Friday, March 27, 2009

Gremlin of grief

Gremlin of grief
By Jone Baledrokadroka
www.fijitoimes.com - Friday, March 27, 2009

Short of docilely donning sackcloth and ashes as in the Bible, the appeal by former prime minister Qarase for all participants at the upcoming Presidential Political Dialogue Forum to come free of party politics in our quest for national unity is quite saintly really.
However, for most of them the realists mindset is deeply embedded for as much as we love to hate our politicians, as what cynics describe as those doyens of political dexterity, the sultans of spin, the high priests of hypocrisy, the prophets of pretense or the Rajahs and Ratus of ruse. I could go on, but you get the point we live in a sinful world and we need politicians just as they were made to be.
For politics is the art of the possible, remember, "Yes, we can" the Obama slogan.
Also for the first time, NGOs will be included, Yes, those indomitable idealists, the devotees of democracy, the human rights rearguard, the developmental do-gooders. Yes, you also get the point as I also could go on.
Obligingly these sentinels of society are only too willing to keep our politicians and 'um, um' non-political regime in check and balance.
Then there are the pragmatists; the regime seated at the head of the table in power and glory with the chosen few at the right hand of the father so to speak. So what is the problem? Now that it is close to show and tell time.
Evidently we were all constantly regaled with the grave need for the clean up campaign or call it what you may, which has turned out like last Friday's tsunami warning a false alarm although the threat remains somewhere over time, over yonder the horizon.
For the waves of alleged corruption that were emphatically trumpeted from the roof tops that generated so much hype like last Friday morning remains just that.
As it is Transparency International has not graded us after our quite respectable 55th-position-corruption perception index (CPI) rating in 2005. In fact we have failed to register a rating since for ironic reason, we are 'un - rate - able' with the present 'clean up' regime.
And furthermore let's all pray that the IG were able to convince the Moody's rep on his recent visit that it was not just reshuffling the deck chairs as on the Titanic. For our global credit rating hangs precariously on that representative's opinion.
So how can we know we are cleaner after more than two years of cleanup? The true measure lies in our economic growth and foreign exchange reserves since. Which to paraphrase Professor Narsey, "the coup wolves are delicately trying to fix for good". Depending what one means by fix I suppose.
Well unless the regime pulls a 'rabbit from the hat trick' soon to try and convince us once and for all. Or will the forum be the circus venue for the 'rabbit in the hat trick', where all will be revealed?
So having discerned the mindsets of our future PPDF participants, we still need to find the gremlin that has caused our nation so much grief since the December 5, 2006 coup. That gremlin that has badly mangled and mauled the national economy. For as much as the IG would like us to believe, the global economic gremlin and its tsunami killer waves have not hit our shores yet.
Therefore, to explain, in modern speak, a gremlin is a tiny imaginary evil spirit that people say is the cause of the problem, especially in a machine which they cannot explain properly or locate.
Judging by the recent two public outcry issues, the majority of us would say these gremlins have taken up residency in the boardrooms of the FNPF and the FRU. Strewth? E dina? Satche boleh?
But I've gotten ahead of myself. Where then is this gremlin that has caused the nation so much grief?
Butadroka said it resided with the Indo-Fijian, Rabuka said it was in the Constitution, Speight said it was both. To the believers and the converted at the time it felt so right.
Bainimarama now says after FICACing the gremlin out of government and corporate corruption it now lays in the electoral reform. Oh, how it feels so right to many today. Hum to naihi janeh.
Perhaps it is as our icon of sevens Serevi says, "it's in the combination of all the players."
Forebodingly for the PPDF and us the entire nation, the devil could very well be in the detail.
It will take statesmanship or to be politically correct, statesperson ship, of the highest order in all concerned, to finally grapple with our national gremlin of political grief, which still lurks out there, somewhere.
Who knows it could even be what the hit squad vandals were trying to hit lurking in those victims' cars or even with moce Jo.
* The views expressed in this article are exclusively those of the author and are published in this newspaper on that sole understanding.

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