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Love and good neighbourliness, ULP style?

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Fri, Dec 30. 2011

Editor: While you read this letter, an elderly woman in a remote village in this country wonders why she is left unnoticed by the officials after Hurricane Tomas. Her neighbours got galvanize and lumber, but she has been displaced to lodge with a relative since she got none to repair her home. {{more}}In her sunset years, when love and good neighbourliness matter most, the Government has done nothing to help her cause. Her neighbours are ULP supporters, of course. They know too well that its “Labour time”.

While President Abbas of Palestine is extending hospitality to our Prime Minister during the holidays, a 68 year old man will do well with more sunny days than rainy ones. For four months now, he has been dealing with a stroke and his leaking house is not fit for a human to dwell in. He lives and eats at the mercy of God and his neighbours, while his Parliamentary representative turns a blind eye to his cause. His representative, Montgomery Daniel, is “Labour”. The old man isn’t, so he must suffer, while reports are rife that cement is turning stone in North Windward in the hands of “Labour” supporters from Tomas relief. All the man asks for is a piece of “poor relief”. Love and good neighbourliness, huh?

Love and good neighbourliness “Labour” style seems to rest closely on Daniel’s chest, too. His lack of proper management brought the farmers to their knees this year, and his solution was quicker than the spray for the Black Sigatoka disease. He ‘aint come here by boat in chains’ was his stinging insult to the negro and Indian farmers who were wailing in pain as they lost well needed income in an already mismanaged economy. The Prime Minister showed “love”, not for the farmers who he refused to compensate, but for the ‘Labour’ man.” He (Montgomery) is a good man”, the PM said. Racism seems to be the new good, since many in the ULP think Arnhim Eustace is a “roast breadfruit” who cannot stand out if put to stand next to former US president George W. Bush. This is their version of “good neighbourliness”, and they give no apologies for it.

And while we’re on Montgomery Daniel, who can forget his opponent in the last elections, Mr. Elvis Daniel? Elvis, too, was a victim of “love and good neighbourliness” Labour style. The ULP’s Clayton Burgin knows well about that. He never wastes a moment to tell his “Labour” supporters how much he believes Elvis should never be re-employed by this ULP Government. Let him suffer and his children eat grass. Let the students fail. Let a great Math teacher go to waste, ‘cause he is NDP and he criticized the education revolution’. These are the sentiments of ULP’s “love and good neighbourliness”. And, again, Ralph Gonsalves strengthens this love by insisting “I will not lift a finger” in regard to Elvis and his two colleagues.

Love and good neighbourliness, Labour style, also means cussing the neighbor stink. Tell him he is a “nasty dutty dawg”. A servant boy, a yam boy, an idiot boy, a snotty nose gal, a windbag, dotish, untutored and uncultured, jackass in lion skin, dry head girl, NDP donkey, a cocobay, a Gad fly, dunce, a cococut bat, go away a girl and come back a boy, useless, malignant, refugee, lowest common denominator, minority rump, of the chattering class. Yes, cuss dem, then say that you are calling for “an individual and national cleansing, redemption and reconciliation”. Yes, then cuss dem again! Next year, repeat the same theme of love and good neighbourliness. And during the year? Well, tell half of the Vincentian population it’s “Labour time” and we have to wait until next election to try and “high-fall” you. Until then, they have to eat grass…no road wuk foh dem! And while you cussing, run to parliament to remove the restrictions placed on your mouth during election time by the Representation of the People’s Act. Oh, yes…and further, keep your gang well paid…name your prized supporters “consultants” and roll out contracts to them and have some of them on radio cussing daily. Never mind the poor and elderly. Just give them talk…a smile and an occasional hug.

Oh, what hypocrisy! What pretence the Prime Minister displayed in his 2011 Christmas message! The virtues, morals and religious beliefs he pretends to possess are belied by his very actions and his refusal to change for the better. The Prime Minister and those who act as his devotees demonstrate a crooked understanding of what “good neighbourliness” and “love” really mean in this country. They have tried their best to keep such virtues far away from their breast.

You see, an individual cleansing would lead the Prime Minister to see how his behavior is not right in the eyes of God. He will realize that he needs to change through thorough repentance and truly reconcile with his people. He will know that cleansing should not be empty words, but real and radical, bringing change that reforms the character of the man…affecting his thoughts, words and actions towards his brothers and sisters. He will apologize to the nation and have his ardent followers show care and true love for their neighbours, regardless of political differences. He will set an example as a statesman.

“Love worketh no ill to his neighbour…” says the Bible in Romans 13: 10. No ill, Mr. Prime Minister, no ill. Let the New Year meet you being taught by God how to love. Let your supporters know how to love, by example, not by hypocritical convenient talk.

Shefflorn Ballantyne

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