JUST DENNIS: Silence Calls The Storm


Dennis Joseph
Dennis Joseph

Arundel Thomas muses in poetry “If Dominica could talk” and I take liberty to muse further that if Dominica could talk it would scream.There are too many open-ended questions that remain like a dark cloud hanging above us without the relief of fresh wind to move it along. And here we go again as we the people speculate on what is really going on in the Glanvillia area. Conjecture is extensive as to whether Ian Douglas is for real or just a” hypocrite mingling with the good people” to use a line from a Bob Marley song and is he eventually going to leave the scene under the pressure of seeking to feed his children and let the Glanvillia residents dance their own reggae without music and just talking blues until “dere feet get too big for dere shoes.’ It is a required question since the last time Douglass inadvertently stepped out into the battle zone and was caught calling his Prime Minister Skerrit a serial backstabber his foot was nailed to the floor by a vengeful PM who commanded his mea culpa ordering him to come onstage at a heavily crowded public election rally and sing the party song which he overdid albeit out of key to please his master. But then why should Douglas be so intimidated coming from a long line of aggressive and outspoken former Douglas leaders of the Labour Party like Mike and Rosie? 

In 1975 as campaign manager for the DLP election machine at the behest of OJ Seraphin I painstakingly persuaded the then Premier Patrick John who was worried over the strong and even at times dangerous objection from the Portsmouth posse to let Mike Douglas replace the great, unbeatable but aging Earl Leslie in the newly formed Portsmouth Constituency. Bear in mind that before 1975 there were just 11 constituencies and so there had to be division, cutting and pasting to come to present day 21. It was not easy in 1975 campaigning 21 seats as a first time campaign manager coming up against the moneyed Freedom Party only able to run in 17. The Freedom Party sponsored Charles Savarin for that constituency who was pretending to run as an independent candidate. It was the danger of losing to a stronger than expected Savarin which forced me to organize, (almost singlehandedly since there were many party doubters who felt it was too huge an undertaking) the first ever mass island wide election motorcade passing through Portsmouth as a show of labour power in order to assist Mike to the winners ground. Since then the Douglas song has been on the lips of the constituents. Mike then went into gear cultivating and making the seat his own to the point that even strong Freedom supporters voted for him in future elections and openly admitted it.

The present Douglas holder of that seat should then be in a very strong position to change and guide the party policy and programs but this Douglas-son has showed little inclination to do so being instead very busy giving “His heart and soul to this man (Skerrit).” The sudden eruption of Ian Douglas to apparently stand against his “heart and soul” may be because it is unreturned love. Further the threat by PM Skerrit to purge the party candidate list at the next elections could be what is causing Douglas to take back his ‘heart and soul’ from this man.

Whatever is the case with Douglas it is clear that the people of Glanvillia are not in the ‘giving heart and soul business’ rather they are suffering from a ‘broken heart’ condition that is affecting their very souls?

The great Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi listed seven social sins that will destroy a country and the foremost among them is politics without principle. For the record the other six are wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, education without character, worship without sacrifice, science without humanity and commerce without morality. I am concerned here with politics without principle for it is unprincipled politicians who promise things just to win elections with no intention of delivering on them. Georgetown land was promised to the people of Glanvillia for many years now and since Roosevelt Skerrit is the sum of all parts of the DLP now in office for 13 years and counting, it was anticipated that in this diehard labour constituency he would stretch out to please them and give them the land for further development of Glanvillia. But Skerrit has created a cult of personality sustained by making himself as larger than life even publicly called Jesus by one of his elderly cabinet ministers Matthew Walter. He does not have to bother about the history, statistics, law or intellectual crap involved in anything because he has come to realize that we the people have a short attention span and especially in the labour strongholds the people pay little attention to the past or the future when it comes to their labour power and who should rule the island today. We allow unprincipled politics to flourish without punishing politicians for broken promises. Those who know better do not appear to know better. Preachers who should lead us cast themselves as prosecuting attorneys for God and leave the rest claiming to be not in the affairs of the world whilst preaching ,”For God so loved the world.” Our intellectuals hide away playing chess with themselves neither coming nor going and yes, let “Jesus take the wheel.” And others like talk show nomads wander through the blizzard of radio chatter just listening and in dumb terror remain silent and neutral. But the people of Glanvillia are leading the way in the telling of it, that if you make promises you better fulfill them after the elections are over because as the people of Glanvillia put it ‘No Land No Vote” and say to the rest of us ‘please be guided accordingly.’ Only then will governments fear we the people and not the other way around.

