Thursday, August 7, 2014

Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory...

There's a riddle that asks, if a man sets out to fail, and he succeeds, what has he done? When the Parliament reconvened without fanfare this week one could sense the electricity, the getting down to business no nonsense of the mood and I must say it was energizing. Sitting in the visitors gallery of the House of Representatives, watching the Members file in one by one as the Senators, those members from that 'other place' made their way to wherever they could find an inconspicuous seat to observe the day's offering it was clear, the stage was set for big things, and it is with big things it started. The Speaker of the House, after the blessings and other important items, made the announcements that governed the new Standing Orders that were to be adopted, and with all of that business out of the way, in an almost offhand manner he read into the record a letter he received from the member for D'Abadie O'Meara, who had suddenly and without warning or explanation tendered his resignation as a Member of that august House, and in keeping with Section 49 A of the Constitution of the Republic, the Speaker was under no other obligation but to accept it.

And just like that, tropical storm Anil Roberts was over. But for us looking on and the growing numbers in the media space there was also the promise of the Prime Minister's announcement, the top and singular item on the government's agenda, and it is from that she read a contribution that I believed was going to crown her career as Prime Minister of the Republic, she standing there looking the part delivered to the people much of what has been promised for so long, recall legislation to keep members beholding to the voters or be tossed out, fixed election dates to end the back pocket speculation nonsense, term limits for Prime Ministers to prevent their ever being another entrenched dictator for life, and just as she was hitting the high note and headed to crescendo the entire thing fell flat, hinged to an announcement of something called 'run off' which has since dominated the national conversation in a most negative manner (but more on that after), causing many if not all to strain to understand why must they always do this?

Why take a moment of pure spanking glory and screw with it just enough to upset the people who, but a minute before were ready to hoist them onto their shoulders and take them on parade in celebration?

Like the oh so badly needed Section 34 bit of legislating that would have brought so much relief to so many, many of whom have been abandoned to their sorry fates by the other side, their die hard support for life notwithstanding, and then forget to include in the schedule that protects the public from abuse the clause that would have made sure that white collar criminals, scamps and well dressed hoodlums did not benefit from this same bit of mercy drafting.

So instead of being heroes they looked complicit in a master-scheme to set financiers free from answering for high handed theft of the people's money, and when the legislation was undone, the same poor desperate souls languishing behind bars in a system that does not know how to treat with those who cannot afford the most zealous representation, the best intentions led to an even worse outcome for those most in need.

And similar to that, only recently and almost at the death of the last session to bring to the Parliament the so badly needed Judges Pension Increase Bill, a move that would have raised so many former tireless servants of the Bench from penury and destitution and raised themselves to the status of caring and loving servants of all the people, chose instead to attach it to another Bill that also raised their own pensions and salaries in terms and amounts that both alarmed and scandalized the entire population, causing the Bill to be pulled to appease the chorus of disdain, leaving the same Judges who, elated for just a moment, were now worse off than before, because now their names and cause were attached to what appeared to be over reaching and greed by the same angry public.

Why do that?

And now this. Standing firmly against the Ministerial failure that led to the corrupt collapse of the Lifesport programme, the government that should be basking in the firing of the accountable line, instead chose to come to the Parliament and ice the cake with shards of broken glass. And now, instead of being heralded from street to street as the government we need and the one that we should keep, the People's Partnership comes across as conniving and untrustworthy, as in willing to engage in high level gerrymandering to protect their own interest at the expense of the democracy, wrapped up in a document laid in the Parliament that looks to all and sundry like just another Judas kiss.

No, People's Partnership, you do your supporters such a disservice when you do this, to send the Attorney General scurrying from talk show to talk show pressing a case for a matter that should have been the subject of widespread public consultation, but which will now forever be stained into infamy as another underhanded play by an insincere bunch.

I keep saying this government is the best we have ever had but are also the kings of unforced errors, willing to do whatever it takes to move from the high ground to the low road unprovoked and of their own volition. With twelve months to go before election I cringe for what might yet be done, seemingly ill advised by those too clueless to know how much of this appears on the ground with the very voters who, if you are honest and straightforward with and just do your job, may well be so enamored with you that you might not even need to campaign, much less tamper with how elections are done to win.

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