We all live in glass houses
E DII TO RII A L
Talking (and even preaching) about corruption and meritocracy seems to be the new fad and a wonderful way to deflect people’s attention away from the real troubles we face.
The fact that money laundering, corruption and fraud has reached the amazing levels we hear about on a daily basis should not surprise us, as we have all been fully aware of such cases at all levels, but simply did nothing for fear of reprisals such as losing a cushy contract or not getting in a favour with the local MP or municipal councilor.
In fact, it’s a culture thing and, as the saying goes, education starts at home.
This mindset has sunk in from the Colonial days when someone would get hired in Her Majesty’s government or any other public service controlled by the British rulers and suddenly every known relative would rush up to that person to get a menial, yet secure, job for his son or daughter. This is when ‘rousfeti’ became an integral part of our society and has subsequently spilled over to other areas, so long as both sides are happy with the outcome. Those people who were hired through the back door four or five decades ago are the ones who kept this system alive, passing on privileges from one generation to the other.
But if we want this to stop, then perhaps we should start by taking baby steps, as the transparency law and the bill on protection of whistleblowers is far from ever being materialised, no thanks to government and MPs dragging their feet, probably intentionally.
If the next generation is taught in school that, for example, parking in a spot for disabled people is bad, then they will influence their parents and hopefully grow up to be good citizens themselves. Only by treating others equally can one demand to be treated with respect, and only then will young grads realise that they will be hired on merit and not because they are related to some big shot in local government or a political party.
And the first example should come from the parties themselves.
After Paphos was thrown into an election mode, with the resignation of their mayor who is implicated in a plethora of scandals, is it not fair to demand that Paphos councilors also stepped down and let the people choose a new council? If they only elect a new mayor then they are all hiding behind their fingers, as most if not all of them knew about the goings on in their town.
The election is not a matter of parties showing their strength, but rather what the ruling and opposition keep on blasting each other about, that is that Caesar’s wife should not just ‘ seem’ to be honest, but she should ‘be’ honest as well. If Caesar’s wife had been alive nowadays and judging how often this phrase is abused by political parties, she would be the highest-paid prostitute ever in Cyprus history.