The recent fisticuffs on the floor of the House served as yet another reminder that contrary to all the right things that they say and which we are always quick to believe, deep inside politicians always think of themselves first before the rest of us.
No other time is such deep passion and unity of purpose exhibited in their discharge of duty, as when what is at stake directly touches their personal interests or their party masters’ – which is still about their survival.
In those cases, they are prepared to punch and kick whoever stands in their way even if it is on live television because looking bad in public is a very small price to pay.
Similarly, those who will be at the receiving end of the flogging will proudly strike martyr-like poses for the cameras with their bleeding faces for the masters to see.
In such times when the summons is issued, they will quickly abandon whatever they are on to troop back to the House to make their party leaders happy. A happy party leader means painlessly securing a ticket in the forthcoming elections and other good tidings.
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When it is not survival instinct driving the politicians’ actions, it is their stomachs. No wonder the frequent claims of bribes exchanging hands even in the washrooms during every significant vote in the House, ostensibly to lubricate the decision-making process.
This personal interest is also the reason motions on pay raises for parliamentarians will swiftly carry the day, with minimum resistance while discussions about the welfare of the rest of us drag on and might not even muster a quorum. They will very quickly close ranks and forget about party affiliations to ratify a raise.
The rest of the time, they will choose to remain apathetic and distant, because they cannot relate to the representation role they are meant to be playing. That is how taxes are sneakily heaped on fuel and other basic items because they will not give it as much thought when the issue appears on the order paper or when the vote is taken. If only they cared half as much as to be willing to stick their necks out.
It does not worry them much because they know how gullible we, the masses, are. We will lap up whatever they say, whine on social media when they do not deliver but still believe them when they return with a fresh round of promises.
Many of the promises they will dish out and their so-called vision of a better country in manifestos will just be in their selfish interest.
All that talk about aiming to make things better for the ordinary citizen when they ascend to the office is ultimately self-serving. None of them intends to deliver on any of them, anyway. If they ever did, they would have felt shame piling promises on other unfulfilled ones.
Strangely though, many of us are often ready to risk our lives for these same characters who can only shed blood when it is their interests at stake. Instantly aroused by their smooth lies, we will quickly take up arms and attack whoever they instruct us to, all this while imagining that we are part of a greater cause for the good of us all and that this leader is our person looking out for all of us. Far from it!
Forget the many things the politicians will say over and over, about pursuing the welfare of the disadvantaged and downtrodden amongst us. Unless it is aligned to their stomachs’ interests, it will remain just talk.
On any good day, they will be likely to feel more strongly about what affects them and their masters directly and will have no qualms shedding one another’s blood and even becoming a spectacle.
That is why they will insult one another days on end, and still quickly kiss and make up without shame.
After all, their interests are more important than the transient differences. The rest of us will be left holding so personally onto positions taken by our favourite politicians, and rail-roading anyone who attempts to mouth a contrary view.
The truth of the matter is that it is never about us. Where politicians’ interests lie is exactly where their heart of hearts is.
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