But will that be enough! Our country is standing at the edge of a precipice and something will have to be done soon because this land is being transformed or forced into one inhabited by two sets of people that are drifting further and further apart. In the days of Joshua and Cato elections were fought bitterly but once they were over the country regained its sanity. That is certainly not so today. Loyalty to party rather than country is unending.
This election season is becoming turbulent and could throw the country completely off the precipice which itself has lost its firm foundations. Who will calm the turbulent waters? Some persons serving in key institutions and in ambassadorial positions have clearly not understood their purpose. The days of civil organisations have disappeared as people seek comfort and in cases refuge in their political parties. Civil society has collapsed. Even the Church is suspect as one wonders about its loyalty and what is driving it, a strange unchristian thought to wonder about.
But there is irony in the fact that despite the many suspicions of the Church and how it functions it is still seen as the only body with the power to save the country. But this is fast becoming something of the past. Fear is gripping the ground as people try to protect what they have. They have thus put on their battle gears. The Silly season is well and truly on and we are becoming desperate and panicky.
Two matters have highlighted social media in the last week. One was the filming of a campaign piece in the cemetery, apparently affecting in some way a burial that was to have taken place that same day and the arrest a few days ago of Dr Wayne Murray for a post he had put on Facebook. On the issue of the cemetery my only point is that a cemetery should be a sacred spot where our friends and relatives are buried. It carries with it a lot of history but is revered by persons especially on All Souls Day who assemble there to light candles and pay homage to their departed ones. A mock burial is nothing new except it happens at the end of the process when we know who has in fact died. In any event their creativity should have resulted in the recreation of a burial scene in another spot, heightening the drama and perhaps even humour.
The Murray incident is something that has been terribly mismanaged and allowed to get out of hand, but it is symbolic of the state of panic that has overtaken the country. With elections around the corner everything is being rushed and not carefully thought through. In any event, a starting point should have been dialogue with the family. But all of this has created unnecessary tensions that could have been avoided if a different approach were taken. Was it concern for the plight of the people that prompted this or the hope of getting votes?
We have reached a stage where what drives things is the election and nothing else seems to matter. My concern is that national policies ought to be carefully thought through and consideration given to sustainability and the possible implications, including, of course, benefits to the people. So, the mad rush to roll out new projects sends bad signals after being in office for almost twenty years. Expect in such situations the emergence of ‘white elephants’.
The thinking perhaps, is that we will cross that river when we get to it. The action with the Murrays has heightened tension and created fears by others when they put it in the context of the cases of Bigger Biggs and Marcus Defreitas. Will we be engulfed by the turbulent waters?
Dr Adrian Fraser is a social commentator and historian