Zeus can be very surprising. “What’s needed is structural adjustment.” I looked at my tunic and my cloak but couldn’t find anything wrong with them. Ouranos alone knows what he meant. He’s probably seen Rama’s’ latest piece in the Olympos Chronicle and confused him with Ramses II, who undertook an unpreceded building programme. He was the Pharaonic system’s Jupiter – who on close inspection turns out to be a ball of gas. For once, Rama’s sided with Vishnu but strangely failed to mention that all the wild forecasts came solely off the back of Vish’s envelope.
Anyway, I’ve made as many structural suggestions and observations as can be reasonably expected of any spirit, so I’ve decided to take to dreaming, firstly of a trip to the Chagos Islands. Apparently we’ll soon be free to travel there as freely as to St Brandon and Agalega, although you might well ask how easy that is. Those with a foreign spouse, unable to put pin money aside for a nice holiday, certainly won’t be able to afford it. The latest rules on alien spouses smack not just of xenophobia but suggest there’s powerful jockeying going on.
One of my dreams is to see the country freed of its distrust of aliens. Mind you, that seems to be a growing trend, not least in Europe. There’d be no more thoughts of Little France or Little That and a senior Labourite would realise that this country is not just Ile Maurice. By the way, you may have noticed a senior diplomat blundering on about Little India, as well as of a multi-racial India – at a time when Moslems and Christians are being marginalised. In the meantime, the saddest aspect to how some Bangladeshi workers are treated is that many of the offending bosses are descendants of indentured labourers.
Apart from a freedom of information bill, I’m also dreaming of anti-communalism legislation, especially when there’ll shortly be a host of obscure nocturnal gatherings. But the bill I dream of most will make it a capital offence for any politico or sectarian lobby to interfere in the making of appointments and promotions, which could go hand-in-hand with handing over public sector operations to the private sector. You only have to look at Casella to realise how the Pamplemousses Botanical Garden could be transformed in private hands.
Perhaps for mortals occupying a post is hard enough and doing something useful may be too much to expect. Nevertheless, at least in my dreams, functionaries are functioning and the top ones are spending more time running their ministries than sitting on boards in office time while pocketing fat fees. Workers have become incredibly productive, learning from their foreign counterparts that work means work and that Mondays aren’t part of the weekend.
All public servants respond to phone calls and correspondence in a full and timely manner, knowing that otherwise they’ll lose their jobs – a more effective way than a college of overcoming a lack of basic aptitudes and soft skills amongst those who should never have been recruited. By the way, if Zeus paid me per diems at the same rate officials and politicos get, I’d now have enough nectar to last me for the next 2,500 years. Long before then, I can even imagine a CP telling politicos and others to pee off, as some might say, and a legal system that moves fast. Heroic ministers will also introduce a proper planning system and ensure that millions of new trees are added to the coastline and countryside to prevent the gods abandoning these islands before they’re washed away by floods and waves. After all, are we not such stuff as dreams are made on, our little life rounded with a sleep?