The sacking of former minister Keith
Rowley has simply meant that another pot has been put to boil on very low
Until attention gets diverted from
fanning the fire, the pot cools and the billion-dollar project is sorted out
the way it’s meant to be, in this small country, discreetly, behind closed
doors, between big men who understand the ease of dealing in banana
In these opaque scenarios, where the
curtain has been drawn against transparency, on the shiny board table, with
the drinks cabinet within easy reach, you could make a lot of money with a
few carefully-chosen words.
Like the airport was. As long as
millions are being thrown at Cepep and those at the bottom of the ladder
remain sleeping like medicated, overfed, undereducated, unquestioning sheep,
and it’s all good.
Eventually, the Udecott pot will
cool as so many before them scraped out and discarded in the garbage of our
Ours is the way of tiny lawless
Why? Because if the gods were to ask
let the person who has not sinned cast the first stone or point a finger,
we’d all have to retreat into our little holes.
After all, we all do it. It’s our
culture to make up rules as we go along. Hardly anyone in the middle or
upper classes has not called on someone they know to push things along.
A visa, a flight, a job application,
an interview, a little contract, an introduction. A phone call, a chat at a
cocktail party and it’s sorted; a little illegality.
The lower income groups are run by a
tacit understanding not found in statute books. Community leaders tell the
Government “you give us money without making us work too hard for it, and we
will hold back on the bullets.”
To some extent, all societies work
informally—through networking and favours, a way of slipping through the
rules because of someone you know.
Informal legal system
But what happens when everybody
drops the legal system entirely and weaves in and around the rules? What
happens when our social contract between citizen, to follow the law, and
government to protect citizens is broken?
Nothing, really. Everybody is happy.
We park where we want, drive the way we like, dodge the law, until it
affects us adversely. Then we want work ethic and transparency.
I saw a young girl nearly crush an
old woman the other day at a zebra crossing, swearing at her as she swerved
The old dear wanted law then. I saw
a young, dangerously ill boy wait for 11 hours in a doctor’s office. Then
his-hot shot father wanted medical accountability.
When soldiers in uniform begin
stealing our cars in malls, when the police are involved in kidnappings, we
are on high alert to our widespread lawlessness defined as “chaos,”
This parallel to a failed legal
system works only as long as money is being thrown at people to keep them
quiet. What happens when it runs out?
People unused to law and order,
deprived of a strong work ethic, will still want something for nothing. When
the government is unable to throw money at them, they will turn on the whole
society, a mighty lash of the tail of a cobra.
The sad thing is, in societies like
ours, where there is a high level of criminality among the very rich and the
very poor, it’s the foundation, the in-between middle class that will
The rich will get out. The very
criminal don’t care if they die, once they are taking you with them.
It’s the people who prop up this
country, the middle-classes whose rights are eroded every day without any
exchange for government responsibility, will helplessly watch another hefty
pot belonging to us all, fill, bubble, cool, emptied and discarded, and with
it their hope for peace and economic stability.