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NEWS : Politics  

SLPP & their Play - Cook Politicians :Repeating SLPP-APC History all Over Again...!
By From the Editorial Desk
Aug 14, 2009, 17:28
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As promised, we will be running a long series on the Playcook Politics that has now infected the SLPP hierarchy to the extent that their supporters are standing in bewildered shock as the expected vibrancy of their political party is nose-diving when it should be skyrocketing. Before proceeding, it is good to first define POLITICS and then proceed to define PLAYCOOK and end with a definition of what the coined term of PLAYCOOK POLITICS covers.



According to its simplest definition, Politics is a process by which groups of people make decisions. The term is generally applied to behavioural decisions within civil governance, but human beings are by nature, political animals and so politics is observed in all human group interactions. A more elaborate explanation will go on to refer to politics as social relations involving authority or power. Politics can also reference the internal and external regulation of a political unit which unit could be a small Village Committee or a whole Nation. It also covers the methods and tactics used to formulate and apply policy that affects such units. However, whilst there might not be an academic consensus on the precise definition of politics and what is consider as political and what is not, famed German political scholar, Max Weber defined politics as the struggle for power. In this light, Politics encompasses the methods and tactics used to not only attain power but used to ensure the retention of such power when it falls into the hands of the power-wielders. Such tactics and methods can be foul or fair leading to terms like dirty politics and clean politics.


Humans in whatever unit they may find themselves, congregate together with the ultimate aim of attaining the power to influence the others in the unit in which they belong. In the case of National Political Parties, members who believe in the ideals of such a party will struggle together to ensure their party attains power and get to formulate and implement policies that their like minds see as fitting for the Nation they belong to.


For example, the likes of Mr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, Mrs. Elizabeth Alpha-Lavalie, Alhaji Morikeh Fofana, Mr. Victor L. Thomas, Mr. Emmanuel Grant, Mr. Momodu Koroma, Dr. Prince Harding, Dr. Alpha Wurie, the late Hinga Norman and so many, many others, between 1995 to 1996 came together to struggle as a team because they shared the belief that a political party called the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) was the only way forward for Sierra Leones developmental aspirations. In other words, they struggled together to attain power for the SLPP. And they succeeded by using a variety of means at their disposal to gain their political aspiration.


Similarly, in the same period of time, people like Lawyers Edward Turay, Serry Kamal, Victor B. Foh, SAT Koroma, M.L. Dumbuya and countless others, all came together to use various means at their disposal to bring about the attainment of power for the All Peoples Congress, (APC) political grouping which latter political party they had then believed should be the one to formulate and implement policies in Sierra Leone.


The struggle for political power is always an ongoing discipline even in established democracies the world over. It does not cease with elections only to restart when the whistle for campaigns are blown. The struggle for political power is a ceaseless practice as old as time itself.


However, whilst practicing politics, subjects of an entity whether at the village level or the national level should always put the common good above the limited interests of their own political grouping. In other words, at the national level, Patriotism and Political interests have to be well balanced so that one does not become too partisan at the expense of the State or too naively patriotic at the expense of the political party to which one belongs.



A politician or political leader is defined as an individual who is involved in influencing public decision making. This includes people who hold decision-making positions in government, and people who seek those positions; A politician is a person who practices politics using a variety of methods. He can employ brazen deception or subtle tomfoolery to sell his political party or political ideals. Smoke and Mirrors tactics can be used to sell Snake Oil to his hapless prey. Dirty tricks and duplicitous actions are the hallmarks of unethical politicians whilst some politicians have a History of only engaging in clean politics. They practise politics in an ethical manner acceptable to the society and with respect for the basic human rights and dignity of those who might be affected by the decisions such politicians might be undertaking.

An example of a dirty political activity will be sending thugs to violently intimidate non-conformists to forcibly get them to conform to your own way of political thought. When such dirty politicking is undertaken by powerful State apparatus, it is even more likely to involve gross violations of human rights of the victims. This form of dirty politics includes forced gang raping of female members of opposing political groupings. However, still another dirty political activity could involve a non-State political entity spreading malicious gossip against State apparatus in a bid to turn public opinion against the State organ and get the voting public to revolt against the ruling political class and vote them out. One such classic example could be the spreading of false and malicious rumours that the ruling political class was engaged in cannibalism that scared residents into scurrying home as dusk fell. Another dirty trick could be maliciously lying that the ruling class was engaged in the raping of women under the purview of the Security Forces. An effective political grouping will always ensure that his grouping does not get tainted with such brushes. But what is an effective politician?


