Friday, 30 September 2016

Why The Hypocrisy And Intellectual Dishonesty Of Bawumia & Co Rankles

Why is it that a President whose National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration has undertaken so many important infrastructure projects across the nation - which are all vital for the long-term future of our country - appears to be on the verge of losing power in this December's polls?

It must rankle with President Mahama's supporters that he could lose power to an opaque political party, the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), many of the leading lights of which, although forever alleging corruption by government appointees, are, significantly, themselves dead-set against the public declaration of assets by politicians and their spouses: although that is the most effective antidote to widespread corruption in Ghana. Odd, that.

It is incredible that the Ghanaian media overlooks that. Why? Do they have no sense of  patriotism at all? Have they forgotten their watchdog role in Ghanaian society? Ditto that they are the 4th arm of government whose job it is to protect Ghanaian democracy - by shinning the spotlight on the other three arms of government and scrutinising them in microscopic fashion?  Amazing.

Unfortunately, President Mahama has no one but himself to blame, if he loses power to the equally corrupt NPP, despite his administration's many achievements. If he does not win re-election, it will be because he failed to understand that to be a successful leader of Ghana, he had to always deal ruthlessly with errant members of his administration.

President Mahama is paying the ultimate price  for tolerating and sheltering errant Machiavellian appointees - such as Stan Dogbe at the presidency - when he should have fired them ages ago.

That that genius has been able to stay on at the presidency - despite his unspeakable transgressions of the bounds of common decency in his interactions with a number of journalists, and the unpardonable shame his inactions brought on the nation, in the form of the shabby "Brochuregate" scandal that occurred at this year's Independence Day anniversary celebrations at the Independence Square - confounds many well-meaning and open-minded Ghanaians.

It has lost President Mahama the support of quite a few of them - all of whom wonder what hold exactly Stan Dogbe has on the President of the Republic of Ghana that makes him an apparently  "untouchable" appointee: whom the president is either unwilling or unable to discipline, and thus can get away with literally anything he does.

Does that not breed impunity in any administration?  How many independent-minded, discerning and patriotic Ghanaians would want to see such a regime re-elected to power to govern the nation again, I ask?

And it did not help the President's cause that he caved in to pressure to free the so-called "Montie 3" -  when it would have been far more prudent to make them serve out their sentences: and, instead, rather looked to wealthy party backers to pay their families generous amounts of cash to support themselves, whiles the Montie 3's served their terms of  imprisonment in full.

Did it escape the President, a student of history, no less, that those abominable threats  issued by the Montie 3, coincided with the anniversary of the painful and terrible deaths of three high court judges and  retired military officer, who were brutally murdered a little over three decades ago (in 1982)?

Judges are human too - and can also experience fear like the rest of us. What signal exactly was the President sending the judiciary when he freed the Montie 3?

And why did it not occur to him that in the final analysis, all troublesome and irresponsible party members, such as the Montie 3, will at best only appear as mere footnotes in Ghanaian history - when his legacy as Ghana's leader is judged by posterity: and must therefore always be given short shrift by him when their actions besmirch his administration's image?

Ghana is a nation that demands strong and tough-minded leaders - not "nice" leaders who never want to cause offence to anyone. Mahama's attitude in that regard, is in sharp contrast to that of President Rawlings, who was blunt in making it absolutely clear to his family and friends that if they messed up, they had to understand that he would never come to their rescue.

It made a huge difference - for they all knew that they  would face the consequences of their actions and inactions on their own: despite their relationship with Rawlings. Mahama has only himself to blame that some of his appointees only think of saving their own skins even when that fuels the perception that the president is unable to sack those who behave irresponsibly in his administration.

Be that as it may, if it is any consolation to his supporters, in time, President Mahama will become a much-loved former head of state - and will always be loudly applauded whenever he appears at public functions by ordinary people.

He will also be accorded great respect by even those who abused him personally for political reasons - the most implacable of whom in reality  envy him and have never really forgiven him for ending up as Ghana's President after Mills' death, if truth be told.The verbally-aggressive and uncouth Bernard Antwi-Boasiakos and others of their ilk readily come to mind.

