To the Labour Leader Dr The Hon. Navinchandra Ramgoolam

Avec le soutien de

In private, when chatting or seeking a dose of thoughtfulness or whatever, eminent figures always seem terribly charming. However, they show a rather different face when they occupy the public stage. It’s then embarrassing when there’s a need to make suggestions and observations that may be unwelcome, but my role is to carry on, grinning and bearing it all. Honi soit qui mal y pense.

You seem to be engaged in a right carry-on, having re-emerged from the woodwork despite the huge quantities of pesticides applied by your enemies. Presumably, you intend to emphasise your qualities of rassembleur – although, apart from bank notes, the Admirables may be unsure what that means. You’ve said you’ve never committed a crime, so why not strengthen your credibility by signing an affidavit stating that you’ve never benefitted from beach and land leases, petrol import arrangements, road and building contracts, and increased land valuations, not even from the Dude or airport ventures? It shouldn’t be difficult to find an experienced journalist to guide you, as it would make great headline news. People would find it most re-assuring to know there’s at least one honest politician labouring away on their behalf. You could even get your secretariat to produce a list of your former ministers who were irreproachable, even if it’s a short one. Pending your assertion, it’s rather unsafe to suggest that the Portuguese man-of-war episode was the biggest financial scandal the country’s ever known.

Of course, the gods often wonder whether any modern-day leader is a model of integrity. Throughout Africa, politicos since Independence seem to have followed the example of personal enrichment set by their former colonial masters – and have interpreted good governance as not getting caught in fragrant delight, on black rocks or anywhere else. It’s sad you feel let down by your former constituents but perhaps they feel that the democratisation of the economy seemed rather narrowly targeted. All in all, the collapse of your HQ building seems strangely symbolic. It might have been more astute to restore it so that it became a national monument attracting tourists and visiting VVIPs. It’s more conveniently located than the samadhai.

There was so much pressure exerted on you after your extended studies abroad that you felt bound to return. Now you seem stuck here but haven’t you had enough of all the sycophants? Arvind clearly thinks it’s time for macaroni instead of Macarena so why not let him stand on his own two feet while you slip away on a small fishing boat like others before you? There are lots lying idle as a result of overfishing and the temporary impediments to drug smuggling. You could then set off for Italy as the extradition arrangements are too complicated for Mauritian officialdom to handle. The Lady in Red would surely lend you a suitcase or two whilst you sort out your finances, while the police would be ravi to investigate your escape – to distract attention from the embarrassing exposures they’ve been ignoring.

But you may have other plans. Despite legendary precedents, resurrection is a tricky matter and a diagnosis of the onset of dementia, making you unfit to appear in court, might be easier to achieve, especially given your amnesia about what you’ve previously said and done. There again, as a last resort, Melrose is already a thriving business hub. The Oracle reckons it could just be you’re planning to make it the seat of government as well.

Yours sincerely, Epi PHRON

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