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Honourable Opposition Leader, stand up and be counted!

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30.OCT.09

Editor: As a patriot, I am very disappointed with what gets passed in this country as national debate. Indeed, our national discourse has incinerated into emotive outbursts, pregnant with illogical tirades and unsubstantiated premises.{{more}} The twin casualties recently are our 30th Independence anniversary hype and The Constitution Reform/Referendum. The fact that the government has to commission party loyalists on a YES campaign speaks volume. I am, therefore, duty-bound to exit hibernation and add my bit.

This writer is under no illusion that constitution reform is a plus in our forward thrust to assert ourselves as a nation. I am extremely excited at the prospects of having our self-styled, Vincy-made National Honours and locally selected Head of State! Who wants to be knighted by a foreign queen? The Opposition Leader no doubt is still wrapped in monarchical clothing as a Westminster Choir boy. It was utterly hilarious hearing Mr. Eustace grovel that a YES vote against the queen will force Britain to turn its back on us! How pathetic! What has the queen done for us lately?

In this post-colonial era, it pays to have a government that is proactive and autonomous in its approach. Why does our justice system still have to rely on geriatric lawlords from England? Doesn’t the proposed constitution endorse and further legitimize the Caribbean Court of Justice as our final appellate court? This writer supports regional mobility.

Of course, there are some legitimate reasons opined against the proposed new constitution. It is true that a few members of the Constitutional Reform Committee have fundamental differences with the conducting of the whole exercise. Some cited political interference as an obstacle. They also posit that it is an untruth to state that the document is home-grown since it is not “from the bowels of the people”. Another argument given is that the Prime Minister wants to personalize the constitution. What a bunch of crap!

Why are these revelations now coming to the fore? Shouldn’t these officers have resigned as matters of principle? Is there hidden agenda at play here? Surely, Vincentians read fluently between the lines, especially through the yellow pages.

This writer is obviously pessimistic (I am normally an eternal optimist) about the Referendum’s prospects. If it fails, then political tribalism must bear the brunt of the blame. This phenomenon has intensified under the present administration. It’s a pity, especially given that the ULP government was ushered into office amidst great fanfare and with a mandate to mend bridges, strengthen democracy and lift the Vincentian people. Its cause is NOT helped by a non-partisan political opposition. The daily diatribe by lynch mobs and cheap-shot propagandists have all but ensured that the referendum fails.

To avoid this, I implore all unpatriotic policy-makers, idea-brokers and grass root politicians to make a U-turn. Failure to adhere will further worsen the political malaise that exists in this country. It’s NOT too late to allow Vincentians to form their own independent opinion on a matter of national policy.

Honourable Opposition Leader, it is high time you stand up and be counted as a bipartisan statesman. One does not have to be a Nostradamus to envision if your party’s NO! Vote campaign is successful. Vincentians collectively will regard you a National Obstacle. Worse yet, be prepared to pay a high political price. November 25th beckons – modern miracles do happen.

I fear no ridicule for my action as a true Vincy. The onus is on all likeminded Vincentians to follow my cue.

Collin “Cash” Haywood

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