That there is even a debate about increasing the pay and allowances of our members of parliament (MPs) shows how totally unserious we are as a people. It also betrays a total disconnect between those ruling us and hoi poloi. We face so many challenges as a people and as a nation that any visitor to our shore, when confronted with the zeal with which we are busy debating non-issues like MPs' pay and allowances, will only shake her head in amazement.
Last year's unusually heavy rains brought vividly into our cozy living rooms the abject poverty most of our compatriots still live in this dear republic of ours. We all saw our own people, women, men, and children -- old and young -- struggling against the elements as flood washed away their mud houses. Many of them perished in the acts of rescuing their loved ones and their belongings. Many of our communities were cut off from the rest of the civilized world when the rickety bridges linking them got washed away.
From the north to the south, east to west, many Ghanaians still exist (forget live for now) in primitive conditions that are unfit for pets in many countries. And today we sit in our gleaming capital, in the comfort of our homes and offices, and all we do is talk about how to improve the lots of our fat cats in parliament!
The rains have abated awhile and like the little children that we are, the agonies our people experienced just last year have disappeared from our radar. The images are no longer on our giant made-in-Korea LCD or plasma TVs, so they no longer register on our consciousness. Until next time, that is.
Like grasshoppers, we refuse to take thought for the morrow. We no longer ask or care what happened to the thousands of our people who were victims of the flood just a few months ago. Have they been properly relocated? Are they getting enough to eat? Are the children back in school? No, that's no longer our concern. Our primary concern has shifted to how we can make our politicians more comfortable!
Where is our priority as a people? Where is our sense of fairness? Where is our common human decency?
If we have the money to increase the salaries of our elected officials, our debates will begin to make sense. We don't have the money, yet we are energetically busy debating how we are going to disburse that which we do not have.
Oh, sorry, there is always the "donor support," those much beloved words we cannot do without.