What is a government to do? Where can it turn to? To whom can it call upon and send to do the work that has to be done? The horizon is bleak, the options severely limited.
So much work; so very few; search for the doggedly principled, and the count is narrowed to one hand, with still fingers left over as to the few, the honorable, the untouchable that can be depended on to go forth, take a stand, and deliver.
Scrupulously. Consistently. Against the odds, the environmental tide and sweep of corrupt practices and corrupt people enjoying to the hilt the pervasive corrupt culture that overpowers ministers, other elected representatives, public service bureaucrats, and a whole leprous army of the richly dirty, the sleekly slimy, and the smartly smelly.
Yesterday there were all those auras wafting about ministers in the unsparing damnation of naked exposures. Shame and public disgrace! Except that those humiliations do not matter: they have no standing on the plus side of bankbook, real estate, shiny wheels, and all the other trophies of illicit accumulations.
The politically acquisitive prospers. That is what matters, after all the media outage, the electronic outrage. The price matters; so, too, are the rich booties plundered from the people. Again, where are the conscientious servants; those who do not regard the ascension to office as the mechanism by which to self-enrich?
They are just not there; not in bulk, not in quality, not in intent or vision or immovable determination to do what is best, what is good, what is right. That is for the social saints and financial martyrs; they usually have their boots on when leaving, and nothing else to show for their dedication and self-sacrifices.
Not in the pocket. Not in land. Not in houses. For those with doubts, a little example in awareness should be revealingly helpful as to those appointed to office, who have betrayed trust while holding sensitive office.
Yesterday, the spotlight was on the political. Today, it is on the official, as in the Special Organized Crime Unit. Come to think of it, that acronym was well chosen. Because SOCU has a certain ring to it: replace the ‘S’ with an F, and there is that spit in the face and thumb in the eye; the dropping of pants and mooning a nation.
When the watchdogs are no different, inseparable from the thieves and vagabonds and widespread criminal class that they were mandated to oversee and leash then where can government turn? To whom? Unfortunately, there are many SOCUs.
Government, one that promised to clean things up, has to purify itself first: from the inside, from the inner circle, from among the tribalists and loyalists, who feel that they are entitled. Guyanese citizens are all too familiar with that old adage: a fish rots from the head and then all the way downward. They have seen that time and again, to their continuing regret.
Today, there is welcomed reversal of that truism: for though the head has set a rare local standard for what is wholesome and fulsome, what is exemplary in the frugality of negativity with regards to family, and money and simple decency, the fish still rots.
This time it is from net to tail all the way to the gills, with the scales also putrefied by the sticky, sickly diseases that devastate. They may be worse than the many cancers that rage across this land.
Government is trapped between a toppling container and collapsing footing. It is a harrowing place with few clean people to choose from, for the purpose of dismantling the tawdry condos of corruption. Politics has done its work well. People of character have fled.
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