Much of the time under the Unity Labour Party [ULP] government in St Vincent and the Grenadines, it seems to me there is little or no difference between unions, public service, public servants, the judiciary, politics, the ULP and government. Although the different concepts are supposed to be separated, they are not. Under the present regime, the ULP and its membership are the government, not the elected members. Remember the ULP war cry: “Own the Jobs, Own the Government”?
Some may argue that it’s far worse than that, that the government is in fact now a family affair, three family members, with only one of them being an elected member. The rest of the ULP MPs and senators are shunted about at each election time to ensure they do not get the taste of power and become a threat to the family leadership.
Vincentians may support their elected representatives, and some passionately approve of their hopes and rhetoric, most of which is a repeat of the hierarchy manufactured wordline, the approved party line, much proven to be based on untruths and innuendos.
Why do so many of today's politicians have a bad reputation when their job descriptions seem so noble and self-sacrificing? They are even described as honourable, when in actual fact many are far from that. Perhaps the answer is a little complicated, even too complicated for some followers to conceive.
One of the problems is that the Unity Labour Party is not a real labour party; it's not the labour party that our old folk, mothers-fathers and families supported and voted for. It is the remnants of a would be revolutionary Marxist party, that joined with old labour and then hijacked the party, keeping the name labour in their title, because if it was called the Unity Communist Party they would have been unelectable forever.
If Satan dresses in the cloth of a Catholic priest, it doesn’t make him a Christian.
The people have, in my opinion, been fooled and brainwashed.
What we see in St Vincent today is an ailing scientific socialist experiment, an experiment and an attempt to change a capitalist society to a communist state without the violence of a physical revolution. I am sure that a lesson was learnt from the filth in politics introduced by Marxist people like Walter Rodney and Maurice Bishop, who sponsored violent revolution. Our leaders have learned that the violence in establishing a Marxist system inevitably always ended with violence ending the very same system, violence even ending the very existence of such leaders.
'I recently read an article that I found very interesting called 'Does Socialism Work, A Classroom Experiment
' written by Dan Mitchell and published by 'International Liberty'. It culminated with the following list:
1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.
2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.
3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!
5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.
One reason certain politicians have a bad reputation in SVG is the election process itself.
Principles, where they exist at all in politics, were sacrificed long ago; adopted friends and allies are blatantly financially rewarded – all in the pursuit of continuing in power. So much so that, if during the next election process they cannot with all belief muster a majority of supporters to win an election, they will gladly whore themselves around giving gifts, goodies and promises in return for votes. What they did to win past elections was to fly in junkets of Vincentians from the Diaspora, bringing in people who according to the law are not legally entitled to vote because they do not reside here and haven’t done so for the past six months, but because they are on the voters list are allowed to vote, they are encouraged by the issuance of free air tickets to come and vote. They came from the UK, USA, and Canada.
In St Vincent a life of public service and law making is not an occupation for social introverts; so many candidates for local offices are already notorious overachievers with more than enough self-confidence. Candidates for political office are often very ambitious by nature, and with ambition can come a level of moral and ethical flexibility. Some bad reputations develop because the politician has already had to compromise any number of personal beliefs in order to gain votes or popularity.
There is also the adage that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Some politicians have a bad reputation because the power of the office has corrupted them in some way. Professional lawmakers, judges and others in position of power over citizens are constantly approached by politicians, special interest groups and influential private citizens who all want them to provide favours. Many politicians do have enough integrity to resist corruption, but unfortunately some are not as strong. A politician under significant pressure can make some questionable decisions, which in turn could lead to accusations of wrongdoing or deriving personal benefit from an office.
Historically in SVG, there have been numerous examples of dirty politics practiced by equally dirty politicians. Unfortunately for that percentage of honest office holders, these incidents often dominate the public media. Consequently, a number of effective politicians have gained a bad reputation only by association.
Some of these young politicians could well sully and blight their whole political future by association with old time Marxists.
If a political leader is capable of dirty tricks or dereliction of duty, then they may all be equally capable of some wrongdoing. This general perception of politicians becomes even more pronounced during election campaigns, where candidates have the leverage to expose each other's political and personal shortcomings.
Sometimes, a politician gets a bad reputation because he or she is driven by people with good intentions, but also has poor managerial skills or a controversial public persona. Some very effective politicians look bad on paper, and are bad in actuality, but are in reality respected in the political arena by the ignorant and those seeking favours.
I suppose even if there are consistent Marxist politicians in SVG, they have to be seen as a Christian, when in fact they are atheist, living in a Christian society, but driven by anti-Christian Marxist behaviour.
With the more than possible prospect of the falling apart of the Marxist associated ALBA, most islands who joined that setup and borrowed money through PetroCaribe may well be in for their worst of times they have experienced since they gained their independence from what they describe as colonialism. The problem is that we and other islands have become reliant on being able to borrow from PetroCaribe, a soft touch they thought. When that dries up, as it inevitably will, we will be in for some hard times indeed.
I think that the old colonialist masters, the British, had a vision into the future and saw some of what we are experiencing in the Caribbean today -- that is why they tried to protect us with strong constitutions, that is why they made it very difficult to change, requiring a two-thirds majority in a public poll to change. Thank God that in SVG we rejected the current regime, the Unity Communist Party, from revising our constitution, otherwise right now we would be ankle deep in more crap than we would ever be able to cope with, and there would be no escape.
Peter Binose, self appointed keeper of the bugle
[Chucked the whistle away, not loud enough]