JUST DENNIS: It’s The People Not Money

Dennis Joseph
Dennis Joseph

First and even separately I wish to congratulate this most exciting Pope Francis on being named TIME magazine Person of the Year. Pope Francis could easily use the slogan “Change is coming” on his MITRE or headdress as he is bent on changing things in the Catholic Church to stop it from withering away into irrelevance and remake it into the real image of Jesus the Christ- love for all, compassion for the unfortunate  and humility of its priests and other captains of the church.  , Enough of this bishop’s palace mentality’ he seems to be saying leave that to those who enjoy spending 27 million dollars in a poor island just to build one.   This Vicar of Christ as he is called by his Church is truly the people’s Pope.

Now one of the most  anthem-like  classy songs over the years  in calypso in Waitikubuli which I rate more by its content than delivery  is one sung by Soul Puss titled Respect of the People with the commanding  sting  line,  “It’s the people not your money that makes a great leader great.”  The Easterners say, “When the people are ready the leader appears,” and triumphs whether he has money or not because it’s the will of the people.  The immediate question is, “Are the people ready for change in Waitikubuli?”

PM Skerrit and his DLP are  taking an annoying  disdainful attitude of, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth”, toward the individual candidates of the United Workers Party  in similar  style as the uppers did toward Jesus who they dismissed as the carpenter’s son in his time on earth.  Well surprise, surprise, Mr. PM, some of the most successful people in the world were born in a manger or something similar.  Rev Doctor Phillip Potter who rose to become General Secretary of the World Council of churches was born in a small wooden house on Upper Lane, Roseau.   Should PAHO have said of Dr Clarissa Etienne, “Can anything good come out of little Dominica?” and of course there is Peter the rock on which the Jesus movement  and Christianity was built who was a simple uneducated struggling fisherman.   Not everyone can simply make a few phone calls to party executive members and be made a Prime Minister as Skerrit was able to do after the death of PM Pierre Charles so come on.   In any case the PM sounds real strange when he tells we the people that  those  we should diss down  are people who did well in their personal lives.  If the other side has a more powerful team it is because his fanatics who are lawyers and doctors prefer to duck in the media chorus line and the  cheerleaders section of the DLP regime.

The coming  elections  seems to have the Prime Minister speaking in silly tongues and  in an apparent  panic hustling  to impress as in 2005  with another 300 million dollar MOU of Chinese origin, this time in US dollars, from which the Chinese government through its local ambassador has distanced itself.   He obviously hopes this will astonish enough to seize the attention and momentum from the UWP Lennox Linton juggernaut.  It seems the PM is rushing to do things dancing hip-hop lurching from nothing to something to nothing and back again seeking to upstage his political opponents because as the saying goes, “Skerrit cannot afford to lose with perhaps his whole future riding on another elections win.”   But it is not just Skerrit; it is also the Boom- flies who do not see themselves having  a salary without him, the lawyers who feed of him, his Chinese personalities who he calls friends and brothers who see Waitikubuli as their milking cow, the ministers of religion in particular the evangelicals who think “God is good all the time” just so  long as  he allows him to be the PM and the fall of Skerrit would be a backhander from God which zoomed in under their guard knocking the power out of their prayers.   Space does not allow for a longer list, but the hangers on sprout like mushrooms in the “me too and what about me” greedy section.   Yet government cannot solve problems if the people think  the government is the problem and this mad rush  and quick fix formula will not forgive nearly 14 years of having no real economic policy to solve the multitude of economic difficulties.  This government has embarked for years on a policy of just leaving it all to China or Venezuela and with Chavez gone their options have significantly dwindled.

