Letters & Opinion

Of Dis and Dat – Part 20

Image of Nahdjla Bailey
By Nahdjla Bailey

DEAR faithful readers, I wish to inform you from the outset (and that’s ‘outset’, not ‘onset’ as one tends to hear) that I’ve got to wind up for now, as I am obliged to turn my attention to priorities elsewhere. This Part 20 is the penultimate piece in the current ‘Of Dis and Dat’ run, and twenty-one sounds like a good number on which to end anyway, doesn’t it? However, I do intend to be the proverbial bad penny somewhere down the road. For the moment though, first things first.

Well, of course, Mr SLP politician, most folks would easily comprehend and appreciate that, as constituted, a Democracy is in essence adversarial, meaning that it involves people – whether elected officers, political parties, their agents and affiliates or just ordinary concerned citizens – opposing and disagreeing with each other on systems and processes which affect a country, its administration, its vision and use of democratic means and approaches to manage that acknowledged division, those acknowledged differences. So, yes, one expects conflicting positions and ensuing clashes and squabbles, areas of contention and disputes; one also expects rights and freedoms to be exercised, BUT with the concomitant responsibility. That’s Responsibility, not licence! In the hands of decent, well-meaning, conscious politicians and their party, it doesn’t have to be dirty. There is no ‘right’ to do what we know is wrong – what is shitty, what is scummy, what is harmful, what is violent, what is wilfully damaging to the other. Rights and freedoms will always be wanting, without the responsibility which must go along with them, indeed, must inform them.

The current Opposition forces on our island seem not to have got that memo. Many citizens agree that they’re all about dirty politics, dirty tricks. And, one of the things I detest most in the matter of low-down, mean, dirty politics at which they excel, is when opposition forces go to any lengths whatsoever, to short-sightedly discredit a sitting government by employing the dirtiest of dirty tricks such as putting out damaging DISinformation (call it what it is! Not MISinformation. Look them up if you don’t know the difference) to the outside world about their country/our country. How can that be a good, wholesome, helpful, clever thing to do? Rather, it is an outright nasty, self-defeating move which will come back to haunt them. Have they no conscience? Are they completely without morals, or what? Let’ face it, anyone, including their own supporters, will tell you quite unashamedly that their party’s brand of tactics is etched in their DNA and they’re not about to change, and the UWPs are “pussycats and too tame and stupid not to get their own pit bulls to fight back.“ Are you taking notes, UWP? Not that I expect you to adopt the vile measures of your opponents, but some studied adjustments should be made to effectively counter their stop-at-nothing M.O.

We hear talk from the horse’s mouth of the reimagining of his SLP. We assume he means for the better, but who knows? We could be wrong. However, what I do know, is that decent minded St Lucians from all walks of life can’t wait for civilized adversarial manoeuvres, reasonable, acceptable behaviour and virtuous causes from their side. We would like to see him disown and distance himself and his party from those agents, operatives and machine politicians who daily espouse hate and breed monsters in our society, who spew fake news of the worst kind and in the worst way, who keep intensifying their abhorrent actions and who conduct themselves with almost equal amounts of hate and aggression when in government as in opposition. Give us a break, man! Give the country some breathing space! The vileness never ends – indulging in wanton lies, other forms of dishonesty, not least intellectual, cruel impersonation hurting our hardworking health professionals, forgery (do you recall the lengths to which they went to illegally falsify official documents from the PM’s university in order to make St Lucians believe that he never graduated from University?) and to cause mischief, vandalism, and criminal destruction of costly property and other critical resources including the minds of our youth and other vulnerable citizens. I mean, how low can you go?

In my book, those offenders can never be people who love their country and want to put it first, can never be people who have the slightest interest in reaching across the aisle and attempting to unify over even a single issue. The pedant in me reminds that it was a downright shame that none of their number could even find the magnanimity to once applaud the contributions from individual government ministers when paying tribute to the deceased Hon. Arsene James in the House, even as the government ministers applauded each one of theirs. A simple but very telling example.Such boors.

Let’s call it as we see it, shall we? Those types can never be accused of being patriotic, and that’s for darn sure.

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