Friday, October 05, 2012
Gaol break … quite literally
There’s nothing like an election year to encourage fat, lazy politicians to get off their over-paid and over-fed arses and get on with doing something … anything for the electorate.
As the polls approach, every Minister worth his gargantuan weight in gold has had his (sic) disgusting snout in the public coffers and the nation’s constituencies are awash with bags of rice, three-course barbecues and upsized boxes of washing powder (something for the ladies).
On the prison-front, Prisoner Paul Shem was still at large following the March breakout, and the community was demanding results. So with an election looming, some cashola was finally funnelled to the Corrections team, and a taxi was summoned to travel two suburbs across town to apprehend the villain, and to do so ‘with whatever force is necessary’. In the event of his being brought to justice, they went in so hard that both of Mr Shem’s legs were accidentally broken in 15 places, and this later resulted in one leg needing to be amputated.
Ironically, the political focus groups down at Government HQ informed the pollies that this latter outcome was a little too strong, so Prisoner Shem (who’d been living with his folks in plain sight of the world for 3 months) was released on bail (and let’s face it, in this country with no capacity for manufacture and fitting of prostheses, he’s not likely to be skipping risk).
Public opinion for the Minister rose considerably after this, but to seal the deal, he finally ordered the construction of a sturdy, extra high security fence around the prison. It was all finished and unveiled with great fanfare this week, and will almost certainly give the Minister the green light for his return.
But the best bout of pre-election shenanigans to date would have to be from the outgoing Police Commissioner who, in an attempt to limit his outgoingness, has used his first week back from suspension to accuse his deputy (and acting Commissioner) of mutiny, a charge which carries a penalty of life imprisonment (and, for the first time ever, in a secure facility).
We’ve still got months to go before the big day, but already the electoral bunting is stained with blood and tainted with the stench of corruption – but while it may be bad for democracy, it’s great for development – the only two months, every five years, that anything gets done.
With the graffiti still fresh, Port Vila’s new prison wall looks set to securely house the mutineers ‘for the terms of their natural lives’. Pic: http://prisonsociety.typepad.com