No ideology, no policy

DD Phiri

Today there were two interesting phenomena in the newspaper. The first is, that someone as eminent as DD Phiri decided that my idea of explaining ideologies in a Malawian context was so good that he followed my example with a story on Marxism. I leave it to my esteemed readers to decide who explains best for a Malawian audience.

The second is much more important, though it tickles my vanity less: The Honourable Chiyembekeza, minister of agriculture demonstrates what happens when a government, a party and a politician have no ideology (and maybe no idea either!).

He dryly stated that the money was finished (less than a week after the bloated government party trip to the UNGA that blew up so much dust for its cost to the tax payer) and that the government is not going to subsidise seeds, less than a month after he declared that there was nothing to panic about so that the journalists should stop panicking.

A government with an ideology would have seen this coming and have ideas to draw on in the process of finding a solution. A government with no ideology is just confronted with a crisis and throws the consequences on the easiest target, which invariably is the poor, the less connected, the proletariat (to use a Marxist term that dominated DD Phiri’s story in the Nation today).

If the government had had a socialist ideology, they would have prioritized FISP (Farm Input Subsidy Program) and practiced austerity somewhere else (I am not going to mention the DPP party in New York again). Also the bloated costs of the FISP would be contained with an anti corruption strategy (corruption gives prevalence to the well connected, the rich and the powerful, which are not the groups that socialists prioritize)

If the government had had a liberal ideology, it would have taken measures to phase out the FISP from day one (designed an exit strategy), and it would not have come to a crisis.

If the government has no direction, it just stumbles from crisis to crisis, and the population suffers.


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