by Lorna Callendar
We weep because the very principles like service, respect, sacrifice, integrity and putting people first – principles which we thought were inherent in the Team Unity approach to government, have suddenly disappeared and we have reverted to the colonial attitudes of ‘my way or no way’ and ‘divide and rule’. The UNITY we preach is no longer practised.
We weep because the cold and ugly head of political tribalism is being allowed to rise again when we were sure that it was thawing. Once again, our airwaves and hand screens are filled with hatred, fake news and insulting language.
Just when the majority of the electorate thought that we were well on the way to creating our ‘garden of Eden’, things have fallen apart and the puzzling thing is that no one (except those on the inner circles) could justify it.
• Was this the same Team Unity under the astute leadership of the prime minister who had brought amazing progress to the country in a single term? Eliminated debt especially to IMF; bought back land swapped for debt; regulated salaries, turned all those deficits into surpluses; given grants to poor people to enable them to pay their basic debts; was able to pay double salaries for 4 years in a row at Christmas to civil servants, etc., etc.,etc.,
• Was this the same Team Unity who provided an excellent infrastructure; roads, bus terminals, hospital renovation and expansion, provided Old Road Bay and Black Rock solutions?
• Was this the same Team Unity who was putting people first up to this point and trying to lift them up; leading to the elimination of gangs; grants to fishers and farmers, help to entrepreneurs; opportunities to the talented to develop; and many more.
This list could go on much longer but will serve as reminders. WHAT JAPPENED?
The first inkling most of the populace had of turbulence was at the PAM Convention when the Convention usually used to enhance the achievements of the Party was used to belittle the prime minister. This shocked many as no definite accusation was laid at his feet.
The second suspicion came with the various reports coming from the first meeting of the leaders. While one report said the meeting was cordial, the other two were full of blame and complain and deadlines and threats. One leader even ridiculed the output of the meeting. Up to this point the electorate was not aware of any crisis in the country and if there were, why was it being treated with such urgency? The electorate was still not treated with any specific crime that the prime minister had committed.
THAT IS WHY WE WEEP FOR OUR COUNTRY
The rapidity with which the blaming duo are making their moves indicate that they are moving according to a plan irrespective of what responses the prime minister gives. The way they put self before country indicates that this is a power play and money not people is being put first.
We are only now learning that the leader who accused the prime minister of poor governance and lack of transparency has not been attending Cabinet meetings because of his name being in a report (not put there by the prime minister). Is he abandoning the whole of his constituency for a personal slight? Was he transparent…a deputy prime minister abandoning his post on a personal matter does not seem to be COUNTRY ABOVE SELF. Did he report this to the nation?
Another leader who constantly boasts of how much more money Nevis is now getting from CBI is giving deadlines as if matters cannot be worked out as it has been in the past and he is willing to put the whole country in crisis to get what he wants. Has he consulted the people on this?
THIS IS WHY I WEEP FOR MY COUNTRY
I felt that our leaders were climbing the ladder of political maturity. Apparently they are not.