ENDY JAY

There is hardly any need to resort, at this point of time replete with signs and omens that cannot lie as to what awaits us ahead but, painfully so, unheeded by most through sheer scepticism or distracted by the many woes of present-day living, to tedious and documented argumentations that we, with the rest of the world alongside, are in dire straits, rebounding from catastrophe to catastrophe in regular mode, on a variety of fronts – economic, health, social, declining standards of living, climate change, rampant poverty etc, a list that could extended at will without being easily exhaustive.
On climate change, it appears beyond doubt what human activities have disturbed unrelentingly for decades on end, brushing aside the repeated warnings of experts through sheer greed, are attracting the consequences of that suicidal war on nature on and unabated for some  time, that backlash manifestly on the rise both in terms of ferocity and frequency – floods,  hurricanes, tornadoes, wild bush fires etc, and the heavy toll they claim as regard property destruction and human lives and the astronomical sums they are costing to attempt to repair. A war we are manifestly losing*, notwithstanding the genuine efforts of many committed non-government organizations, but not irreversibly fatal. Yet, not through any human measures to attain their targeted objectives by …2050! By which time the scene of the world would have drastically changed, however sceptical many may be.
But for all the attempts of rulers to attribute our unending miseries to calamities we cannot precisely predict or successfully parry, we tend to forget, or carefully hidden through well-orchestrated diversion tactics by such political masters, that the major cause of our predicaments is simply the failure of human rulership, be it the limitations or lack of competence to measure up to the emerging challenges as we are constantly witnessing these days. That incapacity of those who raise themselves above their fellow humans through whatever means, often dubious or what we are made to accept as democracy, however vitiated the version, to govern successfully in the interest of all. Mauritius stands in that frontline! A classification we deserve given the ‘dictature de la majorité’, always on the rise since that fateful month of January 2017, is driving the country, quickly and surely, on the downward path towards a banana republic, if not worse, in the manner they have downgraded our highest platform of institutional debate into a soap opera ‘de mauvais goût’, always having irons in the fire to justify their frequent deviations and dubious tactics hardly any need to specify, that clear confirmation how Sir Winston Churchill was right when he said that democracy has many flaws. Here, it seems such flaws are exploited to the maximum as the standard ‘modus operandi’.
In one of my previous notes in these very columns – ‘Forum’ 21/7/20, ‘The Grand Finale’ -, I qualified the present Government the ‘strangest’ we have had during our more than half a century of sovereign existence, but I readily stressed it was a deliberate euphemism, not to add fuel to the fire with the appropriate qualifier, notwithstanding those spells of bad governance we have known during that span of time. A year later, the evidence has doubled. Yet, the rulers seem confident there is no credible alternative. Admittedly, no others can possibly do worse, but no alternative to last.  ‘L’Alliance de l’Espoir? Espoir? My foot! And that is the tragedy! And this not to say everyone in that Alliance is totally unworthy. Far from that. But still ‘un attelage mal assorti’ with only one common objective.
Just one example of that ‘strangeness’ to convince: our ‘Chancellor of the Exchequer’s persistence to push ahead with the (ill) famous rebranded ‘Social Contribution and Benefits Bill’. Debate on that issue has been ongoing since the 2020/21 Budget, seeing in the process ‘Business Mauritius’, the executive arm of the Private Sector, entering a case before the Supreme Court for judicial review, a rare move from that sector known for its relative ‘docility’ towards the political masters of different regimes. Throw into that mix the stand of political Opposition, actuaries, economists, trade unionists, we grasp the full bearing of that ‘levée de boucliers‘. Let us limit ourselves to one analysis that ‘Le Mauricien’ front-paged in bold characters on Saturday 17th instant: ‘CSG’: Betamax à répétition et le trou de Rs5 Mds p.a..‘ Coming almost on the heels of that Betamax disaster that caused a nationwide furore, as it were, given the blunder to have persisted on a deadly path against legal advice and other pleas, this CSG is attracting attention of more and more people who usually do not pay heed to such issues that often escape their comprehension. How can any person in his right mind remain indifferent when a leading actuary qualifies that Bill ‘a disaster in the making’? Can Padayachy be right while all the others from different backgrounds are wrong? Who can accept that, barring those of the same clan? But, unsurprisingly, Government, with an unclear agenda, pushed ahead with the same peremptoriness and arrogance of ‘government is government’ or simply for the sake, as another actuary put it: ‘Faire tomber le cas de ‘Business Mauritius’ en Cour. C’est digne d’un plan de Machiavel’. Any Machiavel in the ranks of the present Government? I would not go that far to believe this can be the case. Rather, as one political observer recently put it, I’ll opt for ‘gouverner en zig zag’. While I personally stand by the accomplishment of that Bible prophecy which says: ‘There is nothing hidden that will not become manifest, nor anything carefully concealed that will never become known and not come out in the open.’ (Gospel of Luke chapter 8, verse 17 – not the first time I am quoting this scripture in one of my notes, and certainly not limited to the incriminated Bill).
Will Pravind Jugnauth have second thoughts in the face of what is unfolding? Or will extreme pride and excessive ego have the better of him. But he now knows what someone, qualified for that matter, and who must have fully measured his words, has publicly forecast  another disaster ahead, and an unusual appeal from a non-politician to the majority benches not to vote the said Bill. And what if Bernard Yen is right in his forecast? Not difficult to imagine the upheaval that will ensue. Attendons voir!

(*To remind that Bible prophecy that says ‘God will bring to ruin those ruining the earth’ (Revelation 11:18). Had the efforts so far undertaken, or to come, sufficed to reverse the destructive trends of human activity, men would have realized the impossible feat of belying a Bible prophecy).

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P.S.: To the sceptics, I’ll simply remind I am not a self-appointed harbinger, as we will unfailingly see!

God has a reason for allowing things to happen. We may never fully understand His wisdom but we simply have to trust His will!
And His will is that ‘My decision will stand’!

July 2021