1- The Taboo Syndrome
Let us ponder at this Taboo Syndrome for a second.
When an official points to it, I suddenly get the shivers; I’m outraged by this irresponsible statement, which only means “we’ve sorted out our children, you should go figure something out for yourselves”.
Officials talking about the Taboo when they’re overly obsessed with titles, prefixes, privileges, the social scale, and often do their best to exhibit their statuses, with their suits, cars, ties, furniture, and offices.
Let alone their mobile phones, watches, and the others who actually print their names on their shirts; seriously?!
They speak of shame while they, themselves, find it difficult to mingle with the “common” folk, and do their best to avoid them, were it not for “public relations” and reputation.
More so, they strive to secure themselves diplomatic passports for life, and will not suffice with their own going to our universities here, in Jordan.
They will not go to the public hospitals for treatment, but would always go to private hospitals.
Never were our officials so extravagant as they are today.
Look at Mercel’s humble attire, or Bill Gates.
Likewise, look at the clothes of the officials and ministers in Scandinavian Countries, or in the UK. They drive their bikes around, and some of them carry their own sandwiches to work.
Officials in the UK send their children to public schools.
The examples of this are countless.
It is our officials who suffer from the Taboo Syndrome. This is what someone commented on my Article, What the Premier Did Not Say, on AlGhad’s website.
2- The Official and the Citizen
Activists, many of them Jordanians, have been circling pictures of France’s former President, François Hollande, wearing jeans and a white T-Shirt, carrying grocery back home.
In his bags of grocery is toilet paper.
The picture’s caption read something like “Occupation, France’s President, 6 months ago”.
However, a media website traced the picture, only to find out that it was taken of him three years ago; while he was president.
A magazine took his picture while running not-so-ordinary errands, without any political or psychological complications.
Not to generalise, but my reader’s comment, above, sort of is generalizable, with exceptions, and it describes a part of the problem and gap between citizens and officials.
The point is, beyond this, we’re talking about a class in society, mostly state bureaucracy, and their general behaviour.
Officials who live among the citizens know the issues people go through; they send their kids to public schools, and go to the public hospitals, and use public transportations.
It is not a sin for officials to realise the fact that they’re citizens, and that the very purpose of their jobs is to serve other citizens.
3- A Prime Minister under investigation
Accusations of corruption, bribery, and manipulating the law, against Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, have stirred quite some controversy there.
He and members of his family were actually investigated in the process of building the case against him, as voices have resounded demands for his resignation.
This isn’t an exceptional case, mind you.
In South Korea, for instance, we’ve heard news on cases related to corruption. And three years ago, when the Korean premier resigned, Shong Hong, he did it because he couldn’t save people on a sea ferry; they drowned, he resigned!
In Brazil, as well as in other countries around the world, officials are held accountable.
Public and state bodies have the autonomy to work independently in order to enforce the law, and this is the very essence of democracy.
Democracy is more than just elections; it entails the distribution of power and authority, balance, and departmental autonomy, which allows for state departments to do their jobs efficiently.
This is no simple task.
In fact, this is an accumulated process which starts with the very concept of public service; the official is a public servant, not at all superior to the public.
Law and regulation is above all, including the officials themselves, and citizens are all equal in their duties as well as their rights!
This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.