In George Orwell�s classic 1954 fable, �Animal Farm�, Boxer was a character whose contribution to the revolution that ended the rule of Mr. Jones (the owner of Manor Farms) and the establishment of the Animal Farm were unmatched by his other colleagues.
Boxer, according to the story, had the strength of all the animals combined. Boxer, the horse, gave his all to the construction effort and the flagship project (the windmill). The windmill would not have seen the light of day had it not been the effort Boxer put in to it. Yet when Boxer got injured in the process of building the windmill, the pigs who had by that time constituted themselves into an oligarchy, tyrannizing over all the other animals sold him to Mr. Whimper, to be used in a glue factory as raw material.
My friend told me it is not out of the ordinary �that is the consequence when power meets a corruptible bunch� he said. Lord Acton (British historian and philosopher) was alive to this fact when he coined his famous dictum �power tends to corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely�.
President Rawlings, who in the last election was the largest crowd puller of the National Democratic Congress, who covered more campaign grounds than the party flag bearer, who the dawn after the historic third round Tain election was announced, was already in the Tain constituency forcing the sitting President (John Kufuor) to change his mind about visiting the constituency to campaign on security grounds (according to Arthur Kennedy) is today facing an Animal Farm scenario.
Just like the �pig government� in Gorge Orwell�s fable sold Boxer to the glue factory, those in power today have decided to relegate President Rawlings to a station of abject neglect. They are also discounting the contribution of the countless number of people who contributed to their coming into power; I hear the Vice President and some bigwigs in the government said the word foot soldier is alien to the National Democratic Congress. Please someone should tell them to read the NDC�s 2008 manifesto.
Even though all the animals shared in the struggle to dismantle the old regime and the bringing into power of a government of the animals, the pigs started conspiring and scheming to keep all the other animals from benefiting from the fruits of the change, which they all fought to bring. They eventually established themselves as an elitist group, establishing a master servant relationship with the rest of the animals, with the pigs being the masters and the other animals being their servants.
When the National Democratic Congress came to power after riding on the backs of their numerous supporters and foot soldiers and some party giants like President Rawlings, those in government have constituted themselves into a privileged few, far exalted above the ordinary members of the party on whose backs they rode to power and now they have the sheer effrontery to tell party supporters and foot soldiers that they are not educated enough and so could not have jobs. When the ordinary uneducated or semi-educated foot soldier asks for a job he is not asking for a white-collar job, just a job, decent enough to help him support himself and his family. Remember, the mantra in the 2008 elections just as in the animal farm before they had power was �prosperity for all�.
Among the ways of Mr. Jones that the animals (including those who were locked out of prosperity) fought was the fact that Mr. Jones slept a on bed and drank alcohol, when they got power, the animals enacted laws that barred all the animals from sleeping in beds and drinking alcohol. The pigs however, clandestinely, started sleeping in beds and drinking alcohol.
Profligate and ostentatious expenditure were campaign mantras of the opposition NDC in the 2008 elections. Profligacy was at it best when the President went to pick his nomination forms to contest the flagbearership of the NDC the other day.
Another of the major campaign issues in the 2008 elections were the corruption allegations against the Kufuor Administration. And now we are hearing stories of even junior ministers in this government buying mansions in United States, not to talk of the irregular expense claims at the Ministry of Youth and Sports. We hear stories of people in government building chubby offshore accounts, oil deals etc.
Old Major, whose words inspired the revolution at the Animal Farm warned the animals not to learn the ways (evil ways) of man once they have their freedom. The dream was for shared prosperity for all those who partook in ending Mr. Jones�s rule. But the pigs decided to deal with their old enemies just because doing so brought them (the pigs) alcohol and other luxuries of man.
Our Animal Farm government too has decided to deal with people who actively opposed the President on his journey to become President in a �scratch my back I scratch your back arrangement� ditching old friends and comrades in the time of prosperity.
To the animals, it seemed their world, which may or may not become a happy place to live someday was worse than ever for ordinary creatures (except the pigs). Another moment came when they had to do something about it. The occasion came when pigs from far and near met at congress to celebrate their achievements. When reports of the �pig congress� reached them, other animals were incredulous, dismayed and indignant. They headed towards Animal Farm in all directions, instinctively uniting once again with a common cause; they sacked the pig government and took back control of their affairs.
The NDC�s Congress comes off from the 8th of July. Will it be a sacking of a �pig government�? Ours is indeed an Animal Farm government.
Source: Yusif Mustapha [email protected]
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