Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Power of Branding

by Sai Lealea

Ever since I started blogging about the 2006 Coup, I often get asked about how to portray the Bainimarama regime in written and spoken material. My approach is simple - label them as they really are in both legal and moral terms.

The regime was determined to be illegal by a legitimate court of law in Fiji in 2009. Henceforth and even prior, I have always labelled them as "illegal". All those appointed by the illegal regime are equally illegal.

Bainimarama's rule is none other than a Dictatorship. He is a dictator by all the meaning of the term. As such, I have always referred to him as a "dictator".

Once you understand the basis for labelling the regime and its leader as such, it affirms and reminds all of how they seized power. It also holds out their rule as deserving derision, challenge and confrontation if need be.

Labelling also serves as a deterrent to those wishing to join or support the regime. The stigma in being tarnished as illegitimate and illegal hopefully will deter some climbing the dictatorship bandwagon. But this of course assumes the existence of principles and integrity among those in the queue to line their pockets with regime favours.

Sadly, Fiji has been badly served by those out to profit from the incestuous dealings and propaganda of the illegal regime. These are fly by night opportunists out to feast on the power brought on by position and status. As a result sycophants and hangers on climb on and fall off like blind bats from the illegal regime good books.

All this point to a decay in morals among those propping up the illegal regime. Perhaps a silver lining out of the political upheavals in Fiji is the sifting through of those lacking the moral rectitude to really provide upright leadership in political and public affairs.

The military has failed miserably as well as the other arms of the discipline forces. Fijians will now have to look again from within requiring a rethink of our own sense of values and morals in today's world. Then and only then will we be able to ascertain how best to repair and salvage our wounded moral soul. My word, how badly we need it and much sooner than later if our future generation don't curse us for falling short by them.

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