I tend not to write much anymore.
Partly because my mom told me that if you don’t have anything good to say it’s best to shut it . . . partly because I find the merry-go-round nature of South African (and world) politics a complete bore. . . but, mainly, because we are where we are because we allowed it to happen.
And that leaves me sick to the stomach.
You, me, our colleagues, our dim-witted friends and those who think they have some foggy idea of what’s going on – all of us have played (and are actively playing) our part in giving power to those undeserving and incapable of doing anything good with the positions they hold.
Think for a second about the lives politicians lead.
Rather glamorous an existence is it not? For most part it cannot be described as hard work. There’s lots of first class, five star travel involved. Official luxury vehicles with security detail to match makes them look more like haunted stars of the silver screen than public servants. State banquets, official dinners, indabas at coastal resorts, brain-storming lunches catered by world-famous chefs . . . you name the bell, you dream of a whistle – it’s all there.
Pardon me: but what gives any public servant, anywhere in the world, the right to such opulence?
Why a top of the line (one million rand plus) car and not a mid-range luxury vehicle at half the price? Still damn nice and much better than most citizens will ever afford, so what’s the problem? Why ten week stays in Penthouse Suites at the most expensive hotels when normal executive suites are way more than sufficient? Why private chartered aeroplanes when business class in any number of national or international carriers would suffice?
And I’m still being nice here – there is no need for business class, for posh suites, for three pointed stars and Bavarian Motor Works (BMW).
Seriously, my mind cannot make logic of it all.
If you were running your own business, or if you had a say in the employment of staff at a company you work for, you would scrutinise, credit-check, perform aptitude tests, ask for police clearance certificates and then still debate whether or not the skills set meets requirement – and whether the person in question would be a good fit for the team he or she will lead/be a part of.
Alas, when it comes to those we entrust to spend money they had no part in earning, on things that are supposed to be of benefit of all, “credentials” and “proven ability” goes the way of the DoDo.
So we end up appointing a congregation of power-hungry, used-to-nothing, imbeciles (we would not trust to run a bath) to run our countries, marshal our armies, ensure our safety and work towards creating an environment where fair effort is rewarded and initiative encouraged.
And then we are surprised that they spend all their time in “meetings”, at “conference”, attending something, somewhere, in luxury usually reserved for captains of industry?
We do not need politicians.
They need us.
Their very existence is solely dependent on the public handing them a mandate to perform their duties in our best interest. Failure to do so is the ultimate betrayal and breach of contract between the “servant” and his/her masters . . . you and I.
The second that penny drops the word “public servant” will have some meaning again.
I welcome suggestions on how we can make it happen. (firstname.lastname@example.org) – yes, thrid.