.

The dream is not over yet! They do have too much to lose and therefore have to think of a cling on to power at all cost strategy. Perhaps another government reshuffle and a snap election next year to install some new blood and raise their profile? But credibility is the key word. As long as the same faces are around, the end is nigh... But JenPa is content that despite the implosion within the government, he is riding the crest of a wave, with his recent appointment to the Air Seychelles board… now he can fly in Pearl Class with the rest of the Government elite. Boy, it pays to be an Adam!


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