Yet, it could have all been so different, if he had listened to those of us who wished him well when he was thrust into the presidency by  the sudden demise of President Mills - and wrote articles advising him to immediately publicly publish his assets and those of his dear wife Lordina Mahama: to enable him assume the high moral ground in Ghanaian politics and put clear blue water between himself and his political opponents.

We actually prophesied that if he failed to do so his ruthless and amoral opponents would seek to destroy his administration's achievements by the use of vile propaganda. Alas, it has come to pass: the hardliners in the NPP ratcheted up their sabotaging of the nation-building effort immediately after Mahama was sworn in as Ghana's new president.Indeed, it still continues even as we speak.

Today, the Bawumias, who were used by others to enrich themselves when the currency was redenominated during the golden age of business for the perfidious Kufuor & Co, are heroes to many  gullible and politically-blinkered Ghanaians: despite the unpatriotism that deliberately talking down their own country for personal political advantage, at a difficult period in Ghana's history, represents.

Bawumia's sin is that he knows perfectly well that Mahama has done a yoeman's job despite the near-impossible task of building a solid foundation for future growth in a nation in which millions evade taxes - and which foolishly spends nearly 70% of the taxes it collects to pay frequently-striking public-sector employees: many of whom are unproductive and in any serious country would be sacked from their jobs.

Bawumia's astonishing,  irresponsible and cynical promise to restore the allowances of students in some tertiary institutions - forgetting that society was forced at a point in time in our history into asking certain categories of tertiary students to take out student loans  precisely because allowances paid to such tertiary students had become unsustainable as their numbers increased - illustrates his nauseating dissembling, perfectly.

In one breath he proposes tax cuts - and in another promises endless spending in empty promise after empty promise. What perfidy. Who does not see the obvious  contradictions, I ask? Incredible.

BlackRock's Larry Fink's advice to governments around the globe, in the culled Investopedia.com piece by Nathan Rieff, which we are posting below today, show clearly that President Mahama was right strategically to focus on infrastructure projects, to enable Ghana build the foundation to enable it become a middle-income country.

For all his efforts on their behalf, this blog predicts that the clever and sly individuals who are now exploiting Bawumia from the shadows, to enable their party to come to power again, will make him the most miserable vice president ever, in the history of the 4th Republic, if their party emerges victorious in the December presidential and  parliamentary polls and assumes power in January 2017.

It will be at that stage that they will begin to show him their true tribal-supremacist colours - and start treating him with utter contempt.

We also predict that despite Nana Addo Danquah's undoubted incorruptibility, his New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration will become the most corrupt regime ever to rule our benighted country.

In our view,  BlackRock's CEO's advice  to governments around the globe, show clearly that President Mahama's long-term strategy for the national economy is sound - and will benefit Ghana in the end.

On balance, on the economic front, President Mahama has worked hard for Mother Ghana, during his tenure as president. That is an undisputable fact. Ironically, it is the next NPP regime - should the party return to power again - that will reap where it has not sown.

The question President Mahama must ponder as he faces possible defeat in the December polls is: What use have the Stan Dogbes been if  many Ghanaians neither feel the undoubted  energy Ghana pulsates with, nor see  the amazing progress being made in some critical sectors of the real economy - with many new privately-owned and public-sector projects such as schools, hospitals, government office blocks, markets, affordable housing, hotels, roads, etc., etc., being executed all over the country?

In failing to deal with the corrupt and irresponsible elements in his regime President Mahama dug his own political grave. Pity.

Anyway, some of us look forward to those who engaged in the gang-rape of Mother Ghana during Mahama's tenure being exposed and paying for that egregious crime. Hopefully, they will end up in jail for causing financial loss, to the Republic of Ghana.

And if Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo becomes president, we intend to criticise his new NPP regime mercilessly too, whenever the need to do so for the sake of our beloved homeland Ghana, arises - regardless of the consequences for us personally. We fear nothing - and fear no one. Never have done.  And never will. Ever. We are serving them notice, in other words.

