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Politrics & BullShit

History. After the successful overthrow of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana’s founding father), by the C.I.A., Ghana experienced several years of instability until she found herself in the firm grips of a military ruler, Flt., Lt., Jerry John Rawlings.  He stressed anti-corruption and proved to be vigilant in his pursuit, yet he did not threaten to dictate the price of our natural resources to the West, thus keeping the multi-nationals happy.  This balance endeared him to the people and insured him minimum interference from the international coup-makers.   In return, Ghana enjoyed 20 years of relative peace, with minimal growth.  Donor countries were not receiving resistance during Rawlings’ era, but they weren’t getting the bent-over compliance that they require to validate their fantastic loan schemes.

Present. By the time we entered the millennium, Ghana had already swallowed the bait & hook and was fully converted to Democracy.  Rawlings lost the 2000 election to his Oxford trained opponent, John Kufour.  Long gone were the days of colonialism and in its place was the system of puppets and puppeteers.  Mr. Kufour introduced Ghana to the World Bank, who dumped a shit-load of loans on Ghana and officially classified us as a Highly Indebted Poor Country.  In keeping with the terms of his agreements, Kufour implemented new economic policies.  The first and most drastic was to eliminate the government’s subsidization of gas (petroleum).  As a result,  the cost of gas increased more than 650% in 8 short years, with increments as high as 100% at a given time.  It presently cost more than $5.00 for a gallon of gas in Ghana, and we have oil in our soil!  Needless to mention, when fuel prices rise, everything follows, and so the cost of living has simply soared.

In the space of the same eight years we have experienced the worst power outages in Ghana since the days before Nkrumah.  This rapidly developing nation regressed back into the stone ages, bringing businesses to a halt and costing the nation billions of dollars per month.  Constant non-sensical excuses were made to the public for these inconveniences.  Due to Ghanaians’ patient demeanour, the government was able to play this game of power-scheduling for almost 2 years.  That meant no electricity for 12-24 hours, 3-4 days out of a week.  When the power was miraculously restored, marking the beginning of this year's election campaign, electricity rates were adjusted upward more than 200%.

In the same vein, postal rates shot up as much 115% overnight.  That means that if a small time producer of shea butter balms was previously selling his product for $2.50 + $2.50 for postage, he now has to increase that price by another $2.75 to cover the higher cost of postage.  That effectively eliminates this entrepreneur from his export market, as the additional costs to the consumer outweigh the benefits of importing.

Of course the present government will argue that Ghana has many new roads and has seen a burst in new businesses.  It is true.  Foreign countries have all taken their share of our IMF loans to construct our roads.  And several multi-nationals have leaped in to enjoy a share of the marvellous returns in communications, mining and banking.  However, the average worker hasn’t felt any surge in their income, rather they remain within 50% of their previous earnings while faced with quadruple cost of living.  And the roads mean as much to those on public transport as the sunset means to the blind.

Also, in the last 8 years, gold has enjoyed an enormous rise in price, more than a 200%.  Ghana is one of the world’s leading suppliers of gold, but the economy nor the people felt any benefits from this upswing.  The same for Cocoa, this base for chocolate has reached an all time high demand, another of Ghana’s major exports, but our farmers are not celebrating greater gains, rather complaining of worse conditions.  And now that we have found oil there are no signs that our own fuel prices might decrease, instead new 5 star hotels are going up to accommodate the upcoming oil-rush.

It is common knowledge that Ghanaians are hospitable, and thus very long suffering.  Yet it doesn’t take a genius to note that even a rubber-band will snap.  Established in history by countless kingdoms, empires and governments, all subjects have a threshold.  Ghana has enjoyed peace at the expense of prosperity for the masses for over 30 years, but never so oppressively as in the last 8 years.   The atmosphere is one of bitter discontent and confusion.  Life has been made almost unbearable and change seems imperative, but what now?  Return to the previous government, whose flag-bearer is offering no real alternatives to our problems, nor inspires the confidence of a leader or choose one of the aspiring smaller Parties, who claim Nkrumah’s legacy, but show no resemblance to him in policy? 

It’s all a farce and it has never been more clear that we have been given no real choice at all.  No one is offering to share the wealth of this great nation or to better the lives of its citizens.  No one promises to take our children from under trees, into class rooms in the rural areas, to subsidize the oil that we have sourced right here in our land, to sell our produce at a rate that will insure our farmers thrive and our agriculture sector is protected, to put high tariffs on the shit load of rice and other genetically modified foods imported into the country, to take advantage of our sun to harvest a back-up supply of energy to supplement the growing shortages, or to better manage our abundant water so that we will have large stores available in the event of future crisis.  No one promises to do anything but bullshit the people for four more years!

Future. Never have things looked so bleak, black woman & child a suffer and smile. Dollars nah flow and the cost of living a murder we!  What’s worst, there are no leaders on the horizon, just more puppets and puppeteers. Smells like a revolution.

 

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