28
Mon, Sep

Airbus, excavator and our Wrestlemania politics

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The two giants, New Patriotic Party (NPP ) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), are almost perennially locked in battle over literally everything in a seemingly unending election season.
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We have a highly adversarial political system.


The two giants, New Patriotic Party (NPP ) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), are almost perennially locked in battle over literally everything in a seemingly unending election season.

Almost every week, a fresh season beckons, yielding fruits for a shouting match between the two.

Wrestlemania politics

The whole process is akin to the Wrestlemania wrestling matches that feature on our daytime television schedules. Sometime after locking horns, one fighter is brought down on the canvas, then thrown and slapped around. He appears weary, dangling on the ropes or crawling on the canvas, barely able to whimper.

The other starts pumping his chest and deliriously stomping around on the canvas.

Then by some miracle, the one who was down and almost out moments earlier regains some energy and launches a blistering comeback.

The tables keep turning.

The other day, the NPP seemed to be enjoying itself with the explosive Airbus expose` that appeared to rope in a high-ranking NDC player referred to by the UK courts as Government Official One (GO1).

For almost a week, NDC social media activists appeared to have lost their social media passwords as they dangled on the ropes, literally in comatose.

The NPP quickly held a press conference and revealed who they believed GO1 was, together with his brother, the now famous Intermediary (I5).

The NPP appeared to be having clear run of fun in the ring, with all manner of creative artworks spinning around on social media to pummel and then body slam NDC with.

Eventually when the NDC elements came to, they sought to poke holes into the story, including the fact that no specific individuals had been named.

Of course, the fact remained that the sordid saga took place on their watch. The President ordered the Special Prosecutor to look into the matter.

Turnaround

But then, just as pertains between Wrestlemania pugilists, the wobbly NDC had a lucky break with the breaking story of some missing excavators, a leaked tape purportedly, featuring the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) and other scurrilous allegations around ‘galamsey’/small scale mining.

An NPP Regional Vice Chairman was arrested.

Quick as a flash, NDC elements resurrected and then regrouped with the energy and zeal of a born again Christian and went to town in full force on the matter, seeking to obliterate the Airbus matter and dominate the narrative.

They had smelled blood and quickly summoned the media to a press conference where they intoned gravely on the issue at hand.
Artworks of excavators with wings appeared and then circulated in a frenzy.

Any post on the Airbus saga was quickly countered with questions about the missing excavators. It almost seemed like a race to the bottom.

I think it is a neck-and-neck situation now but the situation is fluid.

Another scandal, or more scurrilous revelations on either side could easily tip the scales until yet another one from the other side tips it in the opposite direction.

Our politics seems to feed on a roller coaster of sizzling scandals.

Beyond Wrestlemania

Beyond our scandal-driven Wrestlemania politics, with its jokes and funny cartoons eliciting both guffaws of laughter and irritation (depending on whose scandal and, therefore, which side you are on), there are very serious issues in this country that we cannot gloss over.

Both of the current trending, competitive issues point to serious issues in our country that ought to be addressed with some urgency and clear direction.

The Airbus judgement raises important issues around abuse of office, corruption, shady deals and a crisis of confidence in our investment climate.

It casts our country in a harsh, unfavourable light on the international scene and does our reputation no good.

It recalls with great discomfort, the Mabey and Johnson case which saw huge bribes paid by foreign companies in order to secure contracts here.

The excavator/galamsey matter also raises issues around abuse of office, greedy and dangerous exploitation of our natural resources to our collective detriment and a crisis of confidence in respect of our ability to make rules and enforce them to the letter.

The fight against galamsey clearly requires a renewal of focus.

Investigations

I am glad that in both cases, investigations are underway and I pray that where relevant and appropriate, the necessary sanctions in accordance with the law will be applied.

The jokes and artworks emanating from these issues may be amusing and all that, but there are serious issues around health care, education and many more than deserve our collective attention and angst.
We need to step up.

 

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