Waitikubuli now screams for its sons and daughters to come forward and bring some kind of integrity to our governance without which the social sins that Gandhi has listed as above-mentioned will overtake us to our doom. Robert Frost says, “There is nothing I am afraid of as a scared people.” Those who can but will not come forward and cower away making up excuses believing there is safety in silence should listen to the sound of the wind, where and how it blows for as is found out by Glanvillia residents and as sung by the Canadian metal band Quo Vadis, “Silence Calls the Storm.”

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  1. real
    July 26, 2013

    beautifully written. The message is so true. but guess what some people are still vex, what is wrong with us? why do some Dominicans hate truth so much. let black be black and white be white no matter who.

  2. William
    July 26, 2013

    GREAT piece of work Denis , the Supremo need to read this and examine his conscience on delivery to the people of Dominica.

  3. awake
    July 25, 2013

    great Job Denis, Maybe IAN is finally waking up, growing the testicles to show some character and leadership. Its time the people who have supported labour through thick and thin (possi people) stand up for better representation and treatment by this Govt….away with the concept of loyalty to party before welbeing of people….

  4. %
    July 25, 2013

    What a brilliant piece of work. This should have been in the newspaper, because I would save it for posterity.

    July 25, 2013

    Don’t forget that Denis is also writing a book.

  6. I DIE NU
    July 25, 2013

    While I admire your style of writing Dennis,you should be mindful of what or who you critise.Lots of your critics are referring back to you.Remember your time and role in PJ’administrtion.Refreshe avan ou parle!

    • Anonymous
      July 26, 2013

      lol :mrgreen: :lol: :lol:

  7. Anonymous
    July 25, 2013

    Dennis, that’s a great piece of writing. Keep on doing what you do best.

  8. Anonymous
    July 25, 2013

    Good article Mr. Jospeh. It’s time for the politicians to deliver on their promise. We, Glanvillians will not back down until we get what we need and was promised.

    There will be a press conference today at 5:30 p.m. at the Glanvillia Community Center. Come see the power of the people!

  9. Observer
    July 25, 2013

    Denis played a significant role in the 1875 elections o behalf of Labour. the record will show that he also played a not so insignificant role in the down fall of the Labour Party that was led at the time by Patrick John. yes! denis is no new comer to Dominican politics. He knows what happened why the DFP rose to prominence. It is precisely because the DLP under PJ lost sight of the development agenda and focused on personalities rather than on issues. Denis assisted PJ to see skeletons in every cupboard. He did not dissent when the Premier gave a speech that promised to jail (at the Cabrits) any civil servant who went on strike for their right. He closely associated defended PJ when PJ signed an agreement with an American to lease 45% of Dominica (the north including Glanvillia) for the creation of a ‘Free Port Zone. Denis did not say of disassociated himslef with reports that Dominica wa sin bed with Bajan Mercenary, Sydney Burnette Alleyne in a plot to oveer throw the government of Barbados.to this day P.J is persona non-grata in Barbados. Finally, Denis did not say that the party he assisted to win the 1975 election failed to honor pledges it made to the people of Glanvillia over the same land issue. In 1975 duringh the “mmet the people’s tour of the government” the yoiung people of Loubiere were given the assurance that within 72 hours a caterpillar would arrive to begin work on developing a playing field for the community. You hear lie? It took more than 10 years later under a DFP government for the people of Loubiere to get a playing field. inhis capacity as party operative, he would be privy to the party programs and activities. What an oversight on Denis’ part!

