Scary Global Trends [Writer's contest]

This is an entry for the Pulse writer's contest by Uwah Ogadinma Kingsley. "... There is a new fashion in town. This one isn’t an expensive clothing or gadget. This is in policy making..."

Scary world

Are you an ardent follower of the politics of nations? Have you by any chance stumbled on any news article on Greece or Japan lately? Then you may have noticed the budding and disturbing trend in the politics of these nations. If you’re alarmed, then, it may please you to know that you’re not alone.

There is a new fashion in town. This one isn’t an expensive clothing or gadget. This is in policy making. In this new fad, Presidents, Congresses and House of Assemblies are passing resolutions and pursuing policies against the wishes of those they represent - the electorates. I call this a new fad, not because Nigerians haven’t seen this before or that it hasn’t been previously carried out anywhere else on earth. Nope, the brazenness with which this acts are carried out today is actually the new fad! In this technological age of light-speed information, freedom of speech, political accountability and all the good things that democracy is supposed to portend, that the masses wishes are trampled upon in the very developed nations without the fear of repercussions and without any visible political repercussions for the actors bears no good for us - the developing nations who should be ‘learning’ the art & science of governance from our masters in the West and Nigeria in particular.

First, it's the U.S president initiating, following & seeing through an anti-U.S Congress deal with Iran. A deal that provides Iran a much needed relief from the economic sanctions it has suffered for years. You may want to ask, what does the U.S gain from this deal? Another debate rages, who got more from the deal and who gave or lost more? All arguments and opinions point to Iran being the bigger winner. Even if they aren’t, what the Barack Obama administration gains from a deal that irk traditional U.S allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia? We will never know. The BIG news here is that the arm of American government that is supposed to check such an excess from the office of the president could really do nothing concrete about it! NOTE: This happened in the much reverred American democracy. How the U.S congress managed not to see the kind of constitutional lacuna that led to this event, we will never know.

Next is the recent legislations passed by the Japanese legislature which in summary, enables the Japanese military to be involved in battles - even if the said fight poses no direct threat to Japan. Since WW II, they haven't had to fight outside Japan which has meant that families in Japan haven't lost their loved ones to any unnecessary war. Now, against all their will and protests, their sons will be going to wars at sea Japan know nothing about and have no business fighting.

Now, I am not equipped with the finer details of those legislations, but, something is scary about the way those new laws were passed. And that is the fact that the legislators and legislature is the arm of government that tries to represent the voice and views of the people. These same people the Japanese parliamentarians represent held protests in their numbers, in and around the Japanese legislative chamber, yet, the Japanese Prime Minister in cahoots with a bloc of legislators turned deaf ears, developed cold nerves and went ahead to pass the bills. This made me wonder; in whose interests are these democratically elected MPs representing, protecting and autocratically making laws for? Certainly, not the protesting Japanese people!

Lastly is the Greek debacle.

Considering the campaign promises Alex Tsipras, Greece’s Prime Minister made to the Greeks, his rhetoric and body language. I believe he should have known his long-drawn battle with Greece’s creditors could have come to this point where something or someone has to give. He should have had a plan B. Was he out of his depth or was ‘selling’ Greece out plan B - the game-plan all along? When I think of it all, I strongly believe the Greek people were humiliated and betrayed by Alex Tsipras and not the E.U but that’s a discussion for another day.

Today, we talk about how the Greeks refused another tranche of Greek gifts from their E.U creditors in a referendum as recently as last week. They voted a resounding NO. Somehow, Alex Tsipras, Prime Minister and referendum convener went back to the same folks whom he had made the world believe were monsters, negotiated for 17hours and returned to Greece with another tranche of bailout bonds - I use the word 'bonds' here to put in perspective how these deals has and will continue to keep Greeks in poverty, penury, in pure bondage! This time, the package came with harsher conditions than the one the Greek people voted against in the referendum. Guaranteed Tsipras was in between the devil and the deep blue sea, yet, somehow in the midst of a public outcry against the new bailout deal and in the light of the recent NO votes in the referendum, the Greek Parliament passed – accepted the bailout notwithstanding the acrimonious conditions it came with. They accepted for their nation what its people REJECTED.

This is a real Hollywood-quality horror trend unfolding in our world today. Somehow, military regimes have so been demonized that the most preferable style of governance has widely been accepted to be democracy or whatever the outcome of any 'election process' brings. The sorry story of deceit here is, democrats and democratic governments are beginning to take military-style decisions in military-style manners and eyebrows aren't raised becaaause....? Yes! Ur right, it's all happening in a democracy!

Bringing this home, our newly elected harbinger of change, President Muhammad Buhari since his inauguration has been busy hobnobbing with one world leader or another asking for one favour, tabling one request or the other. He’s practically getting in bed with everyone available! Not forgetting his roots, history and pedigree, I ask myself, how long before we have our own version of this horror flick? Though, laws upon laws, policies upon policies have been foisted on us and force-fed to us like a critically ill patient fed helplessly through a tube, how long before Barack Obama, David Cameron or Angela Merkel tells him to do something here we really do NOT want and he comes home and does it anyway?

Do you now fear fear?

Yes, the times are scary... We can't afford to grab a bag of popcorn now!!

NAME: UWAH OGADINMA KINGSLEY

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