Repeat after me: “The Treasury is empty.”
“The Treasury is empty.”
In psychology, there is something called the “illusory truth effect.” Essentially, it says that a lie repeated often enough becomes believable, not only by persons hearing it but also by the people repeating it.
The term only gained popular currency around 1977 but the idea had been around for a while before that; Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels was making essentially the very same point when he wrote this in the 1930’s: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”
I am convinced that the current Minister of Finance expects the whole country to swallow—to Goebbel down?—his claim about the emptiness of the Treasury.
Since coming into office in 2015, the current regime, with Colm “Construction Genius” Imbert holding tight to the Finance portfolio, has been singing that song about the empty Treasury; the refrain was that the previous regime “stole all the money.”
But those of us whose memories can still be trusted recall that, up until early December of the election year, 2015, Imbutt was promising to pay government employees their back-pay and was even telling them that they would receive it before year’s end. Then came the middle of December, at which time the construction guru changed his tune and broke into a new song-and-dance routine whose chorus was “The Treasury is empty.” He has since consistently cited low oil and gas prices and constantly chorused that “The Treasury is empty.”
Those of us who have no red eye had seen through him even before his recent, arrogant, true-to-form performance at the Chamber of Commerce seminar where he declared for all to hear that “Who vex lorse.” That merely underlined for all to see that his true stature matches the size of his mind.
Repeat after me: “The Treasury is empty—and so am I!”
“The Treasury is empty—and so are you!”
Imbutt has joked publicly about how he has raised gasoline and diesel without provoking any public riot. For me, that merely demonstrates the extent of his arrogance and the degree to which he and the Rowley regime are out of touch with the people they were elected to serve. It is quite clear to me that these little, self-anointed, self-righteous public servants have forgotten their real roles and forgotten whom they have to thank for their lofty positions; they have evidently forgotten that it is they who are in the service of the citizens and not the other way around.
It is easy too, when office rather than service becomes one’s primary focus, to forget that it is not what your country has done for you but what you have done for your country in general and in particular for the constituency that elected you to serve that gets you (re-)elected.
But instead of serving the people, for two years, this dysfunctional regime, with a financially illiterate Minister of Finance and Corporation Sole leading a politically illiterate Cabinet of souls, has sought to hoodwink the populace into believing that the nation has no money—or, more accurately, no money left. Left, right or centre! Kamla and she band ah tief, the refrain goes, eh leave nutten in the Treasury.
And the chorus adds—but not for anyone to hear—fuh we to tief.
It is easy, ready, upfront justification for having done absolutely nothing for the past two years in spite of enjoying the perks and privileges which come with holding office. Nor are they obligated to do anything—except apparently talk. And spend the money they do not have in the empty Treasury.
Repeat after me: “The Treasury is empty. Blame Kamla and she band ah tief.”
“The Treasury is empty—and so are your promises/threats.”
Which promises/threats? The promises/threats to bring to justice those responsible for the endemic corruption, etc., that has left the public coffers bare and their and their friends’ pockets well-lined.
To date, with the exception of former attorney general Anand Ramlogan, no one has seen the inside of a courtroom. And we have to wait and see whether that arrest was mere distraction from the then persistent ferry fiasco. There are those who are predicting that, after he gets through suing the State in six to ten years or so if the current regime are lucky (because they will by then be history), Ramlogan’s bank account will be positively obese as taxpayers get stuck with another multi-million dollar payment.
To conclude, then: reminding the nation every step along the way that the Treasury is empty while building unnecessary stadiums, highways and hospitals, and upgrading a golf course and renting empty buildings and leasing leaky boats at exorbitant rates defies common sense, logic and science.
But then again, given who and what we are dealing with, virtually anything is possible; logic, common sense and science seen to matter little.
Perhaps we should put the Riot Squad on standby….
…and have you repeat after me: “The Minister is empty…”