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Sir James say bury it


If the NDP was looking foh someone wid ah jumper cable to give de Party Engine ah Jump Start in dey “Vote No” to de proposed Constitution Calm Pain, dey found dat someone in Sir James on Chose-dey night. Not only did Sir James get de NDP engine started, but he changed de oil and spark plugs, tune-up de engine and full dey tank wid aviation fuel, right now de party ready to tek-off and fly.{{more}}

When we last spoke ah couple weeks ago, ah asked Sir James about de proposed Constitution and he hinted dat he will comment when de “time” was right. Dat’s exactly how he opened his message on Choose-dye night when he quoted from Solomon’s Ecclesiastes chapter 3 “ A time to remain silent and a time to speak”! He paused, den completed de sentence “I cannot be silent”. Sir James came as promised, it was silent indeed when he braced de door, gradually silence changed to turbulence, den he was officially announced, and pandemonium broke loose. It was ah mini repeat of the Victoria Park victory Rally de day when NDP won all 15 seats.

Ah got dey fifteen minutes before starting time and de place was full to de rim, couldn’t find ah seat, former minister Allan Crook-shank invited me to sit next to Journalist Jeff Trotman in de Press Box, de VIP area. After all ah deserved ah special seat, if only foh de amount ah cussing columnist Care-Not John and me does get in de ULP Column foh saying it like how we see it.

At 7:20 p.m. Ah-niece-yah Baptiste said de opening Praise, all yuh watch dat young lady closely as she climb dem steers! Den Cheerman Linton Lewis took de stage, he was in his ole, opening batsman cricketing element, displaying some lofty hitting to all parts ah de boundary. Linton was followed by Arm-in, look like de wife gave him ah bowl ah Campbell Soup foh dinner, he was in “NO” mood foh good or bad PR, he slaughtered Parnel’s spin-off sorry, off-spin “hop and ah-drop” bowling all over de place. Now Arm-in has ah valid point, PR is cheerman ah de Constitution Reform Committee, an dependent, non-political body responsible to the country’s par-liar-mint, how can he accept to serve with de Guv-ah-mint “Vote Yes” team or any side foh dat matter. Lie-Za ah-door de man PR, she didn’t like how Ralph did try cat-ah-go-rise him as ah pull-it-tek-all cook dah would Cook-ah-Bee if yuh give him de chance.

Arm-in’s stay at de wicket was short, ah swashbuckling innings. And in came Sir James, to de second of three rousing, standing ovation foh de night. Believe me dis was not de Sir James of “Bat but “NO” score” fame, he came to beat bawl, and delivered as promised. He mash-down de NDP headquarters like de real Sir Nansi-I uses to. He even chastised his own Party foh de times dey boy-cut Par-liar-mint, and den he cut loose. Yes it tek someone like Sir James to say it like it is, “Dey crucify de Constitution”, he said, He supports ah new Constitution foh SVG but in his own words, it must be Durable, Stable and Permanent, and in reference to de ole Law Book, he said: “If better can’t be done den let worse continue”! De crowd went wild foh de umpteenth time. If yuh don’t want de Queen who ain’t trouble yuh, he said, den let de people elect ah President give him teeth, and de Speaker must face de poles too. His position on Proportional Representation differs from his Party’s. His explanations on de’s all make cents!

Ah don’t always agree wid some ah Sir James’ views, but ah respect him foh his fearlessness in stating his pull-it-tek-all position. He wants ah Caribbean Union, but he prefers de Privy Council to de CCJ. He remembers de tirade of verbal abuse in Par-liar-mint dat his long standing friend and colleague, Come-me-shun-her 2-cent received; that was callously glossed over as Par-liar-men-try privilege. 2-cent had to reach Privy Council to get his Justice. Sir James is fearful of people who like to tamper wid Constitution. He reminded NDP supporters dat it was Cato’s Labour Party dat passed legislation to deny him de opportunity to serve as Awe-position leader in 1974. And it is Gonsalves ULP dat passed retroactive legislation to impose ah $1. 00 tax on Vincentian citizens from de Grenadines only, ah Tax foh traveling from one part ah de country to de other. Country people can use de bus terminals freely as we ought to, but Grenadines people cannot use de boat terminal foh free.

On any other night Sister V-knee would ah been de star, but she nevertheless delivered ah nice package on what she describes as de falsity ah dis “ age of civil responsibility” de ting bout young people coming of age at 18, able to own property, married etc. something dat already existed in de ole Law.

It was ah great night NDP candidates were on show foh de night, ah feel dey wish elections was next week. Dey must be pleased wid dey performance, how did I arrive at dat conclusion? Well Arm-in smiled foh most of de evening, kindah unheard off eh!

Lie-Za threatened to kill our friendship if ah don’t tell her Yes ah Voting No! Is long time ah done say dat we put Arm-in and Ralph in de House to come up wid ah New Constitution. Dey can’t come to come-on grounds and we can’t help, remember PR done say yuh got to have Law brain to overs de ting. So ah putting it to Arm-in and Ralph to carry all yuh differences to ah small committee ah experts, to help thrash out dem serious differences. Den bring back it back and yuh wouldn’t get two-thirds but three thirds majority. In de meantime ah wouldn’t put it as bluntly as Sir James when he add-vice de crowd to “prepare foh funeral, get yuh black clothes, black flag and black ribbon and bury de Constitution”. Ah time ah did go Carry-coe to ah Owe-be-yah man foh get good luck, he did tell me to get ah black cat and boil it in ah pot ah white milk from a Black Cow, put on ah black dress and den pour de milk in ah black cup and drink it. Ah tell him NO, He ask me what ah fraid, ah tell him de Constitution!

On ah serious note, mek sure yuh register, and den on Nov 25th, whether yuh Vote Yes or Vote No, go out and Vote. And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy.

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.