Unusual power lust in modern West

Boris Johnson denies claims of illegal parties in 10 Downing St during PMQs on December 1, 2021. Photo: AFP

After quenching their lurid lust for power and property, funded by slavery and wholesale loot for centuries, leaving behind a trail of torture, murder and injustice, Western colonialists began to spread the word of the holy books, only after acquiring political stability, economic security, military supremacy, gold, glamour and glitter: "All humans are equal", the transformed rich nations declared, but with vicious insinuation that "some are more equal than others". And, they meant it, as exemplified by their depiction of the plight of Palestine versus Ukraine.

They landed on our shores at will to look for good fortune, which they found to their joy and our dismay. They would clinch it by force, if resisted. And, today they are inhumanely plane-loading asylum seekers to cash-for-service Rwanda in another continent to keep themselves free of the "dirt".

Since George Floyd's brutal death in 2020, #BlackLivesMatter of 2013 has been emboldened. Every English premier league football match since starts with the knee-bend, and is punctuated Live with the message that there is "No room for racism, anywhere". The hard fact remains that racism is alive and kicking on the shores of modern colonialists.

They are paranoid about being colonised in today's context of globalisation. Exporting refugees as commodities against their will to a developing country has been criticised by the Bishop of Birmingham. Prince Charles slammed the move by his own government as "appalling". But, what else could Boris do to change the topic from the increasingly hot beer-gate affair? 

Leaders of some imperial countries became self-appointed guardian angels of world democracy to dictate by wile and warfare. They hunted down locally popular, formidable leaders, dubbing them as anti-people, and warmongers with WMD, but only when they had not danced to their partisan policy, that is, handed over their soil and oil, natural gas and artefacts, and the right to a military base. These were a modern form of colonialism in the name of establishing their chosen world order, conceived to maintain them, the age-old rulers at the helm of global economy.

The rest of the world took time to remove the wool from over their eyes, delayed albeit by disgraceful beneficiary lackeys in respective countries. Repulsion to unfairness and instinctive yearning for freedom gave rise to people's revolution, for a while dubbed as rebellions; #SuryaSen. Countries had to be liberated by the supreme sacrifice of martyrs, steered by nationalist heroes.

Sticking to power was at one time assumed to be the proprietary prerogative of despots in developing countries. The table has turned for the worse in at least two developed countries, the USA, and the UK. No more can they lecture the rest of the world about securing democracy.

It was incomprehensible before 2020 for a US president not to accept the results of an election held under his call. Nationwide, Donald Trump lost by about seven million popular votes, which does not count towards presidency, but can severely dent the ego of a narcissistic politician. In the decisive electoral college ballot, Trump lost 232-306. Yet, in order to remain in the White House, he accused the nation of vote fraud, and continues with his lies despite extensive recounts proving there was nothing illegal. Worse, a good percentage of Americans seem to believe him. His daughter and White House and business confidante Ivanka turned against him last week and accepted Biden's victory, the testimony exposing deep family strain. But, like a warlord (no reference to the 6 January insurrection), unrepentant Trump wants to get back to the WH through the backdoor.

East of the North Atlantic Ocean, the UK prime minister is defiant not to come down from his pedestal, despite being fined by police for breaching his own set of rules that he pronounced on television on a daily basis during high Covid. Half-a-decade ago it would have been unbelievable that a UK prime minister could survive a no-confidence vote in parliament after thousands of street protesters, people in responsible positions, and MPs in the House called him a "liar" over his defence of attending several social parties at a time when he had ordered the country to observe the strictest of lockdown protocols. Many could not attend the funeral of their loved ones.

Boris Johnson has so lowered the British morality bar that henceforth it would require crosschecking before anyone could trust a government minister. That is exactly what the Commons Privileges Committee is investigating, whether Boris misled parliament over "partygate" allegations. This after separate reports by Metropolitan Police and civil servant Sue Gray left cracks and crevices, doubts and disbeliefs. Breaking the law by a legislator is a serious felony in any country, but to deny that a gathering of noisy people, singing joyous songs and vomiting cake and beer is not a "party" is a sign of mental turpitude.    

These two western leaders have given the so-called lesser developed countries reasons to question the state of governance in Trump- and Boris-land. They can indeed ponder on sending election observers to the USA and ethics supervisors to Britain. Globally, there is a shift in political integrity. The yearning to stick to power for life was once considered the sole legitimacy of tyrants in poorer economies, but the mischief has been adopted by egotistical leaders in, let's call them G-2 until more countries of the type join them.


Dr Nizamuddin Ahmed is an architect and a professor, a Commonwealth scholar and a fellow, Woodbadger scout leader, Baden-Powell fellow, and a Major Donor Rotarian.


১ ঘণ্টা আগে|রাজনীতি

নির্দলীয় তত্ত্বাবধায়ক সরকার ‘ডেড’ নয়, এখন ‘লাইভ’ ইস্যু: মির্জা ফখরুল

নির্দলীয় তত্ত্বাবধায়ক সরকার 'ডেড' নয়, এখন 'লাইভ' ইস্যু বলে মন্তব্য করেছেন বিএনপি মহাসচিব মির্জা ফখরুল ইসলাম আলমগীর।