She was only five years old entering primary school when this Labour Party came to power. She is now 18 and leaving high school, ready to vote and she says she is told that she has no other choice but to vote for that same Labour party as there is no one else. Perhaps that is the problem where one set of people are made to believe that they hold government as their own.
When power becomes a habit there is a tendency to be corrupted by it and to do whatever it takes including violence to hold on to it. The struggle of hundreds of years from slavery on this land to the point that we have reached today, where under God we are the guardians of our own land and our destiny should be a thing of pride. We are married to this land for better or for worse and most of us will be buried in it. We should now be working on our maturity as a nation making all our people feel the spirit of freedom and the aspiration to make our talents work together for the common good. Waitikubuli is like the garden in which God placed us with the command that we should not eat of the evil fruit and that we should dwell together in brotherhood regardless of our political views or preferences.
But that was not the spirit at a carnival like meeting of the Labour Party held in Lagon, Roseau, two weeks ago. The mass meeting was organised to rejoice mainly over a Prime Minister triumphant. The party platform may have been annoyed and irritated that some think that the PM is not innocent, he merely just got away but no one could have anticipated the thirst for vengeance that surged from the lips of the platform speakers.
It was the same violence once preached by Freedom Party high-ups against the opposition Labour party in 1980 when Charles Savarin from a Freedom Party platform commanded the freedomites to seek us out “in every nook and cranny, wherever a labourite can be found.” No one could believe that it would be shouted from the platform of the Labour Party government in which Savarin acrobatically has become Minister for National Security. The more things change the more they remain the same except that this one is much worse.
The one thing that people in power hate is the opposite side with information against them that sounds credible. Now the shout is for Labourites to go out in every nook and cranny in particular Marigot, Laplaine and Salisbury and destroy the opposition leaders and followers and it was made graphic by repeating, “Like Obama is doing with Al Qaeda terrorists.” In other words, “massacwe’ Yo,” They spoke of dealing with Q95 radio station. Why? When I conceived the idea of Q95 in 2001 and brought in Sheridan Gregoire and Gordon Henderson to help establish the station it was to give the people another choice so it is personally sad for me to hear that the eyes of this Labour Party are malevolently fastened upon it. Is Q95 an Al Qaeda sponsored station?
And what is Al Qaeda? A set of Arabs, doing suicide bombing, killing and kidnapping, who boast about taking down the World Trade Center towers in the US slaughtering thousands of innocent people including one Dominican from my household. The North Africa arm of the group has just claimed to have beheaded a French hostage. Terrorism is the organized use of violence to target innocent people for political reasons and that is the course of action offered to the labourites. Yet the crowd cheered and cheered and the rest of we the people regarded it with one big boring ….stupes.
So little wonder the crime of shooting to kill rises while the churches are missing in action, many eyes are shut while wide open and lots of people are talking without speaking, ears seriously blocked while hearing preferring to listen to mumbo-jumbo called politicians promises all “lies and jests, still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest” (Simon and Garfunkel-The Boxer). When the PM took the stage it was all about his pet dream of winning all 21 seats which is the same goal he openly craved during a losing effort to win the by-elections in Marigot and Salisbury three years ago. The curious thing though is that this time he called such a move vengeance.
But after all the tumult and the shouting dies what are we left with? A Constitutional provision that is supposed to protect the integrity of our electoral process is made to have no teeth by the decision of the courts that are essentially paid and pampered to protect it. This is super serious. Does it now mean that the nomination process can be used by anyone of any nationality who becomes a citizen but remains in allegiance to his own country and all he or she has to do if challenged is remain silent and not make the evidence of foreign allegiance available? The question still remains how are we to avoid this happening again? Except if the government is willing to go to the House and pass laws then it will happen again.
But rather than soberly trying to fix this the DLP is on a platform threatening to do harm and declare war on people who are exercising their rights of free assembly and free speech. Or is it just boys and girls sounding off and playing with fire which their mamma warned them not to do? Any kind of war is hell. The words of the prophet are written on the walls, “it is easy to start a war but you may not be able to control when or how it ends.”
Please note the echoes of the war of May 29th 1979 are still heard today.