    Whilst the principled position of holding politicians accountable for promises made, is a sacrosanct expression of our democracy, Denis must not pretend that he too was not associated with and defended with all his might and media intelligence a party and individuals who failed miserably to deliver on the same. It is not too late for a “mea aculpa” from Denis. Then and only then he can lay claim to the moral aspect of holding politicians responsibility for broken promises. Denis is no just come to the poliotics of Dominica.

    • Jacky chan
      July 26, 2013

      Observer it is attitude like yours that keep us going down the pit of doom in reverse gear. My question to you is – can you dispute any of the facts highlighted. I doubt because your focus is on destroying the messenger. What a shame.
      Observer it is not that we care about what Dennis did 40 years ago as political participant but if you insist that your silliness must contend then you may want to look at the deeds of Charles Saverin; What about Timothy; There are others who were all once strong antagonists of the Labor Party and are now sitting at the table nibbling at the bones of the withered cow. I would rather ride with Dennis than the likes of Charles Saverin, Charles Maynard( may his soul rest) and Julius Timothy. Charles Saverin istoday upholding the very same things he defended did you ask him to issue a mea culpa?

    • Richard
      July 27, 2013

      Observer, this may be the voice of the New repented Dennis.

      But I must admit it was hard reading his comment about feet nailed to the floor when in his Political days his and others were tied upside down to the roof.

      Where were those quotes from Gandhi during his historical reign.

      Oh history ! Oh history !you make us all wise and better

  10. Views Expressed
    July 25, 2013

    Insider, wake up, smell the coffee, this is 2013…what`s your stress. Dennis has moved on and for the purpose of comparison he has made meaningful reference to the past, are you not able to work it out. Try to digest what Observer says, “Thoughtful”. The article is thought provoking, insightful and educational. We just had a budget speech in House with empty promises and cut and paste with the same old rhetoric of last year and the year before and the years before that. Our politics is low , lacks genuine leadership from the PM and the government and our country grows deeper in poverty. Get on the campaign towards decency in government and towards sustainable development.
    God Bless

  11. Dominican for sure
    July 25, 2013

    Wonderful article sir, I missed reading those in the SUN newspaper. As always, you make alot of sense; so very good at words and helping us understand the issue. Really miss your thoughts. Please continue to publish from time to time.

  12. wake up call
    July 25, 2013

    forward we go with Lennox,and do not worry with Possie people. is a set of persons that inside out and back to front, do not care about their children’s future.They will still vote Ian, and a vote for Ian is a vote for Skerritt.

    • I DIE NU
      July 25, 2013

      Remember Lennox himself said on his talk show 7/21/2013,..”Love those around you,but TRUST NO ONE but the Lord above!”..meditate on that.Food for thought,wake up call.

    • North
      July 25, 2013

      Are you in your right mind??? Talking about jumping from the frying pan into the fire is what you are taking about I.e. replacing Skerrit with the like of a Lennox or moving from arrogance and visionlessness to even more of it. You guys from both the red and blue side of the political spectrum must remove your colored glasses and come to reality. Surely there must be better individuals amount us who can lead us into a future of prosperity!!!

  13. progres
    July 25, 2013

    Politics without principal. I hope this is not your game Mr. Joseph? You are not a hypocrite, Are you? Are you a political opportunist?

    Anyone who will not give this present labour party government their dues, which they rightly deserve loses credibility. You can claim to have better ideas for the future development of the country but you must give jack his jacket.

    Some of us do remember your Labour Party days.

    Are we willing to drag our country down because of some political vendetta or ambition?

    Let us not be biased and look at things in perspective and try to be a little fair. Yes this administration do have their shortcomings but can you honestly say that this country have not made significant progress under them or at the very least the are doing a good job handling the affairs of the country?

