Do our politi­cians live by their own moral code?

The Star (St. Lucia) - - COMMENT - By Peter Josie The author served as a min­is­ter in both Labour and UWP ad­min­is­tra­tions.

It was Bas­deo Pan­day, for­mer Prime Min­is­ter of Trinidad and Tobago, who forced that ques­tion onto the na­tional agenda sev­eral years ago when he as­serted that pol­i­tics has a moral­ity of its own. It was at that time, too, that the smaller than aver­age politi­cian of East In­dian her­itage shouted from his po­lit­i­cal plat­form that if he got into a fight with a lion, peo­ple should feel sorry for the lion.

To­day such wild talk is likely to be as­so­ci­ated with po­lit­i­cal loud­mouths who should be al­lowed to con­sume their Chair­man’s Re­serve at their own peril. Mau­rice Bishop loved to say such char­ac­ters were “Caribbean yard fowls” that had some­how found their way into pol­i­tics. These poorly so­cialised in­di­vid­u­als seem de­ter­mined to take a page out of Mr. Pan­day’s book on po­lit­i­cal moral­ity. Sadly, our own peo­ple ap­pear to have a pen­chant for copy­ing the worst in oth­ers.

But per­haps nei­ther Pan­day nor Trinidad is to be blamed for our ever-de­clin­ing po­lit­i­cal stan­dards. Lo­cal pol­i­tics were not al­ways con­ducted as now! Once the door to ed­u­ca­tion was thrown open, the poorly so­cialised de­viants crept in, and soon one could not tell the per­vert from the pure. To fur­ther con­fuse the sit­u­a­tion, a small per­cent­age that made it to Univer­sity re­turned home more than ever blem­ished. A clear dan­ger is posed when rot­ten char­ac­ters end up in pol­i­tics.

When such a grad­u­ate de­cides to make a go of pol­i­tics the peo­ple should ex­pect more lies, more ob­fus­ca­tion, more cor­rup­tion. These are to­day’s re­al­i­ties. Peo­ple lie with im­punity—mim­ick­ing their lead­ers. They post items on so­cial me­dia that they know to be ab­so­lutely false. They are men­tally hand­i­capped and de­praved. They take great plea­sure in bring­ing oth­ers down be­cause their own lit­tle lives are des­per­ate and empty. Be­hind the veils pro­vided by their el­e­vated po­si­tions of trust are sev­eral vices, some of them crim­i­nal. They lack the courage to ex­press a rea­soned opin­ion even on mat­ters of na­tional in­ter­est.

When they can sum­mon up some rum-fu­eled courage, you may be cer­tain that what comes out of their mouth will be their master’s voice. They like noth­ing bet­ter than mak­ing to the elec­torate prom­ises they have no in­ten­tion to de­liver.

Our Univer­sity grad­u­ates should be taught by what­ever means nec­es­sary that they can­not fool all the peo­ple all the time. Un­like Pan­day—a lawyer—lo­cal politi­cians should be is­sued a stern warn­ing that there should no spe­cial moral­ity for pol­i­tics.

The mat­ter of moral­ity in pol­i­tics be­comes even scarier for right-think­ing con­sci­en­tious per­sons when the po­lit­i­cal leader vows to be trans­par­ent and, in­stead, pro­ceeds to use ev­ery de­vice be­hind which to hide the mo­ment he is elected to of­fice.

Another as­pect of the ques­tion of moral­ity in pol­i­tics is the call­ing of elec­tions. Caribbean prime min­is­ters are no­to­ri­ous for call­ing elec­tions when least ex­pected. Saint Lu­cia was given less than twenty days be­fore the last elec­tions.

Ly­ing now re­sides in the heart of Saint Lu­cia pol­i­tics, with se­ri­ous con­se­quences. The peo­ple are daily los­ing trust in politi­cians. Even when a gov­ern­ment is try­ing des­per­ately to es­tab­lish pos­i­tive poli­cies, the twice-bit­ten peo­ple an­tic­i­pate the worst. My grand­mother used to say, “show me a liar and I’ll show you a thief.” When I think of her, I won­der if she knew how cor­rect and pro­found was her state­ment. Proof of its va­lid­ity is to­day all around us. It is im­per­a­tive that church lead­ers raise their protest voices louder than ever. It should not be left to the pub­lisher of this news­pa­per and a few other con­cerned ci­ti­zens to fight the wrongs that plague our so­ci­ety, the main vic­tims be­ing our young peo­ple.

De­ceased Gre­nada leader Mau­rice Bishop had a spe­cial name for politi­cians who be­lieve in noth­ing!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Saint Lucia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.