I have always remembered my late father’s remarks about Edward Leblanc, “Someone like him comes once every fifty years.”   In 1961 Leblanc, a 5’ 4” former motor cycle riding banana inspector of mixed Black and Kalinago descent led the Labour Party to victory.  He was soon nicknamed “Little Rebel” for his no nonsense style toward changing things and indeed he changed the social and cultural order and  class structure to the benefit of us all to this day.   But in 1961 change was not just a Leblanc thing; it was already there in the hearts of the poor people yearning to break free. It was set in the poor people’s hearts by the trade union giants of that day most notably a lightly educated Christopher Loblack.   A moderately educated Leblanc was the leader who appeared when the people were ready to act. They both showed that high education was not the real qualification for achieving the people’s goals but a certificate in honesty, integrity and a passion so focused and concentrated with a fearless spirit is the lever  that moves mountains.  His main opponent was the Freedom Party  an offspring of the Dominica United Peoples Party(DUPP)  seen as representing the privileged class.   Now fifty years later it appears that the Freedom Party has infiltrated the ranks of the DLP and in effect may be the real opponents to change.  Why should they want change?  The wealth of this island has again been skewed in the direction of the few, the middle class mainly civil servants cannot understand how their salaries cannot make ends meet and yet their unions accept sloth-like increases in their pay at every round of negotiations while the poor are relegated to the ranks of constantly waiting on handouts.

The question is whether now fifty years since Leblanc change is again in the hearts of we the people or is it just an academic exercise?  We view change as a giant vacuum cleaner that will suck up everything including our way of life and it is that fear the DLP hopes will help them through in the next elections.   Yet something has to change in Waitikubuli.  Unemployment and underemployment is destroying our youth and all our industries are in stages of decline or just barely making it.   Today the lowest rating is given to the office of the PM because of salty and distressing remarks which he never ceases to make as if like an infant he cannot stop putting his toe in his mouth.

There is talk that this DLP is hell-bent on buying up media houses and one day might even buy up Q95 radio in order to shut down the opposing voices expecting we the people to grumble but do nothing.  The Chinese writer Lin Yutang in his Vigil of a Nation writes, ‘The people who do not know how to talk against their government do not deserve democracy.’   Clearly Skerrit fears being made as in his own words an ‘unemployed loiterer” after the next elections but he should know that whether the wants it or not change is a rule of nature and either things change or the people will change him for in the case of politics it is the people not money, clever antics or tricks that will eventually decide any leader’s fate and legacy.

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37 Comments

  1. Gary
    December 16, 2013

    This Vicar of Christ as he is called by his Church is not truly the people’s Pope. I say this because the followers of The Roman Catholic Church did not participate in the process of choosing a Leader,the process was done in secrecy behind close doors so this cannot be truly the people’s Pope.As to all the hoopla that he is going to change things is somewhat foolish.All this is PR work to win the heart and soul of followers.This PR propaganda is aided by The Cooperate Media of which Time Magazine is part of naming him Man of the year.Let us not forget Adolf Hitler was also named man of The Year by Time Magazine 1938.I’m in no way comparing The Pope to Adolph Hitler.

    It frightens me when someone ask a question and gives the answer, this is very deceptive,it is an old technique of manipulation.I say this because of the question poised by Dennis. “Are the people ready for change in Waitikubuli?” and then suggesting how inept The Government is.I have always said that Dennis has convenient memory.

    Quoting The Chinese writer Lin Yutang “The people who do not know how to talk against their government do not deserve democracy.” is somewhat hypocritical.Thanks God you Dennis live in a democracy where you express you views against the Government freely.Have you not forgotten the reason why your old master former Prime Minister Patrick John was removed from office.What is it with that cheap nonsense quote “There is talk that this DLP is hell-bent on buying up media houses and one day might even buy up Q95 radio in order to shut down the opposing voices expecting we the people to grumble but do nothing.”

  2. The truth
    December 16, 2013

    Education Reform. Local Gov’t reform. Fiscal Reform. This reform. That Reform. But strangely, Skerritt and his DLP Gov’t stubborn to implement Electoral Reform. The Voter’s List is bloated with names of dead people and those not legible to vote according to the Electoral Laws.

    What is DA’s population? How many names were on the Voter’s List in the last General Elections? Madness!!!!!!

    The “Independent” Electoral Commission requested specifically, Voter ID Cards years ago. Funds not forth coming by Gov’t. Yet that same Commission was forced to produce NID Cards, which it did not ask for initially. It has lost its Independence.

    The Electoral Process has already been tampered with. Will elections be ever FREE and FAIR without Electoral Reforms? Why the Cabal ‘fraid Electoral Reforms like that, nuh? There must be a reason. Your guess is as good as mine.