To be an effective politician, one must always be keen on intelligence gathering and analysing of all information that floats around so as to make necessary adjustments to any tactic or method being employed by that politician to promote his political ideals. It means continuous monitoring of all news media both print and electronic and the implementation of a Rapid Response Mechanism that will dispel any negative perception that had the potential to deter your ultimate attainment or retention of power.



In the local Creole parlance, Playcook refers to what little kids do when they pretend to be cooking delicious real food like they see their parents do in the kitchen. However, unlike the real thing, these kids usually gather ingredients like stones, grass and flowers, put them into a tin cup with somewater and smilingly come up with their own recipes and final products which they will gleefully showcase to each other with pride. It is usually rubbish of course as stones replace meat, leaves replace onions, mud replaces palmoil and the old tin cups replace the cooking pots. But in their blissful ignorance, these kids are happy with themselves when they finish the playcooking on their playing field. Parents usually indulge the childrens attempt at playcooking as it is a harmless past-time by the innocent. Children are never put in positions of trust that affect the lives of others so they can be indulged to engage in playcooking as it is harmless past-time. A responsible adult should however not be encouraged to engage in any form of Playcooking!



Playcook Politics is a newly coined term which needs to be properly defined before we can proceed with these series on the SLPPs Playcooking. Similarly, a Playcook Politician also needs to be properly defined. A Playcook Politician will be best defined as a professed politician who fails to abide by the simplest dictates of political persuasions but just like the child on a playing field who is convinced that his playcook potpourri of grass and stones is a deliciously cooked recipe, the Playcook Politician is living in a world of delusion that what he or she is up to was the correct political steps to attain or retain political power. Such a politician does not understand the need for a Rapid Response Information System nor does he understand the extreme importance of Data collection and subsequent Analysis of Information or Monitoring of Opinions. The nitty gritty of such acts are totally lost on the Playcook Politician.


The Playcook Politician can however be extremely dangerous to his community of grouping because his or her naivety exposes the larger community to threats from outsiders. The Playcook Politician is loved by the Opposing Political Groupings. For example, the APC is currently rubbing their hands in glee at some of the imbecilic Playcooking of the SLPP Playcook Politicians. SLPP Playcook Politicians are however living in totally blissful ignorance of the damage they are causing to their SLPP Political Grouping. These SLPP Playcook Politicians are powerful tools in the hands of the much savvy APC politicians. An SLPP Playcook politician can be manipulated at will like a robot by the clever strategists in the APC because he is busy in his own little world carrying out his Playcook business as his political interests crumble around him. As this political interests crumble around him, so he further exposes himself to the arrows that would be fired in his direction by the cleverer politicians from the opposing side. His naivety exposes him and his political grouping to serious danger as his protection falls off him and leaves him exposed just like Jericho was left exposed when those walls came down. The saddest aspect however is that it is not only the politician who is left exposed because of his stupidity or naivety or in some cases, his arrant greed and selfishness. The saddest aspect is that the Playcook Politician, when placed in a position of Leadership, becomes a serious self-inflicted security threat to the entire political grouping.


The above piece has been an attempt to create a picture in the minds of our readers as to where we are coming from with our charge of PLAYCOOK POLITICS against many of the so-called SLPP politicians. Next week, we will now start our full series on SLPPs PLAYCOOK POLITICIANS. We urge our readers to keep this edition today as we will be making several references to this article several times as we publicise the series on the SLPPs foolhardy Playcooking starting next week Monday.


Sierra Leones democracy is at stake because of the foolhardy and naive actions of the SLPP Playcook Politicians and we are going to highlight this fact until the SLPPs general membership carpet their hierarchy to ensure our democracy is placed back on track. In the seventies, this was the EXACT SAME MANNER in which the then SLPP sold out this country to the Siaka Stevens led APC with their sheepish and turkeyish attitude. Siaka Stevens played them like a fiddle and the country suffered no little as a result. We simply cannot afford to sit back now and watch the SLPP repeat History all over again at detriment to this countrys Democracy that was so hard won and for which so much blood was shed. It is time to shake up the SLPP to live up to their duties of promoting Democracy or quit the Political Stage. The future belongs to the Youths and if the SLPP hierarchy is going to be a stumbling block to the aspirations of this country, the SLPP Youths will take steps to kick out the lackadaisical SLPP Hierarchy. There is no way some of us are going to sit by twiddling our thumbs and watch whilst your political ineptitude and playcook politics cause us to go back to those dark days of our countrys History. Put up an efficient opposition or Ship Out from our National Politics...!  The Time is now...!

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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