"They who put out the people's eyes, reproach them for their blindness"-John Milton, English poet, author, Puritan and civil servant for the Commonwealth of England, best known for his poem Paradise Lost.
Something happened in May--the formation of the coalition government in Britain-that I wanted to comment on, but an engagement abroad, Cameroon's golden jubilee festivities, which included a very important conference on the future of Africa, took me away and prevented me from writing my column, so all ye fans of Beefs should forgive the prodigal son. I'm back.
In May, the "Mother Country"--do you remember the days when Britain was our "mother country"; well, the times have changed--but the one-time Mother Country got itself into a sweet tangle after the 6 May general elections in which no party had a clear majority to govern on its own.
But behold, it took just four days, repeat four mere days, for two parties--the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats--whose ideologies and raison d'etre are as wide apart as Zanu PF is from MDC in Zimbabwe, to narrow, if not forget, about their political differences and knock together, "in the national interest", a coalition government founded on a wideranging agreement on the way forward. The operative phrase was "in the national interest". "To govern in the national interest, not party interest" was the line that dripped constantly from the lips of Lib-Dem and Tory politicians during those four historic days. Are there any lessons that Africans …