    Where on earth you hear any foreign Gov’t signing an $8,000,000.00 loan with any other Gov’t, and after the PM tells the people they will discuss the project/s at a later date? How does one get a loan from the bank or Credit Union? Project proposal should not be submitted first, nuh? Right or wrong?

    Mandela was called “terrorist” for fighting, advocating against Apartheid, oppression,
    corruption, Bad Governance, poverty, inequality.

    Mandela fought all his life for honesty, integrity, truth. Present day Black Leaders among us have turned Mandela’s ideals over its head.

  3. LATITUDED810
    December 16, 2013

    At least we know that pope Francis is well qualified,uwp was place at the helm,what we got was non payment of one’s social security benifits,loans at 17.5 percent,because they had no real friends,then came the unpaid Government LPO’s which i had to pay for.the truth is the carribean is still grappling with the financial criss,may be all the ecconomist can give a soulotion to Barbados and see if it works, at this time we need a Qualified leader not a person who’s best sentence is MONEY MEETING MONEY.

  4. antedote for fools
    December 16, 2013

    How can you exhalt Lebanc & Loblack for which you are correct & leave out Phyllis Shand Alfrey as a founder of the Dominica Labour Party. Dennis is that selective memory? Why? True agents of change know that in the history of class struggle in the Caribbean revolution and change has resulted from alliances across race & class. No distortions please.

    • Jay
      December 16, 2013

      For the record, Mr. Loblack was an honourable man, who quit the then Labour party after his friend and associate, Mrs. Shand Alfrey was expelled for daring to question the proposal to impose a duty on the export of bananas.
      He joined the Freedom Party instead and remained a member to his death. These are the facts.

  5. Anonymous
    December 15, 2013

    Denis your politics is getting tired.

  6. Dcan abroad
    December 15, 2013

    I often wonder what can we be as a nation if all of us in the diaspora wiling and more than able were to return?
    What would we do with the dounce cats like the P.M ignoramus himself alias the breast minister,
    The bugging advisor etc on the Gov’t side.
    Look at the oposition ignoramus James give up for another ignoramus Linton these guys may have some learning but on a personal level the marigot savagery come to the fore.
    With a hungry confused greedy alcoholic population what are we to expect? DA is perrenially screwed. Dennis makes sense.

  7. Langue Kabwit
    December 15, 2013

    this article could have been a good one for a fruitful discussion but it carries too much sarcasm. Was there something the writer wanted and he did not get non?

  8. LOVE THIS ARTICLE
    December 15, 2013

    I like this line which is found in paragraph 3:
    “some of the most successful people in the world were born in a manger or something similar”. Please permit me to add that some of the great professors who are part and parcels of universities were once janitors cleaning the corridors of the universities and today they hold high and prestigious positions in society. CHEW ON THAT!

  9. Oh Yes
    December 15, 2013

    Thank you Mr. Joseph for this GREAT article. A wonderful one indeed. It surely is the people and not money that will create real change for Dominica. We need change desperately for this beautiful country Dominica. God help us.

    • Uneducated
      December 16, 2013

      The question is what change? Is it our way of thinking as a people? I say that because it appears that as long as things are not going the way some of us want we think that DA needs to change to our liking. We are a democracy people will vote as to what they think is best. when the votes are counted that’s when we need to see change in the people. They must accept this democracy and allow DA to grow instead of trying to distroy it in order to get what they want.

  10. Change is a must
    December 15, 2013

    Great apolitical commentary…… This line sums it all up ….’Skerrit fears being made as in his own words an ‘unemployed loiterer” after the next elections but he should know that whether the wants it or not change is a rule of nature and either things change or the people will change him for in the case of politics it is the people not money, clever antics or tricks that will eventually decide any leader’s fate and legacy.’….the time for change has come in Dominica….the power of the people is greater than the people in power.”

    • Uneducated
      December 16, 2013

      “the time for change has come in Dominica….the power of the people is greater than the people in power.” I like that saying. But do we really believe in it? Dominicans repeated history when they decided to continue with change and gave this rulling Govt. 18-3 majority in Govt. Did some of us accept such a change and join hands for the betterment of DA? Or did some of us disregard such change because it wasn’t what we wanted thereby showing such disrespect to the masses? Are we now expect the masses after such disrespect of democracy, to listen to our chants, wants and desire for the same change that they rejected? We must give every Govt. a chance that the people hae voted. A chance to develop the nation. When we try to hinder such we give up the right to ask for change except for change of our own out look on things. Then and only then we have the right to call for such. Change should not be something to satisfy our selfish, and hate desires but to develop us as a people.

