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SVG is in a state of disrepair

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01.APR.11

St Vincent land so beautiful with heavy hearts we moan to thee, Disloyalty, hatred and curse, to keep us in disunity

EDITOR: No, I have not rewritten the National Anthem of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but our actions certainly indicate that much. When Phyllis Punnett penned those beautiful words to our National Anthem, SVG was a blissful place, inhabited by kind and gentle people. The community was closely knit, and neighbours looked out for each other.{{more}} The country’s innocence was displayed in its moonlight ring games, storytelling and hide and seek, commonly known as “coopie”.

Thirty-two years later, the country has gone through a metamorphosis beyond recognition. The kind and docile people have been replaced by a hostile and intolerant lot. Ring games and storytelling have been replaced by ipods, PSP, Blackberry and the internet as families have become virtual strangers in their own homes. Our inferiority complex has since allowed foreign cultures to penetrate and destroy the moral fabric of the society. The social agents like the family and church look on helplessly as undesirable foreign practices by homosexuals and paedophiles take root. Not to be outdone, the vice-like grip of politicians around the neck of a politically confused people has choked us into a subconscious bunch of misguided loyalists.

Indeed, it saddens me to see the state of politics in my blessed homeland. Like gangsters, politicians employ any means necessary in ensuring that they defend their turfs, and, or gain new territory. Institutionalized dependency is promoted since upward mobility is mainly determined by party affiliation. Therefore, it is common for aggrieved opposition party supporters to cry foul as the ruling party supporters lick the rich gravy filled with malice and contempt from their party’s platter. This venomous brand of party politics has split the country into two warring factions as party supporters engage in a fierce battle for state control.

The situation has worsened to the extent that police, teachers, lawyers and doctors are party-branded. So we now have the ridiculous situation where the local Human Rights Association and Bar Association lawyers are termed as NDP lawyers. However, these honourable ladies “put their names in people’s mouths” since NDP functions seem to conveniently attract them. Indeed, they betrayed their intent on national television when Ms. Sylvester erroneously instructed supporters that the voting exercise is not complete until they insert their ballots in the ballot box!

The ruling ULP under Doctor Ralph Gonsalves continues to find it difficult to differentiate between party and national functions. As a result, the PM has made it a habit of presenting mini budgets in his Independent messages in order to keep party loyalists smiling. The party’s Independent Day Rally (2010) at Colonaire was grounded in partisanship and showed utter contempt for the country’s signature national holiday. Similarly, the arrival of heavy duty machinery to commence work on the Argyle International Airport was greeted with ULP supporters parading through town decked in a sea of red! Are these divisive practices promoting peace and reconciliation among Vincentians across political spectrum?

The opposition is equally culpable in their unpatriotic practice of manufacturing reasons to destabilise the government. Their recent circus show in parliament showed up their greed and lust for power, in that they were willing to belittle themselves by using their bodies as weapons of disgrace! What do they hope to accomplish by these pathetic and demeaning practices? Come on, NDP, redeem yourselves by striving to become Kings and Queens and not Jokers in the Pack! You can start by first accepting the legitimacy of the recent General Elections results. Remember, in a democracy majority rules.

Similarly, it is incumbent on the ULP government to make a concerted effort to tone down the rhetoric, mend broken bridges and heal deep-seethed political wounds. The practice of party supporters first instead of a meritocratic approach to governance must be discouraged. It’s time we restore our beloved SVG to the place of honour held. Anything less is paramount to treason.

Collin CA$H Haywood

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