Saturday, January 30, 2016

Dear Comrade – be like Maurice, not Robert!

There have been some solid advisers around the region, who told me this past week, avoid getting into a tit—for-tat with the honourable Comrade in Kingstown.

  That’s exactly where he wants the debate to go – to be a complete distraction to the difficult economic times at home; and the many questions being raised, fairly or unfairly, about the very legitimacy of his rule.

   I quickly dismissed my dear Comrade as a typical Caribbean politician who has been there for too long. He came in with great purpose – at a time when we all cheered with excitement from Munich, Grenada to Soufriere Dominica and to Bolans, Antigua. His was supposed to be the second coming of Maurice Bishop; but is now quickly turning out more to be that of Robert Mugabe – a  washed-up, sold out “progressive” on the altar of political ego.

   And like Mugabe, he is now running out of time, and running out of ideas.

   In dismissing me as a “paid operative” of the opposition – as if it is that group with the DNA of counterfeit and bribery – he effectively signed off on the attempt of state harassment not just of me, but of anybody there who dared to be fresh enough to raise ideas that run counter to that of “Papa”.

   I had dismissed the incident of last week, as the act of one overzealous officer, who took it on his own, believing he was acting in the best interest of “papa” to try to abuse his perceived power.

  But once the dear Comrade opened his mouth, it was clear that it was fully sanctioned by him.

 The Prime Ministers’ explanations and his so-called attempted put-down of this interfering Grenadian, revealed more that perhaps he wanted to.

  His panic. His pettiness. His brilliant undisguised stupidity. His overflowing seminal for mischief.

  I don’t have a direct response to the verbal diabetic nonsense to my dear long-time Comrade. You don’t dignify an undignified rant, unless you clothe the man in the legitimacy and the reverence he covets.

   The Comrade has evolved into a politician who thinks the conscience of a nation is a commodity that can be traded in the marketplace of fear of reprisal.

  He thinks of voters as commodities; and so he rightfully thinks I am one too. So I understand his mind-set.

   His forces trade in buying votes. I trade in ideas. Some even say mischief. Well if that’s what you call it, fair enough!

  A man who fought for an otherwise elusive fourth term on the backs of a brazen daylight abuse of state resources and staggering handouts that looked even indecent to the most tolerant of us – has no authority to lecture anyone.

  His politics now has a morality of its own.

   With a difficult budgetary period facing him, this aging roadblock revolutionary, should maybe stop using his time in a ceaseless campaign against his “enemies”, and get down to managing the fragile economy to the best interest of his proud people.

   St Vincent’s problems are bigger than any perceived nightmare this writer may give him.

   I will soon go on to the next assignment – whether its politics, sports or entertainment.  But there are thousands of great people in St Vincent – fishermen in Georgetown; farmers in Mesopotamia; squatters in the bayside ghettos of west Kingstown; young people who feel they have to suck-up to political and other patronage to get ahead – for me to be the subject debate.

  The problems of the country are large, and deserve the full time attention of all its leaders.

  By skilfully inserting me into the conversation, our dear Comrade seeks to cheapen the debate with a currency of insults and innuendo.

  As regards my incident, our dear Comrade must make up his mind whether he wants to govern a respectful genuine democracy; or he wants to have a state ran by ill-trained and overzealous police men operating as his goons and mongoose gang to force the Garifuna people into submission.

  He would have remembered that he took to a platform an Argyle during the election n campaign and sought to incite an entire crowd of his supporters against me, while I was standing at the side of the stage covering his rally. His inciting had people throwing things at me, and even he himself had to acknowledge he had to pull it back.

  I stood my ground in front of a crowd of eight thousand. What makes him think I’d retreat now?

   I have spent extensive time in every single eastern Caribbean country in the last few years, and St Vincent and the Grenadines is the most political divisive of all of them; where political spite is a loud part of the official policy.

  Statistics show St Vincent and the Grenadines has the worst performing economy in the eastern Caribbean; and it is at a time and place where its maximum leader can tout as one of its successes more people being added to “poor relief”

  This however is a worrying commentary on how the economic construct has failed to empower people.

  Spreading welfare is not spreading socialism.

  That’s why new leaders have to emerge – to carry the message of Maurice and Hugo; to deliver the dreams of liberation of Fedon and Chatoyer.

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