What can we blame Covid-19 for?
Barry Laine of the Seychelles Civil Society says that we have suffered a Coup D’état at the point of the gun, imprisoned without trials, made to disappear into thin air, we have been walked all over and we have been lied to, our land and property have been stolen from right under our noses and when we complain or try to use our legal system for justice, those in power pull the strings and we come across protectionism, favouritism, malediction-ism, imprecation-ism, in Creole we can add “mansonz”, kalomni” and “manboulouk” when all we are trying to do is put food on our table as a nation. This was and still is the true state of our nation before and during Covid-19 and the situation will not improve until real changes take place in our society.
So please do not blame Covid-19 for all our ills because we were declining fast with no inward investments because we have people employed to bring investments into Seychelles who are not qualified in sales and marketing.
Then our Central Bank stepped in to warn us that we are eating into our small reserve and insinuate to us that we must elect people who will get us out of this mess. Well before this pandemic situation, we hardly heard from our Central Bank, now they are in our face on TV regularly, putting fear into us. Perhaps they should consider that the world debt is today US$ 253 Trillion and the world is running a Debt-to-GDP ratio of 322%. The European Union’s debt, where we get a grant or two, is US$ 29 Trillion, USA US$ 18 Trillion, UK US$ 8 Trillion, France US$ 5 Trillion and our Central Bank is scaring the hell out of us because we are eating into our small reserve? Come on get real and get things into perspective for goodness sake. If Albert Rene had not plunged Seychelles into debt to build the highways, the airport and the various comblage, today we would not be able to afford these developments, we would still be driving past the abandoned cars on the roadside in Cascade, which have been there for years and Cascade has not changed for 50 years, despite the leader of Government Business being its MNA.
Do you want our votes?
The number of banners will not win you votes. If you want us to vote for you either as our next President or as a member of our next National Assembly tell us how you are going to get us out of the mess we are in today then tell us how you are going to handle Covid-19 and how you are going to ensure every Seychellois earns a fair and reasonable minimum wage, and we stop paying senior civil servants millions a year. It is a disgrace when one person earns 10 times more than another, which shows how capitalism has made some people greedy and the more they have the more they want.
Who in Seychelles have any experience of taking a nation through a recession or out of a pandemic? Give me a name, who has done anything to lift Seychelles out of poverty without first filling his pocket? Give me a name? Come on be honest or get down on your knees and pray for forgiveness because you are lying to yourself. There is no one from our current government who is qualified in sales and marketing and who can prove that they can market Seychelles to the outside world successfully and sell fridges to Eskimos and blankets to Seychellois, so to speak. Without a marketing man at the head of the team we will not make it because good marketing is at the centre of any successful business.
Our only saviour is a team of well qualified technocrats with experienced sales and marketing leadership who are not interested in pillaging our resources and acquiring wealth but want to put Seychelles at the top of the “doing well index” and not lie to us and tell us we are a “high income country”. High income for the senior civil servants who are grossly overpaid but not to the average Seychellois trying to put food on the table.
What do we do during a recession and pandemic?
I have lived and worked through several global recessions in the UK in 1975, 1982, 1991 and 2009. There is no need to panic, all we have to do is apply basic management techniques to shape up, clean up, get rid of dead wood, renew the structure, get rid of the bad apples, revamp the product line, look for new customers, and prepare a new business plan. There has been a recession more of less every 10 years for whatever reasons and each time you make sure you retrain your staff, you prepare a new brochure, you look at ways to cut production costs and you emerge leaner and fitter as a business or as a nation. All we have to do now is elect a first-class smart team, it does not matter which political party they belong to because politics has made most of us very poor and a few of us very rich. Remember the marketing man in our team will lead us to success and prosperity, while the other technocrats will ensure we all receive a fair wage and laws are obeyed.
Barry Laine FCIM, FInst SMM, MCMI, MBSCH