The MSM Caravan, Sound-Bytes and Theatrics

What the caravan has made abundantly clear, if any confirmation was needed, is that the MSM will fight tooth and nail in a bitter, no holds barred contest for its political survival

 By Jan Arden

“It will be said that the despot assures his subjects of civil tranquillity. Granted; but what do they gain, if his insatiable avidity, and the vexatious conduct of his ministers press harder on them than their own dissensions would have done? What do they gain, if the very tranquillity they enjoy is one of their miseries?”
— Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Many observers have been left baffled by the political caravan launched last week by the MSM and its associates running the country and more specifically by the objective behind what was a well-funded exercise, its messaging repeated with garrulous ease on soap-boxes in four zones of the rural belt. Was it a ‘galop d’essai’ for any elections that are still in the hazy future or a testing out of key campaign themes and planks that would, one assumes, keep that half of the electorate in thrall? Perhaps an attempt to divert the conversation away from live issues and affairs that were seen to be assailing the regime every fortnight, fresh ones superseding the previous?

Was it an attempt to stem the tide and hold the fort after a bad series of revelations or some nervousness at the possible conclusion of a tripartite Opposition alliance in the offing? Or a demonstration of the MSM’s following in constituencies that, according to the party’s logic, would determine the next general elections? In which case some may feel that the towns and the capital are, in a way, not felt as winnable by the party politburo against some form of a united Opposition front and not deserving therefore of the level of attention and messaging rolled out for the rural folk.

Alternatively, there have been speculation that, with that Opposition platform still in the works, the MSM may opt to go straight to general elections, even prematurely, rather than risk intervening Municipals that may not provide a comforting run-up to the ruling regime. On the other hand there may be no mileage for the MSM in election dates that do not take account of the planned completion and scheduling of the Curepipe-to-Port Louis full stretch of the Metro tramway. Whatever be the case, the caravan was certainly a well-prepared series of interventions, designed to grab and divert headlines or commentary and accessorily lay the ground for a “bilan” that would come, according to the PM, in due time.

Meantime, the attendees, bussed in from various quarters, might have been regaled by the repetitive nature of MSM political attacks verging on vulgarity and threats some of which are too obnoxious to even deserve mention here, more so as they have been amply commented upon in most media. The implicit assumption that the attendees from this electorate deserve no better is appallingly disparaging and may not hold water as social media pointed out that some sections of the crowds were getting restless and were preparing to leave even before the leader had embarked on his full hour delivery. Read More… Become a Subscriber

Mauritius Times ePaper Friday 19 August 2022

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