Opinions Mon, 19 Sep 2011

Politics of insults, It's time to walk the talk Mr. President

Recent revelations from whistle blower website, wikileaks has brought insults in our politics to its crescendo amidst fierce competition to win the crown of the most insulting political party among NDC and the NPP, the two major political parties in the country.

This hypocrisy of the presidency where behind the scenes they are heavily involved in muddying the waters in the upstream of the river only to appear on a public platform, the downstream to invariably condemn the politics of insults is highly unacceptable and does not speak well of them as leaders. If the president and his vice are really concerned about this insults issue that has as gradually carved a niche in our still infant democracy as they would want us to believe, then it is about time they walked the talk by taking proactive measures to deal with it even if it has to go the extent of sacking some government appointees.

Again it is not enough for the so called neutral commentators, civil society groups, religious political leaders, chiefs among others to condemn politics of insults vaguely without pinpointing the main actors involved, for some of us, this vague caution statement only goes to the wind. If we are really serious as a nation about this issue then we need to move away from our current position where vague pronouncement is the order of the day to a more explicit position where we would have to take the bull by the horn and condemn personalities from both the political divide who indulge in these acts directly.

On the other hand, the media has a role to play if we are to halt these insults. From a neutral point of view I think newspapers whose mission statement is to lead a smear campaign against their political opponents, infact some of them whose total circulation does not add up to even a thousand such as the Informer, the Lens, and the Enquirer among others should not be reviewed on any media platform. Again political discussion in the media should be devoid of insults, that is to say political activists should not be given the media platform to spew insults on their political opponents and political programme hosts should also desist from selecting topics that has the tendency of brewing tension and subsequent insults.

Developments lately had drawn the thin line between responsible media practice and irresponsible media practice, while some responsible media houses discuss issues about bread and butter, and the very pertinent developmental problems affecting our wellbeing, others obviously have had a bumper harvest or better still a field day with the wikileaks diplomatic leaked cables and for them nothing matters anymore except somebody’s supposedly alleged affliction of throat cancer or wee smoking habits.

I think as a country we should not hesitate to crack the whip on those nation wreckers whose job description from their pay masters is to lead the bandwagon for insults and smear campaigns against their political opponents if not Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Liberia etc are closer to us than we think.

Kwaku Yeboah

Columnist: Yeboah, Kwaku