OPINION

Political problem-solving

There are many ways to solve a problem, but only three if you are a politician. First: Given that everything is a question of political will, you remain confident that there is no problem at all, that everything is a fabrication by your enemies or the media. Therefore, you keep on until you once again bump into the same (non-existent) problem, except that the problem has now become worse. The second way is to admit that there is a problem. However, you believe that putting your own spin on it is more important than the problem per se. So instead of changing your policy, you merely change your spin tactics. Third way: You disguise the problem. Instead of trying to overcome it, you envelop the problem; you cover it up so that it can no longer be heard or seen. For example, you hold your convention (in this case, that of the New Democracy-affiliated public sector unionists DAKE) behind closed doors and, in addition, advise state television to downplay the whole thing, driven by the delusion that what is not seen also ceases to exist. The scant footage from the DAKE gathering was enough to confirm that the problem is real, not made up – even if its political character is still hard to pin down. If the booing of the ND unionists at three conservative ministers was aimed at getting their pledge to take care of «their own boys,» the whole thing could go down as another incident in the long history of the patron-client state. However, if the DAKE members demanded implementation of the government’s unmet pre-election social commitments, then the rupture is even bigger. For in that case, the confession by the secretary of the ruling party that the government shows signs of arrogance is as comforting as similar admissions by his Socialist predecessors. The premier’s call for humility and modesty inspired no more respect than the Ten Commandments.