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First blood

First blood

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EDITOR: For the first time in the history of SVG, the blood of a sitting parliamentarian and Prime Minister has been spilled at the hands of violent opposition sponsored protestors who sought to prevent his reentry into the Parliament building.

While some would conveniently try to explain away and normalize this drawing of first blood, are those persons also prepared to accept that they are in effect clearing the path for future disagreements to be settled violently on the road and for the losers of an election to seek to overturn the results by storming the Parliament? I seriously doubt that. We are better than this. The NDP is better than this.

Let us be unequivocal in stating that there was nothing “peaceful” about these NDP sponsored protests. Further, the responsibility for organizing and inciting the protestors sits squarely with the NDP, whose members admitted in Parliament to attending planning meetings and were even seen taking parliamentary time to exit the Parliament to confer with the protestors.

The NDP’s incitement of this mob must also be viewed in the context of them organizing a protest in the midst of a COVID battle and a volcanic eruption recovery. Additionally, the Government’s proposition is an internationally popular initiative; one that proposes to protect both public and economic health in a manner also contemplated by many rich, civilized and developed countries the world over.

It is also well known that vaccine and mask mandates currently represent the great divide in almost every country and that the implementation of any mandate will necessarily result in legal challenges in the various jurisdictions. So why then are we so barbaric in SVG that we will allow acts of physical violence, including the shedding of blood to supplant these upcoming legal challenges?

This violence must also be seen as a very disappointing approach adopted by the Opposition NDP who are now very quickly becoming the party they criticize. Rather than seeking to consolidate the gains recorded in the last elections, held a mere eight months ago, they are now engaged in manufacturing privately sponsored controversies in the hope of creating a pretext to taking to the streets and demanding fresh elections.

The Opposition leader also exposed his disingenuity while leading a series of recent protests when his party’s stated objectives moved from seeking parliamentary discipline, to peace and justice, to law and order and finally to regime change.

The fact that this recent NDP protest so quickly metamorphosed into a violent insurrection and physical injury to the Prime Minister of a democratic country is totally unacceptable. So too was the official response. Even Donald Trump had the common decency and sound judgment to publicly call off his supporters in the wake of the January 6th 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol. Not so Godwin Friday.

The problem for the NDP is that this incident is already seen by many in the regional and international community as a grave and unacceptable infraction. How the NDP eventually tries to erase what could well be an indelible blood stain will be a most interesting challenge for a party now filled with dissonant voices and uninspiring leadership clearly lacking in maturity and sound judgement. This has to be corrected if a credible alternative to the ULP is to be developed.