  11. Uneducated
    December 14, 2013

    Another so called educated man would use the same research, and examples with a different point of view and show the Skerit led administration as a God sent. So when you people come here and make we uneducated people look like fools I just want you to know we have one vote to. We have a right to choose who we think is better to lead Dominica. When we exercise that right and it is seems to be in conflict with what you want that doesn’t make you better than us. I didn’t go to high school but I know right from wrong and what is better for my children, my country and me. Remember Lenox just like me, just that you would call him educated and compare him to the pope and other great leaders. So please don’t use your beliefs, ideologies and wants to decide what’s good for me. The last time I check DA was a democracy.

  12. Anonymous
    December 14, 2013

    It is a matter of knowing what is best for Dominica. We are putting politics aside and voting for Dominica. I see you can not get over the past Mr. Joseph, but that’s alright. The truth is there for all to see. The present Labour party continues to outshine any political party in the history of Dominica. Mr. Joseph, please, put our country first.

    • looking
      December 16, 2013

      If our economy was growing at a decent rate, if unemployment was on the decline I would say that this administration had “outshined” other political parties. Freedom party in its prime time did a lot and can be compared too. But Freedom sadly did not put in policies for the future. If all Dominican’s were to be replaced with Europeans or Americans the labor party would not have lasted even one term. Our National debt is going to reach 2 billion soon. Vat is going to rise 50% soon. That is scary but this is the reality we are facing. Folks honestly we have to think of our future and our children and look beyond petty politics. All politicians days are numbered.

  13. the conqueror
    December 14, 2013

    Amen to that. Well said. It’s the whole truth. And the truth will set us free.

  14. Jade
    December 14, 2013

    Brilliant piece. I would read more and more and more. Keep them coming Mr Joseph. Nice!!

  15. Doc. Love
    December 14, 2013

    Excellent commentary, maybe your best, but what I love the most of that commentary is, “momentum from UWP Lennox Linton juggernaut.” WOW, you good Dennis, really good. For your information, Dr. Parra Riviere and Dr. Mervin Rivere also came from a house in Lower Upper Lane.

  16. Frenz
    December 14, 2013

    Great piece Dennis. The truth is an offense to those who cannot Denny or intellectually counter what is presented so what are we going to see from the intellectually enslaved mind – personal attack on Dennis.
    This s all that this failed government has going – leeches and ignoramus who are prepared to search and destroy all who dare speak truth to power.
    It is sad that a party in power for 14 years must resort to character demolition, trickery , bribery and deception. We saw how quick they twisted Lennox Linton’s statement on the greedy and needy yet they were quick to attack a woman who is a hardcore Labor Party supporter who simply said that while the undeserving have been grabbing and leaving the severely underprivileged without. The poor lady from Portsmouth was savaged by hogs and facilitators of the same criminal labor party government.
    So Denns if they will plummet their own people for speaking the truth who are you or Joshua, Ronald or Thomson Fontaine in this game of seek and destroy operatives of truth and enlightenment.
    Now let the Toton Makoutes come out to terrorize – look out for Ary, fast N Furious/Real Porssie, Peeping Tom

  17. lcm
    December 14, 2013

    Best piece thus far

  18. Views Expressed
    December 14, 2013

    Dennis,
    Well researched, well put together and should be a topic for discussion for our students at the State College, High Schools, and Universities.
    This article helps us look at the bigger picture as far as the stability, good governance and accountability of our government should be.
    We need to promote trustworthy and honest leadership and Prime Minister level…..trustworthy, discipline , visionary and decent

  19. Seek the Truth
    December 14, 2013

    Well said, but sadly, political trickery, silencing dissent, electoral fraud and undermining a free and independent media have been proven to shape the minds of voters. One would be amazed to know the large numbers of Dominicans who do not have the attention span, interest or skill to read through this entire article, much less comprehend its key points. It is this very population that the PM appeals to when he plays the “mepuis” and “pay-off” cards to win their vote. The PM isn’t campaigning to the best and brightest b/c most of these people have already considered their country a hopeless cause, have fled or plan to flee the country. Those who remain and understand whats going on are too fixated on getting by day to day to risk being villified, sued, or otherwise penalized for speaking and acting out…aka exercising their democratic rights.

