Alistair Campbell, spin doctor- in-chief to former British Prime Minister Tony Bliar, is credited for popularizing the new order of spin. It was simply an over exaggeration of little or no truth to serve deep seated ideological –swayed or a given interest.
Though Campbell and Blair may have lost the war for the heart and soul of the people during the twilight of Blair’s reign at Downing Street, the aftermath of the so-called dossier making the case for operation Freedom in Iraq, rampaging famine prone Niger with the grave claim of uranium sale to Tikrit-born dictator Saddam Hussein.
Campbell had hypnotized the naturally suspicious British newspapers and kept the ever influential Blair afloat and understandably managed and manipulated the public relative to Blair’s thoughts every step of the way. The Liberian political landscape is totally conversant with the manipulative skills of politicians and spin doctors, sometimes recycled, who seek to charm the nation about the most ‘outrageous’ of people giving them the image baptism requires to earn public trust and respectability.
Politician, journalist and author Twan Wreh wonderfully trailed many in an account readers of Liberian political history would acknowledge as a unique interpretative understanding of the history spotlighting Tubman’s nearly 30-year rule. In his “Love of Liberty That Brought Us Here” publication, Wreh unveiled Tubman’s ‘dictatorial compassion’ keeping dissenters in isolation but still maintaining a hero’s rating with commoners.
Wreh, reflecting on the Amb. Henry Boimah Fahnbulleh Sr. trial, was back peddling on show with Tubman stage managing a protest of Cape Mountainians transported from the county rejecting the allege communist exploits of their son.
The spin doctors of the Tubman years and sometimes later successfully projected communism as an abominable concept. So when Liberia’s ambassador to East Africa meets and shares notes with his Chinese counterparts, he returns home in the court room docket.
But Tubman was well aware of the invalidity of his case, so drumming up regional support against the ambassador really did the trick…magic spin! New messiahs have emerged on the road to the 2011 elections. In record time, they have miraculously understood Liberia’s problems and have packaged readymade solutions.
They sat by with glorious luxury for the few and abject poverty, intimidation and harassment for many, paraphrasing ailing Catholic Archbishop Michael Kpakala Francis. A platform of divergent thoughts ought to be solicited and nourish in any given democratic set up but unregulated spin-doctoring and alarmist politicking are occurrences the Liberian people must unmasked.
Prof. Dew Tuan Wleh Mayson, in a typical announcement style to the nation, is quoted in the New Democrat Vol.17 No. 200, October 20, 2010 as indicating that “We Have Lost Our Mandela”.
My endeavor is enthusiastically to nominate the esteem ambassador, author, professor, revolutionary and eminent business tycoon to become Liberia’s Mandela. Amb. Mayson, the Democrat narrates, told a cheering crowd at the University of Liberia that the president has violated a pledge to him and a core of unnamed friends for a one shot at the presidency and consequently denied Liberia the chance of recording its one term leader.
Quite tactfully, he embarked upon a journey of spin doctoring of his own by leaping into the political history of South Africa willfully, so I believe, to validate his gospel for the day. He and the Mandela cut and paste advocates have refused to inform Liberians about the institutional structures, developmental gains the Mandela government inherited.
The real issues for the likes of Mandela was that they were only available for the minority whites, so roads really existed but they were not at the disposal of the poor from Soweto and wealthy from Pretoria.
Trust me, the engineering wonders of Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and across South Africa’s 25 provinces were not constructed by the government that came to power in 1994 –all credits to the great Modiba.
While I respect those disagreeing or agreeing with Madam Sirleaf and the moral basis for her second term, I found it totally inconceivable that the Liberian people will be given historical comparisons that are totally incomparable. Beyond the South African republic, the African National Congress (ANC) of Walter Susulu, Oliver Tambo and others were institutionally vibrant and cohesive to transfer power in no time with ease.
Do we know how did the ANC thrive even with Mandela at Robin Island just about the same number of years Tubman lasted as president? Did we recognize any glitch when the Zulu populist and cultural supremo Jacob Zuma was overwhelmingly catapulted to the presidency with the incumbent Thabo Mbeki virtually ejected on the ANC’s mandate?
It was not an institution where people became standard bearers on the heels of elections because they could ‘keep the pot boiling’. But I am convinced that Amb. Mayson, who has not hidden his desire for the presidency, has an enormous opportunity to afford Liberia the chance to earn a place in the history books.
A statue probably erected in the heart of Westminster like the Modiba from Soweto. It may not be too difficult to fathom the delirium that has characterized interest for the number one seat in the land. Born again heroes of the people have landed.
The news reported that Amb. Mayson is disappointed with the living conditions of the people of the south east but the news did not say how much difference south-easterners witnessed due to his visit.
The nominated Mandela, hope he really keeps the promise, like the Modiba of Soweto didn’t equally find time to know how much work has been done to tackle the problem.
Did he see Zwedru buzzling at night, waiting to tap into the Putu Mountain underway? He probably didn’t see top of the hill in Kanweakan, Rivergee; the Gbarhbo high and how well they have been performing in the WAEC exams lately. He might not have bothered about the enrollment at the Tubman University.
Last November, I endured the though roads to Grand Kru, not just to watch the traditional cry bay politics but to see sensitivity at work.
Businessman Simeon Freeman and Dr. Peter Coleman combined skills and money to serve their country by providing free surgical operations for people there at the Rally Town hospital in Grand Cess. The new political order demands far beyond the “In the cause of the people” battle cry people want to see actions.
Speeches have been coming empty too long lately. We recognized that players rallying behind that battle cry proudly played their role at a vital historical juncture.
Today, Liberians are looking for people who can talk the talk and walk the walk. But good luck Amb. Mayson as you walk into the large shoes of the nobel laureate Mandela. Hopefully the United Nations will eventually announce a global day in your honor. What a day it would be for Liberia and Sinoe County!