    • Copeh Sarvar
      July 26, 2013

      It is folks like you who did not and are still not giving UWP their jacket. You helped e certain individual with a vendatta to cry corruption when there was none (even after labour won he could not find the UWP corruption to the end that he requested Forensics). Remember that while there was progress under the UWP, he that same individual encouraged Dominicans to disregard progress and see corruption – which never was.

    July 25, 2013

    Another excellent piece…enjoyed reading.

  15. Bojangles
    July 25, 2013

    The “Good / Righteous men & women” of Dominica, should pay special attention to the message that the people of Glanvillia are sending to Mr Skerritt & his “Cabal”.Rather than trying to “shoot the messenger” as we normally do, listen to the “message” and join hands with them to
    “take back possession of our Island”
    Remember “Evil can only prevail when good/righteous men & women remain silent” !!.
    Dante also wrote “The Hottest places in hell, are reserved for those who through a period of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality”
    Dominica can, and should talk !!

    • Gary
      July 25, 2013

      Wow,your words portray someone who has been indoctrinated.I will tell another way how evil can prevail.It can also prevail when people are not taught to think for themselves.

    July 25, 2013

    well written

  17. Oh yes
    July 25, 2013

    I missed those rhythms of the past and the present. Good and pleasant food for thought.

  18. Real Porssie
    July 25, 2013

    It is ironic but not a surprise that the first sign of revolt against this lame labor party administration is coming from Portsmouth. Dennie’s may not be aware of that but we the people of Portsmouth were so angry with the Patrick John administration that Leslie received a couple of slaps and kallots behind his head in Portsmouth; his house was also stoned . I am not encouraging violence by any means but this is what happened.
    We the people have failed our country; we have allowed our country to be runned by a bunch of inepts, Pilferers and leeches.

    • Insider
      July 25, 2013

      As a Possie man, I can tell you there is no revolt. Just because you have a few outspoken opponents of Ian doesn;t mean that Portsmouth is against Labour…never, will never be…

      Dennis go find something to do with your time

  19. Lady
    July 25, 2013

    Great article and very informative the history of the Labour Party we the young people have no knowledge how the labour party and the struggles that made the party what it is today Leaders like Mike and Rossie had a vision for DLP

  20. Insider
    July 25, 2013

    Get over yourself Dennis, you are a PJ Foot soldier.

    • Rex
      July 25, 2013

      PJ foot soldier? Obviously you have nothing to contribute but just your ignorance . We wonder why we are where we are. PJ hasn’t had any significant political influence since 1979 – 34 years. You talking about PJ foot soldier? Please make a new start if not for yourself but your country , children and grand children.trying dealing with the issue as presented. You don’t have to agree with Dennis but please show some quality.

    • Laplaine Resident
      July 25, 2013

      So you are whose foot soldier? Respect the article not the writer

    • Outsider
      July 25, 2013

      What kind of soldier are you?
      Tickle me Insider.
      You are a bozo.where have you been lately?
      There is more fresh air sunlight and must mention beouf outisde than inside.

    • >>>>>>>>>>>>
      July 25, 2013

      Ignorant “Insider” you are asked “Whose foot soldier are you”?. Sure it’s Skerrit. Well to be honest with you, I prefer to be PJ’s foot soldier, that that of Skerrit, because PJ took care of the poor and ordinary Dominican, that Skerrit has totally neglected and abandoned. So lazy and stupid heads like you really has contributed to the poor state of our island.

  21. Observer
    July 25, 2013

    Good Dennis.. your articles are always thought provoking.

    • orchid
      July 25, 2013

      Thought provoking indeed. Dominica has always been crying for it’s sons and daughters. The writer of the article knows this better than anyone else. He should have been giving that kind of advice to all politicians and not one group. It is time we stop being hypocrites. We must always speak out about the BAD and the GOOD.

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