These puppets who govern us

 » The real characteristic of modern life — this is what strikes him — is not its cruelty or insecurity, but rather its sterility, its moroseness, its apathy. One only has to look around to see that it bears no resemblance to the lies that drip from the telescreen, nor to the ideals that the Party claims to achieve « .

George Orwell, 1984

 » Of course, the political jargon used in pamphlets, editorials, manifestos, reminders, and speeches of the undersecretaries differs from party to party, but they are all similar in that there is almost never an original, lively, and personal spin on them. When one observes some exhausted worker mechanically repeating on his platform the usual formulas — bestial atrocities, iron heel, bloody tyranny, free peoples of the world, being shoulder to shoulder - one experiences the curious feeling of not being in front of a living human being, but of a kind of puppet (…) ».

George Orwell, Such were our pleasures, and other essays

On May 14, we sent a letter to the Minister of Defense, Philippe Goffin, following a first e‑mail(1) calling on the man who had set himself up as an ardent defender of press freedom to give his opinion on the censorship of Kairos. We added this:

 » Could we ask you to describe the process that led to the selection of this company? [Avrox] What was the basis for the unit prices of the masks? What was the business relationship between National Defense and the company prior to this contract, i.e. how did you become aware of this limited company « unknown« This is what happens when Belgium is supposed to have been looking for masks for weeks? Why Avrox rather than another?  »

There will be no response to any of our emails.

And then the time passed, the matter was hushed up, as usual. The Court of Auditors approved, and the Defense Department stated without proof that everything had been done according to the rules of art. Goffin replied, while one of the essential conditions for winning the contract was that the company had at least fulfilled a previous order of 100,000 masks from another buyer:  » Avrox gave us a reference to the delivery of one million masks to another state. To whom? » Confidential « . Tax havens, shell companies, Luxembourg, Mauritius… nothing new. And the very people who play this game, the politicians, talk to us about responsibility and respect for the rules, infantilizing us, while the same underlying motivations — to make a lot of money — still dictate their choices.

The case has resurfaced today, too long after, following an investigation by Het Laatste Nieuws(2). The Defense has not verified anything, the company has no expertise in the manufacture of masks, « a suspicious invoice » arises …

Fortunately, the man who found our questions too long, too political, not understandable, « investigative », and who censored them live, is now speaking out for the freedom of the press: « A democracy cannot let itself be muzzled, it is a delicate mission », he added, evoking the importance of a « strong civil society » and a « critical press. » « What is targeted is intentional and systematic misinformation aimed at conflict. Fighting this kind of misinformation is a daily battle and we must not hesitate to take action(3). Of course, Alexander De Croo mentioned the United States, but what applies elsewhere can also apply here. Except that the characteristic of political discourse is to be an empty discourse, without substance, an advertising language that does not reflect the humanity and the convictions of the speaker, but seeks to deceive by letting people believe that what is said is real, whereas one is only saying what one will never do and to which one does not attach any kind of importance. There is no life in their words, their sentences are only slogans. Alexander De Croo would like a « critical press »… we would laugh if the situation were not so serious.

And 7sur7 still wonders, to conclude its article, if this corruption was done  » without complicity within the SPF, we still dare to hope « . Let’s hope… until the next scandal, and the next hope that keeps the scandals alive, because it prevents us from questioning the type of society we have to generate so much indecency.

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