By Dr Alphonsus St Rose, Independent Candidate for Choiseul/Saltibus
The ability of our elected leaders to inspire realistic hope and to motivate our people (as opposed to the politics of false promises and patronage) must be done in good faith, with honesty, and possess integrity. The end result of that process will be a people who believe in you and your message, have confidence in your ability to deliver on their behalf and who trust you. Only then can we bring out the best of who we are as a people.
Today’s political space demands an unprecedented level of focus on critical and independent thinking driven by a consciousness that embraces humanity, equality and justice. Sadly, it has now become consumed by selfishness, greed, power and money with much sophistry and chicanery, the building blocks for corruption and malfeasance in public office. I have learned that everything in life must be placed in its proper context to give us all a clearer perspective of things.
The political rhetoric has become too divisive and vitriolic as perception in the form of post-truths and alternative facts now overrides the uncomfortable truth and reality. The citizens have now become entrapped in this deceptive and insolent game of political suicide. When our prime minister defines the truth as what one believes the truth to be, one does not have to think deeply to appreciate the dangers that lie therein.
If we look at how some events over the past week have unfolded, we saw a level of disrespect towards a leader which we have not seen in a long time. I contend that our elected leaders have enabled and encouraged that kind of behaviour. This vitriol and vile utterances have no place in our political space or lives! Our leaders ought to fashion the tone in framing consciousness, attitudes and behaviour as a people and as part of their stewardship.
The prime minister has insulted us as a people and sadly, some of us will learn by the power of his not so good example; others will lash back; but most poignantly, the prime minister is firewalled by men and women at the highest levels of governance in our land who sit by in deafening silence.
To these people and his supporters who have not spoken up against the things he has said, conjures a level of dishonesty and complicity in refusing to speak truth to power.
No right-thinking prime minister, whether black or white would think it acceptable to tell black people “colonialism had a conscience”, a system clothed in evil, that dehumanized and exploited us, raped our mothers and daughters and committing genocide against us as black people, all crimes against humanity.
To say that a country’s patrimony is its credit rating is not how we the citizens value or envisage our birth-right and heritage, for it is not an endowment meant for his coterie.
To call us citizens barking dogs, jackasses, mendicants and insult our single mothers in a most degrading and dehumanizing manner is simply unacceptable. The Windrush scandal he said was an administrative cock-up (London, 2018), and that transparency should not be so onerous that it takes precedence over development (OAS, 2018). To pronounce that there’s no point in saving people if in fact their livelihoods are being affected is at best, everything we must never aspire towards.
Certainly, this pattern of behaviour and mindset is not deserving of our respect and honour as such a mindset has less value for life than things. Yes, things! This is the mindset that does not listen to anyone, yet has the final say as to whether we live or die in a Covid-19 pandemic that has taken 22 of our patriotic sons and daughters, is troubling. While the intent here is not to scare the citizens, notwithstanding, it is a frightening scenario.
Our history should never allow us to tolerate that kind of behaviour from our prime minister and it is the worst we have had to endure in a long time; but the best reaction is not the kind of horrible responses we have witnessed.
While the responsibility for where we are today does not lie in totality on his shoulders, the buck now stops with him. The result of reckless decisions coming from a mindset more focused on associates making money than keeping us alive and safe isn’t all well when, by his own by admission, he listens to no one.
To listen to no one is to ignore the nails that were hammered into Coffin Number One and still not listen to the nails being hammered into Coffin Number Twenty-two and counting; for us to ignore the mindset we are dealing with is much like ignoring the danger we face from Covid-19, irrespective of who is in power.
To whom much is given, much is expected! Our country needs national unity and bridging the political divide on principle and honesty. The venality has to stop and the focus must be on the policies and issues adversely affecting the daily lives of the common man, especially the poor, unemployed, marginalized and vulnerable among us. What our politics needs most is the art and science of critical thinking, good conscience and caring for people, a good heart.