You are here

Letters

Who stands to gain?

Auckland, New Zealand

Editor

There is a Latin tag cui prodest? meaning “who stands to gain?” When it is not immediately apparent which political or social groups, forces or alignments advocate certain proposals, measures, etc., one should always ask: ““Who stands to gain?”

The Chairman of Shoreline has highlighted and reiterated the company’’s contributions and enhancements towards the operational efficiency of the system; initiatives which have depreciated the often expensive costs for the production of electricity in correspondence to the imported fuel costs; and investments which have modernised the generation and distribution of power throughout the islands underscore …“some…” of the invested advancements Shoreline have given to the citizens. Such dedication is noble, patriotic and very progressive indeed.

Anecdotally we can concede that the 1998 handover had provided both positive and negative experiences for everyone involved, although the notion is definitely a moot point on different grounds. The proposed idea of partnership …“to secure the best ownership structure and regulatory framework for Tonga’s electricity sector…” according to our esteem Finance Minister is fantastic, refreshing, and equally charged with idealistic hope for what it could eventually become for the citizens relative to what they are experiencing hitherto.

At the end of the day, we must understand that Shoreline is fundamentally profit oriented, as such, the needs of the company and those within it precedes over that of its consumers (collective). This precedence is heightened when the company is the sole provider of the particular good or service. That is, these are business people with profit oriented goals, individualistically driven with a disregard for the collective. We need to question the feasibility and practicality of this second switch-over. The aim heralded by the company…’s Chairman (“……the objective is to ensure the continued reliability, efficiency and sustainability of electricity to the citizens and businesses of the Kingdom of Tonga.”) is indeed attractive. But realistically, have we experienced this acclaimed …“reliability…”, …“efficiency…” and …“sustainability…” and if so, will the subsequent partnership(s), the attempt by an already crippled government continue/achieve the proposed objectives; or will it be just that, an attractive yet unattainable set of propositions which continues to bleed the citizens…’ lifesavings.

It is simply ridiculous for citizens to have experienced and settled the …“costs…” (its many facets) incurred by these myopic and at times under-researched decisions orchestrated by an incompetent few towards the supposed benefit of the people behind a well accepted façade of individually driven ambitions. According Trotsky, …“the end may justify the means as long as there is something that justifies the end…”. Quite simply, the end has to be worthy yet importantly justifiable for the characters of the means to be concretely acceptable. That is, will the people (citizens and businesses) benefit from this proposed partnership or will it be another exercise towards a well operationalised mass exploitation of the not so fortunate.

Fundamentally it is not important to question who directly advocates a particular policy, since under the current noble system of privatisation/capitalism or commercialism, any money-bag can always hire, buy, liaise, influence and partner with any persons/bodies to further its proposed noble cause.

Indeed, in politics, it is not so important who directly advocates particular views. What is important is the understanding of who stands to gain from these views, proposals, objectives, and measures upon implementation.

So arguably, does the means justifies the end and if so, how justifiable and sound is that end. If the …“end…” is concretely justified, who then stands to gain?

Warm Greetings

March Pulu

marchpulu [at] yahoo [dot] com