The question is: Does Larry Fink's views on the global economy, not confirm the viewpoint that despite the turbulent global economic climate - aggravated by the shortcomings of his administration - essentially Ghana has been on the right path under President Maham?

The effort being made by Bawumia & Co to give the world the impression that Mahama has destroyed the national economy is intellectually dishonest. It is rather their confidence-sapping, self-serving criticisms that have created a crisis of confidence in the economy in the minds of most Ghanaians.

History will judge Bawumia & Co harshly for adopting that negative strategy to enable them win power. The plain truth is that the NPP's hardliners have sabotaged the nation-building effort ever since their party went into the political wilderness, in January 2009. It is their scorched-earth tactics that nearly derailed the national economy - but Providence saved it. Shame on them.

For their information, what is actually in the national interest, is that the hypocritical John Boadus, Sammy Awukus, Bernard Antwi-Boasiakos,   Asare Otchere-Darkos, Kwamena Duncans, Kwesi Oppong Nkrumahs and the selfsame Bawumias - who talk endlessly about high-level corruption in the Mahama administration - all publicly publish their assets and those of their spouses: as proof to the world that they have no hidden agenda to amass wealth at our nation's expense.

They must also give written undertakings that if appointed into office as ministers, they will publicly publish their assets and those of their spouses immediately after leaving office. This  blog knows that they never will - because many of them have  hidden wealth-creation agendas of their own too: similar to that of the hardline NDC babies-with-sharp-teeth. The NPP's Freddie Blays and the rest of them are just so obvious in their real intentions.

Finally, in case it escapes those genuises, not all Ghanaians are children and not all of them can be fooled at the same time always: the plain truth about our nation's current difficulties is that - to use a pidgin English phrase - "Massa, today, nowhere cool in this world!"  Hmm, Ghana - eyeasem o: asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa.

Please read on:

''BlackRock's Larry Fink Gives This Advice to CEOs, Governments

By Nathan Reiff

Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock Inc. (BLK), has a reputation for making his opinions known. The leader of one of the largest asset managers in the world, with $5 trillion invested in a huge array of companies, sent a letter to the companies that BlackRock invests in that urges leaders to change their approach to management. Fink believes that a long-term strategy will facilitate better growth. In a recent speech, Fink expanded his comments on the state of affairs to include governments as well as business leaders. Here are some of the highlights of his argument. (Related: Investors Need to Heed Climate Change.)

Don't Punish Those Relying on Banks

Fink believes that governments around the world have increasingly passed along the duties involved with growing economies to their central banks. In turn, central banks have exhausted strategies for healthily growing economies by running out of room. Over the past eight years, Fink believes, central banks have increasingly relied on low or negative rates of interest in order to stimulate the associated economies. Unfortunately, he feels, many lower-income families around the world have suffered as a result, as they largely rely on bank deposits or government bonds in order to successfully save money. This is part of the reason, Fink feels, that the middle class around the world has failed to see its wealth increase, as the rich have had greater success.

Economic and Political Unrest Follows

When families with smaller levels of wealth observe the rich getting richer, it can lead to unrest, which has manifested itself in elections around the world and in the Brexit vote in the U.K., among other things, Fink believes.

Infrastructure is Key

According to Fink, the single best area of focus for governments in order to support their economies is infrastructure. The BlackRock CEO feels that governments must regain economic control from central banks and that they must invest heavily in infrastructure. The results would be longer-term and would include greater numbers of jobs being created, and, eventually, higher interest rates. In turn, private investment will increase, with corporations likely interested in capitalizing on new developments. Fink cited a public walkway in Chicago, built with a federal loan, which ended up driving many new private real estate development projects as a result.

Single Driving Factor

Critics may see Fink's solution as focusing too much on a single factor: the development of infrastructure across the country and abroad. However, in a time in which political acrimony in the United States is running high, infrastructure spending is a key area in which many different political views tend to agree. Perhaps that influenced Fink's decision to focus so much of his attention on this area, in which it may be more likely that progress can be made in the near future."

End of culled Investopedia.com  piece by Nathan Rieff.
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