The Paradox and Emergence of the Gambia’s Political Maverick!!
Alagi Yorro Jallow
FATOUMATTA: Even in this condition of two negatives, how do we turn things round? If you leave a madman with his mum’s decomposing corpse, he might barbecue it! We may know someone who would counter this line of reasoning: If the madman roasts and eats his mother’s remains, hasn’t he saved the community the sweat of digging graves and burying the dead? But the Gambia has not yet become a corpse. It hasn’t, and we must not let it be. And this is where we are going.
Fatoumatta: We may not get it completely right at once. There are steps to climb, one after the other. First is to devalue persons who have no careers outside of politics – just as they’ve devalued our Dalasi. I watch power addict politicians with interest. We need to try a new set of people outside the political family we seem eternally wedded to. A fragile system escapes snapping when it is amenable to flexibility even in the business of replacing characters on its stage. Dead horses and newbies can’t win races. They have never. We need a break from salaried politicians of briefcase political parties who want to serve us forever and treat the poor as blades of grass, fodders for the hooves of their children’s horses.
Fatoumatta: In the mood for evidence? When was the last time Gambian, in their thousands, went out of their way to demonstrate and denounce an injustice? It’s not like injustices sublimed! When folks called on Gambians to occupy Westfield, and the National Assembly more pigs graced the occasion than actual human beings! It was like a reincarnation of George Orwell’s classic Animal Farm!
Fatoumatta: History has shown that many a political enterprise and most especially a duopoly are constituted by two individuals of starkly different dispositions with even more contrasting ultimate goals;
While one may be an idealist, clinical strategist, incorruptible and with an unquenching thirst for the achievement of the utopian, the other would most probably be a master manipulator, a tactician, pragmatic and thoroughly obsessed with power;
Both would be prepared to die for a cause; only that the latter would most assuredly only die for a cause that is self-seeking; the former is most religiously committed to a utilitarian/universal cause and wouldn’t hesitate to give up fame,prestige,the trappings of power and most importantly their lives for the said cause. The so-called pragmatist is susceptible to compromise and corruption while the Idealist is vulnerable to manipulation, is loved and hated in equal measure and some would say are not accomplices to rational thought in certain instances;
Fatoumatta: A fusion of the two characters most often than not give birth to revolutions that create a raft of changes that would take ages had it been attempted in solidary effort; The downside of such a union is that it never lasts so long; the paths must necessarily part upon decisive moments of truth; the ramifications of such division may at times be disastrous; even fatal. But while the pragmatist accomplishes his goal of amassing power and maintaining a foothold on it throughout his life, the idealist remains unrelenting in his quest, more often than not dies a martyr, is immortalized and admired by many a follower and sometimes even causes insurrections posthumously; This probably captures a synopsis of the ‘Creation of Political Party Story’ of the anatomy of the politics of our nation as the Gambia; it’s just a widening vortex.
Fatoumatta: So, offered British politician and two-time Prime Minister 3rd Viscount Palmerston Henry John Temple and one of the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Missourian legislator William L. Clay – the latter in his book “Just Permanent Interests”. Call it humility and/or pragmatism but the lack of hubris embodied in the former British PM’s view of her country’s relationship with other nations/powers – as powerful as Britannia was at the time (mid-1800s) – is very instructive and contextualizes some of the machinations in the run-up to the up to 2021 Presidential and General Elections .
Fatoumatta: Frankly I have never thought of politicians as anything other than self-centered self-serving snake oil salesmen and saleswomen – yes even Barack Obama Jr, someone I admire greatly. This is a profession that goes mano-a-mano with lawyers and used car salesmen as the three least honorable and most corruptible professionals.
Fatoumatta: Yes, in politics there are no permanent enemies or permanent friends BUT whatever interest/s draw one to another must align philosophically, principally and morally because in the words of the good book: “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul”? Any alliances that normalizes the wanton rapaciousness and selfishness of the last decade or so is absolutely untenable and worse, very dangerous That’s how tough the common man has it. People can use you as an excuse to make millions and yet you never see a penny!
Fatoumatta: It used to be that labor groups would agitate for equity in labor, however, after the politicization of the Union, that’s now a pipe dream. The haves will always have, the have-nots will always try, but there will always be the never-have-nots because the system is rigged. The poor will stay poor, the rich will get richer. Who will fight for the never-have-nots?
Fatoumatta: A revolution? Not a chance. The top will pour money to the middle class to lull them into a slumber and as they merry make and get hypnotized with European football and French wine, they will extend the goodies to the common ‘Domireew’ who can barely make ends meet and pacify him with one-time bonuses to make him fall into a celebratory trance for two or three days and there you have it! Revolution is gone!