Victimization in politics

| January 28, 2020

Dickson Igwe, Senior political contributor

One politician’s assertions on victimization reveal a pervasive culture.

Now, when it comes to victimization in politics anywhere, all are guilty. There is no innocent political party.

Talk to anyone who is impacted by politics from the businessman to the public officer, and there is clear acceptance that the matter of victimization is as pervasive, as it is real.

One great example is the refusal by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to offer a customary peerage to The Right Honorable John Bercow Ex Speaker of the UK Parliament, for his stances on the Brexit Debate.

However political victimization takes various forms, from the insidious, to the outright overt. The more damaging types of victimization are the subtle and insidious. This type of victimization is meant to emotionally suppress the victim. It takes the form of marginalization. Here a minister will form a clique within a ministry, and that clique becomes a type of mini cabinet.

Former Chief Minister Lavity Stoutt. Photo courtesy

There is disrespect for protocol. A junior officer will be offered access to pertinent information, over his or her seniors. This causes embarrassment and discouragement. The junior will be invited to ”parties” over senior officers, who due to protocol, should be invited first. Then there are the rude gestures. A refusal to acknowledge staff through appropriate greetings but acknowledging a ”chuminess” over a more favored officer.

Soon a culture of favoritism develops and the result is low morale generally, and even lower productivity. On the other hand, the wise politician swiftly forgives his enemies after election victory.

Magnanimity is a great tool in politics. Forgiving an enemy actually turns that enemy into a much less threatening individual. And in certain circumstances that ” forgiven enemy” can become the politician’s greatest friend and asset due to the fact that he or she is shocked at being forgiven for their prior partisanship.

Victimization is never a great idea. Why, because as many understand today, one never knows what is around the corner.

One politician who believed he was invincible and was a master in the politics of victimization, got the shock of his life, and the boot out of office, at a general election.

Who did the kicking? Most likely scores of people he victimized, and who took out their revenge at the ballot box. The victimized are citizens and voters. That is easily forgotten when power gets to the head.

As the Great and Wise Lavity Stoutt stated one: ” one enemy is one too many.”

For Julius Caesar,  it is far better to be kind and magnanimous than ”nasty” and ”vindictive.” His career will last longer. 

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Category: African Caribbean, Culture & Society

About the Author (Author Profile)

Dickson Igwe is an education official in the Virgin Islands. He is also a national sea safety instructor. He writes a national column across media and has authored a story book on the Caribbean: ‘The Adventures of a West Indian Villager’. Dickson is focused on economics articles, and he believes economics holds the answer to the full economic and social development of the Caribbean. He is of both West African and Caribbean heritage. Dickson is married with one son.

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