Editorial: Mout open . . . ‘tory jump out

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It sounded like Al Pacino and Marlon Brando chomping on cigars and “Making someone an offer that he couldn’t refuse.” (Famous line by Vito Corleone, originally played by Brando in Francis Ford Coppola’s adaption of Mario Puzo’s novel, THE GODFATHER.)

The chuckling and the expounding at length on “How the system works,” was quite eye-opening and instructive. It is not difficult to imagine the animation that informed one speaker, much to the titillation of the other, explaining how, “The platform fortheft would have been set already by virtue of the purchase that was made 18 years ago for $15 million, so . . . public officials could have literally . . . er . . . manipulated this purchase . . . in such a way in which they could have walked away with $5 million, no questions asked . . .” (Embarrassed chuckling followed by:) “Let me tell you how politicians make their money . . . illegally . . .” We’re all ears, Mr. PM. Tell us how! (See transcript of “How politicians make their money . . . illegally” below)

“Let me say this: The way how politicians make their money . . . illegally . . . Is that they do some procurement or some government contracting and they inflate the prices. They don’t go and write checks . . . on government accounts; they don’t have such authority; public servants do that. But what they do is that they inflate the value of whatever they’re procuring, and if there is a contract they inflate it and they get the kick-back. That is how thesystem works!” Good grief! You don’t say!

We here at NEWSCO are indeed pleased to know that we have a political leader who is keenly aware of how politicians make their money . . . illegally. We are also quite pleased that he – in a moment of candor (some say Freudian slip) – exposed “The way the system works.” Of course his forthrightness will cause every right-thinking (never mind, cynical) Antiguan and Barbudan to hereafter look askance at every contract that is being concluded by our . . . well, “politicians” who have been encouraged to (not in so many words) “Enrich themselves creatively” and “Use their contacts” to well . . . er . . . “Feather their nests.” Moreover, the good PM’s startling revelation (only the doltish and the naïve did not already know ‘How barley grow” for politicians) will raise many eyebrows in many Caribbean and other Third World countries where the noble concepts and ideals of good governance, transparency and accountability are anathema to the ruling regimes. Indeed, whenever the struggling folk – those making-do with cornmeal porridge for dinner and waiting for a ‘creative’ politician in a limousine or some other high-end vehicle to pass and throw them a ham or turkey or a few measly dollars – see a politician putting up a mansion or sporting fancy cars and three-piece suits and diverse and sundry business entities, they will scratch their heads and wonder if that politician is one of the “dishonest ninety-nine percent” so matter-of-factly referenced by the good dear leader. But what are the chances, huh?

Look all over the corrupt world where under-the-table deals and inflated contracts and finder’s fees and you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours and kick backs are parforthe course, the coin of the realm, so to speak, the politicians are cursing our PM for revealing their open secret, their stock in trade. We here at NEWSCO are so happy that the good PM is not one for making like an ostrich and burying his head in the sand, pretending not to know “How politicians make their money . . . illegally.” That’s why we are calling on him to take a second look and investigate some of the contracts which, on their very faces ((and we could be wrong) appearto be uncannily similarto the “How politicians make their money” scenario that he is describing in the aforementioned excerpts. Just saying.

Meanwhile, Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall), Fredo Corleone (John Cazale), Sonny Corleone (James Caan), Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro), must be so proud. Their way of doing business is spreading and infecting the . . . well . . . (Chupz!) . . . How can we put this delicately? Sigh! Seems, there’s no putting this delicately! Quick! Check that fat envelope that Mr. Politician just stuffed in his inner breast pocket! The Corleone family is winking and chuckling! Who said that politicians are not quick studies? Help us Lord!

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