I read an article which discussed Sierra Leone's president Koroma's routine heath checks abroad. Germany apparently
In the main, It's difficult to disagree with the author. [click]
For any president or world leader - It's unfair if under your watch, health services are ( reportedly) very poor and substandard for regular folk, yet you travel abroad to ensure that you have no need to endure it.
I think it's important to have confidence in the services of your country.. and use them.
If you do, others will happily do the same. In fact, if people know VIP's will be visiting, they tend to raise their game also. So on many levels, it's effective.
I also think it's important to fully understand the plight of the people.. that you remain connected with them.
It's funny that the article chose to use David Cameron of an example of a leader that does not 'distance himself' from public services!.
The author is probably unaware that David Cameron and co are on a mission to drastically reduce public funded services.
It's also funny because... that pic was probably a photo op no doubt, and in my view David Cameron and most of our current leaders have little clue at best, and absolutely no idea at worst, what life is like for those who are not as privileged as them.
Also I'm unaware of David Cameron's children attending state schools!. I'm not convinced they do, but to be honest I'm not interested.
MP Diane Abbot was lambasted for sending her son to a private school,. after making a big deal about other MPs who do that, (stating on one occasion that they should send their children to state schools blah blah),
Come the hour come the day ... she didn't 'risk' her child's education by sending him to a state school ( with the rest of the riff raff?)
What is sometimes overlooked I think is not necessarily that the state school's are inadequate, it's what being able to send your child/children to private school says about you.
It's classim, and it will always stand those who can afford to play that game, in good stead later on.
Lets face it, if I told you I went to Cambridge or something, it would sound quite impressive.
It has long been clear that if you can afford to pay for the best.. you pay for the best.
I personally have no issue with that. What I do however have an issue with is when the best is denied to others, in order to serve ones self
There is no way leaders should be going abroad for heath checks whilst their own country has dire health services. It's a little immoral, definitely unethical.
But let's be honest.
If you and I were in a position of power, yet powerless ( seemingly) to make the changes required to improve the lives of the majority of our citizens, but we knew also ultimately that we needed to take care of 'self', and we could afford to do just that.... would we not do the same?
I personally, (I hope) would do everything I could to raise the level of services for people. Health education , jobs, investments. Policing , security... (phew!... there are so may things to consider with regards to running a country). I would do it all so that I could sleep well at night, in the knowledge that I could enjoy my 'privileges' without generating public anger.
(..and if you examine what I've said.. reality is, that's me, being quite selfish)
President Koroma does not own Sierra Leone
Neither the people can stake much claim
The IMF & World Bank do
Or so it would seem.
What we can hope for at best, is that post Ebola ( lord how long now) the country will be able to reconstruct a positive national identity. Find a way to tell of its history, from a position of strength and not weakness, that the country is able to eek out the best for it's citizens when contracts are being commissioned; and subsumed by debt or not... it's manageable, and the country can truly be a beautiful place to live.
It could be one of the nicest places in the world to live, or it could be one of the worst.
Change and commitment ( like most things) begins in the mind
Charlie for the day
and a Charlie for the night
Happy Saturday all x