    This comment “But Dennis do you still have issues unresolved from the past?” is a prime example of the political climate. Everything gets personal, so only the “rebels” among us dare voice their concerns at risk of such personal attacks.

    Thanks for being a rebel Dennis!

    • PAPA
      December 14, 2013

      It is really sad that you would seek to ridicule the people in Dominica who voted this Govt. in power fools. Yes, you didn’t actually saaid fools but your words, “Dominicans who do not have the attention span, interest or skill to read through this entire article, much less comprehend its key points. It is this very population that the PM appeals to when he plays the “mepuis” and “pay-off” cards to win their vote.”

      Why can’t I be a Dominican and support the party I choose? If I choose Labour, does that make me an idiot? What would choosing UWP make me? When have we come to the point where we think that we can bully people into supporting our own ideologies? You must not forget that the Labour party has consistently grown in popularity to earn an 18-3 majority in parliament. Are you saying that the majority of Dominicans were that stupid that they couldn’t see the better choice when it was presented to them? You are no different than Dennis who eloquently preaches his ideologies like the Devil who presents himself as Jesus in an attempt to confuse and conquer the masses. What is so great is that at the end Jesus wins.

      So when you try to compare a change in the Catholic Church to that which is needed in DA we see you as the Devil trying to confuse God’s children. There is no political party in the church with the same process adopted from one pope to the next. Govt. is different. Remember it was the UWP in Govt. prior to Labour . Did the people see the light? Are you now asking them to put out that light and allow Lucifer in? I want a choice to vote and not to be bullied into voting by others.

      • Abovethefold
        December 16, 2013

        No Sir…. they got 18-3 because they imported voters… We will talk about strength and winning, when they allow the electroal office to provide the voting ID Cards and a clean voter list to decide the election fair and square. I know for a fact voters were imported to vote. I know many of them. …if the labor party did so well for dominica why do they need to import voters to win? Why are they now frustrating the electoral office?.. tell me..I will answer for you – they cannot win the election with a clean voters list and voter id cards.

  20. ICG
    December 14, 2013

    Such a great Article Mr. Joseph

  21. LATITUDED810
    December 14, 2013

    we the poeple are still going to vote the DLP not the MONEY MEETING MONEY LEADER WHO IS NOT QUALIFIED.

    • Views Expressed
      December 14, 2013

      Your latitude to comprehend the bigger picture is so limited and ignorant, you have failed to offer us anything meaningful to this important debate, or is it that you have been reduced to this level of poor politicking.

      God help this person and all those associated to this DLP/Skerrit regime

      • PAPA
        December 14, 2013

        You need just as much help.

      • cheakthem
        December 15, 2013

        Your latitude to comprehend the bigger picture is so limited and ignorant, you have failed to offer us anything meaningful to this important debate, or is it that you have been reduced to this level of poor politicking.

        God help this person and all those associated to this UWP/Linton regime. This clearly shows sir that democracy is alive and well on this island Dominica.

    • BSC. MA. PHD
      December 15, 2013

      i am so tired of this stupid qualification argument. If you qualified why don’t you step forwad and offer yourself for public office?

    • mouse
      December 15, 2013

      whoever you are , are the cause of the PM behavior, you sound so ignorant I feel sorry for you. May shine his light on you

    • Graham Chambers
      December 15, 2013

      Of course, you do not have any faith in your hopeless words.Yet another drowning soul clinging to a straw!

  22. "O" STRESS"
    December 14, 2013

    Dennis in the end its one man or woman, one vote. The power lies in the hands of the people, employed or unemployed, Educated or uneducated, red, Green, Blue, or yellow every one has a vote. The last I checked we still operate in a democratic system. So we go see. But Dennis do you still have issues unresolved from the past?

  23. Love I
    December 14, 2013

    You are right…Humility is the Key.

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