Barrouallie: Tales of different eras
May 10, 2013
Political tales

After some careful thought, I have decided to continue with the subtheme political tales for this week. Sorry about the absence last week, though. However, before I continue with political tales, let me first congratulate the Barrouallie under-17 and senior football teams on their victories over the guys from South Leeward in the recently concluded National Inter Community League football competition.{{more}}

Incidentally, prior to those victories, I read about the exploits of Lance John at Arnos Vale, one where he hit boundaries at every imaginable position at a cricket game which was held recently. His tally amounted to 98 runs! Of course, there are many sportsmen and women, past and present, who represented or currently represent this community; their tales need to be “squeezed” in somehow. Now, you understand what I am saying about looking at someone from Barrouallie for a “National Title, compliments the British Empire?” We are a community to be reckoned with and community members would have made significant contributions to national development in any capacity/ form; health and the environment, agriculture, sports, education, law and order, business, politics et cetera.

Speaking about politics, let us take another peek at the modern day form, before taking a glance back briefly. I like to compare today’s politics in relation to George Orwell’s “Animal Farm.” Have you ever read that novel? Animal Farm is a skillfully crafted allegorical novel, which focused on the events taking place in the East in the early 1900s. You need to grab a hold of it. When you do, pay close attention to his use of characterization and issues relating to leadership…can’t say more about that until you have completed the reading. Leadership in political circles, like that of “Animal Farm”, comes with a price, and a high one too, inclusive of “character defamation,” among others.

Okay, you may not like whoever politician, for whatever reason, but some of these men and women are the holders of offices which should be respected. The Leader of the Opposition holds an office, so does the Prime Minister and others. Yes, we can voice our opinions on matters, but let us do so in a respectable manner. Unfortunately, it would appear as though respect is something which is fast going out of the window today, especially as it pertains to partisan politics. There are many who savour political satire and gimmickry, but not me. I want to hear the issues debated as they should be, period. Today, politics brings out the worst in the best of men, a total transformation in some quarters.

Barrouallie, which forms part of the Central Leeward constituency, has had its fair share of representatives and some who were aspiring to be. Over the years, I have seen petty skirmishes among people over politics and politicians, while we are often warned by those who know that, when they congregate, “politicians knock glass”. I know the current, major parties have strong bases and “political diehards”. It doesn’t matter what the “other side” says…what or whoever the other side is. I have heard Barrouallie residents calling for a “born and bred” representative, but not at any cost; that is, if “born and bred” is not a candidate for their party, they will not vote for him or her. In other words, it would appear as if the love of party takes precedence over choice of candidate.

Voting, it would seem on the surface, is more generational than anything else; it comes with the genes and appears to pass through the blood. Do a random check here; everyone appears to sing from the same song sheet within households and votes the same party. There is hardly a household that is mixed; that is a rarity. Even the children, who cannot yet “read the political song sheet scores,” hum the tune ensuring, that there will be a continuous pattern along family lines in the future.

One of the disturbing practices which has been detrimental to some politicians here in eras gone by is the use of “hench men”. There were some politicians, though, who steered clear of hench men. Those politicians were never seen or associated themselves with henchmen. This was a plus for them. Who is a henchman? A political henchman is someone who supports a political figure and who openly advises him on matters pertaining to constituency affairs. Not bad, you might say; but, henchmen sometimes go over board and appear as if they represent…. know what I mean? Most henchmen are opportunists. In times gone by, henchmen behaved in an arrogant manner, taking away tools from workers etc. Do we vote for henchmen?

I have, over the years, heard residents making comments like: a vote for… (Naming of politician) is a vote for Mr or Ms X, Y and Z (names of henchmen/women).

The politician who went by the sobriquet “The man with the pepper sauce” was, in my opinion, doing a satisfactory job, but his political career was curtailed by reason of association here in Barrouallie… henchmen accounted for his political demise. For those with political ambitions of representing this constituency, take note, less you fall into the same trap; so until, I am out of here.