HEADING FOR ‘LA POUBELLE DE L’HISTOIRE’

Debate on the 2017-18 Budget has hardly started, after listening to the Leader of the Opposition, the Mentor Minister and Hon. Reza Uteem, it must be clear for any right minded person that we have been taken for a ride in making us believe the exercise was innovative, laying the foundations for a modern, prosperous Mauritius where social justice will be a reality.
Already comments in the Press during the weekend immediately following ‘Le Grand Oral’ started to raise doubts in the minds of many, but after the shots fired broadsides by the first two speakers  for the Opposition, Duval and Uteem, it must be crystal clear  -  unless in the coming days speakers in the majority ranks can convincingly refute these two speakers - that the whole exercise of June 8 was a big bluff, sprinkled with inaccuracies and where blatant omissions, speak volumes, indeed a maladroit attempt to be all things for all people. And this leads one to wonder why Duval used the euphemism of ‘bidze manti manti’, when it was a manipulation of facts and figures, let alone the hypes and litany of measures most of which, as usual, beyond the ‘effets d’annonce’, will rapidly fall into oblivion. Why not call a spade a spade! Uteem was more to the point.
At the same time, we also can easily understand why Duval invited Government to avoid any ‘stupid move’ in the case of the arbitrational award in favour of Betamax, inasmuch as it appears day after day that ‘stupidity’ is one of the constants of the present Cabinet, already taxed as the worst Government since Independence, while it would have been more fitting to dub them the ‘potentially most dangerous group’ ever to be at the helm. But who will now ‘supplicate’ in Cabinet?
Pravind Jugnauth is a relatively young politician, but as things stand now, he must know what has become imperative. He was old enough, though not yet engaged in active politics, to remember what his father said, after the stunning first 60–0 electoral victory of 1982: ‘ Nou fin zet Parti Travayis dan poubel listwar’. The Labour Party is still alive, albeit somewhat crippled for not having been able, so far, to rid itself of its cumbersome liability. Short of a major course correction and overhaul, with ALL* that this implies, we can easily see who is heading, for good, for ‘la poubelle de l’Histoire’.
And if Pravind Jugnauth believes ‘li finn kas enn gran pake’, he is very wide of the mark! Unless, contrary to previous budgets, results match projections, at least to some reasonable comparison.
The above must not be interpreted as meaning the Budget was nothing but a collection of stupidities, the more so that this year the political context being different, we will not hear from the other side ‘ Le Budget contient quelques mesures intéressantes’. But will the positive measures be translated into realities. Recent experience prompts us to doubt. Attendons voir.
(*There is a way out. Since NA deliberations have been broadcast live, there is quasi-unanimity who must first go to get the right person in ‘that’ right place for our august Assembly to stop resembling that of a banana republic. Pravind Jugnauth must be aware of that, along with what has also become imperative, for his own sake, like silencing the newly-appointed mouthpiece who will do him more harm than good with his superficial and biased comments and rebuttals which may possibly backfire to add to the many backfirings possibly to come. Can he be bold enough to stand up to these challenges, or condemned to continue to paddle in the same quagmire?).                                

June 14 2017