The ‘former ones’

Eduardo Oliveira Costa is a journalist and publisher of several newspapers across Portugal. He is on the board of several organisations, is president of a football club, and has a keen interest in the press, among other media, and the business environment.

To the Prime Minister of this Lusitanian rectangle

Dear Sir:

The minister’s wage is very low, especially considering he is often asked to work 24 hours a day – and night.

Even though this is the case, if you invite me to work as a minister, I will accept!

There is a good reason for this. To be a ‘former’ minister brings a lifetime supply of ‘a little extra cash’.

Former education ministers work for school textbook publishing companies, former cultural ministers get top jobs in universities, former chancellors of the Exchequer go on to occupy interesting and high ranking positions in banks, former health ministers go on to manage private hospitals and so forth.

Obviously, I hope that it doesn’t become fashionable for people to think that a former minister cannot work in a private company.

Suddenly, people remembered to pester Jorge Coelho, a former government minister, because he goes to work for a well-known construction company.

If the man, while minister, benefited the so-called company, please say so clearly! It would then be different. To hint, raise suspicions or throw a stone and hide the hand, doesn’t allow the targeted person to defend the alleged accusations.

This suspicion, this poison, this half-truth that is left in the air is worse than a lie because it cannot be defended!

That is why, dear Prime Minister, I think that if the fashion catches on, you are going to have to pay a citizen very well for him to want to become a minister. And that includes my humble self!

As an alternative, Your Excellency could guarantee me a good lifetime wage or other public office.

This will be fair enough if I am not allowed to return to my previous job.

But then, if this is the case, then I no longer want to apply to be a minister!

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