Fantasy Island

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This is not a joke. We wouldn’t chance a joke about sensitive subjects like unemployment and poverty. So what we are quoting was actually said seriously, without blinking, in an interview given by Ivan Collendavelloo to l’express dimanche. About the government’s achievements so far, the latter mentions “a positive record in the eradication of poverty and in job creation”! Shhhhhhhhh! Keep a straight face! Since many – if not all – of you have already noticed that there are no poor people around anymore, let’s talk about employment.

It is not our intention to contradict the minister about job creation. Oh, no, perish the thought! Who cares about the official statistics which tell a different story? It is never a good idea to contradict ministers. They may retaliate by quoting some random passages from books they should have read and take the opportunity to remind you how competent and intelligent they are and how ungrateful people like yourself do not appreciate the sacrifices they are making for the country. Their lackeys will work their fingers to the bone on different blogs using different pseudonyms to confirm that, and you would feel so stupid. So we won’t chance that.

However, we are entitled to ask for some clarification. In which sector were the jobs which Collendavelloo was talking about created? Hint 1: Was it in Airmate? Hint 2: Or perhaps in Courts? Hint 3: GRNW Boat Yard? Hint 4: Apollo Bramwell? Hint 5: Oh, maybe in Iframac if by creating and sustaining jobs, one means having the employees agree to first seeing their already meagre salaries slashed by some 50 to 60%. Hint 6: Maybe jobs were created in the various SMEs which previously supplied the British American Investment companies in different areas of economic activity? Unless of course we are talking about jobs for the very close boys and girls in the shameless tradition of nepotism which continues to rob parastatals and other institutions of all their credibility and independence. After all, in the same interview, Collendavelloo did proudly volunteer the information that he has appointed – and will continue to do so – to very prestigious positons only those who are close to him and who share his vision. What exactly is the minister’s vision so that we all learn to share it to be able to have jobs one day?

Could it be the same vision which his otherwise courteous and humble colleague has about road safety? Here it is in a nutshell: Switching off all the speed cameras, stopping the security checks, road blocks, breathalyser tests and the whole gamut of measures taken by his predecessors, thus unleashing speed-crazy, careless, irresponsible and at times drunk drivers on unsuspecting poor law-abiding citizens. Seven months and 83 road deaths later (compared to 67 during the same period the previous year), the minister comes up with a ‘totally new system’, which is almost a replica of the one he reneged on a few months earlier! So, the New Penalty System – whatever you do, do not call it the ‘Penalty Point System’ – is finally in place and motorists will be penalised through fines and eventually losing their licences after six offences. The points will not be called points but they will count as such and will have the same result!

Or maybe the minister of health’s vision: Stop the Methadone substitution programme, let drug users fend for themselves. Don’t worry about crime or HIV. We will work out a magic solution to drug abuse at some point. And we could become rich selling the recipe to other countries who haven’t yet discovered the virtues of magic yet.

As Vice Versa – a very active blogger – quoting W.C. Fields,said about Roshi Badhain’s reply to Lindley Couronne, “If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.” So please carry on baffling us. We will continue swimming in it. Our nostrils do not even smell it anymore.

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