Bassy - Love Vine
March 20, 2009
Ah dose ah he own medicine

De role of an Opposition Representative in SVG is painful and frustrating. Dey got no say in dey own constituency, get no budget to wuk wid, literally get nothing dun in terms of physical development in dey Constituency. As powerful as de title of Opposition Leader might sound, Arm-in ain’t put down ah culvert since he in Opposition.{{more}} Senator Francis whom Arm-in beat at de ‘Pole’ got more say dan he does, dat is why ah must call it de Awe-position, my starched-stiff English friend, Evil Cupid will prefer me to say like de Queen: ‘Ve Up-position’.

Seems like de Awe-position’s brightest day is in Par-liar-mint when it’s time foh dem to speak, way dey best bet is to oppose and criticize any and every-ting de Guv-ah-mint proposes, at least to sound good to dey faithful supporters who expect nothing less from dem. And every now and den dey would create a side show by walking out or boy-cut Par-liar-mint. De mock-we-see over de years is dat all Awe-position have won Guv-ah-mint by opposing foh opposing sake, at times dey oppose de very thing dey would later propose, if and when dey get in charge.

Ah remember way back in de 1950’s we started out wid ah Eight Army Guv-ah-mint, no Awe-position member, den dey had back-anal, dey split up, Pappy Joshua ended up in Awe-position and form his party de PPP. Joshua fought back by giving dem living hell, “Ah Dose Ah Dey Own Medicine”. He oppose and expose every-ting dey did, good or bad and by 1957 Joshua was in Guv-ah-mint. Den Labour Party was formed, de story is dat Cato hi-jack Labour from Sir Rupert, ask Ken John bout dat, ah was not dey. Cato and Co. criticized Joshua on every count, giving back Pappy “ah dose ah he-own Medicine” and by 1967, Labour got into office. Den Mitchell who was wid Cato Guv-ah-mint, found he-self in de bad books, got kicked out or left, created His-story wid ah 6-6-1 Elect-Son, way de one needed to form ah majority was Son Mitchell and he became Premier of ah PPP Guv-ah-mint. Dat didn’t last as long as Miss Jay-knee Fire. By 1974 Cato was back in and Mitchell became ah one-man army in Awe-position. Sir James didn’t forget to pump-ah-set pon Cato, giving him back “an over dose ah he own Medicine”. Mitchell easily gathered strength and in 1984, got into office, he had de most powerful Guv-ah-mint ever 15-0, no Awe-position foh five years. Den Labour struck back like Lazarus from de dead; Sir Vin-sin Beach couldn’t oppose and expose nuff, so dey wuk out ah ting way Gonsalves could get ah seat; and Gonsalves is who show de country how to owe-pose-ah-nex-pose. Like he had he own Medicine cabinet, and was so he handed Mitchie “dose after dose ah he own Medicine. When Gonsalves needed help he broaden de SCOPE, all ah dat help rock Mitchell’s boat and in 1998 when Mitchell’s NDP barely scraped home wid ah 8-7 win, ULP declared de country ungovernable. Dey were so irate dey tried to lif-up de G.G. Sir Charles in his car at de Court House; dey block road and shut down de country. Ah trip to Grin-Ada followed, Mitchell and Gonsalves went foh ah walk on Grande Anse beach, De rest is His-story.

Eustace and de NDP like Sunday school kids compared to Gonsalves and de ULP in Awe-position. NDP supporter would feel short change if Eustace didn’t buy ah Drug Store to give back Gonsalves and de ULP “ah full dose ah dey own Medicine”. What is surprising to NDP supporter, is dat de current Awe-position does give support sometimes to de Guv-ah-mint. Kind ah unheard of in Vincy Pull-ah-tricks!

Looks like de ULP has earned demself ah full supply ah Pull-it-tek-all Medication. De leader has been flip-flopping ah few times too many. When he first got dey, he met wid UWI students, and impressed de region when he said dat Prime Ministers in de region got too much power, den he followed dat up wid ah nex statement, dat he does not intend to serve more dan two consecutive terms as Prime Minister. Sounded good, at least he’s not another Chavez.

But now dat de Draft of de New Constitution foh SVG is about to be discussed, de matter of tenure foh Prime Ministers remains de same, s/he could serve foh as long as de people want. Ah serious Flip-flop dat, to back track on dem statements calls foh “ah double dose ah he own Medicine”.

If de proposed New Constitution stays as is, we will be having four more seats making it nineteen. We started wid eight, went to thirteen, den to fifteen and now to nineteen. Can dis country afford to pay foh all ah dis income-pittance? Dat’s incompetence, de PM himself said it openly, dat his Ministers don’t even read de Budget. In short we are operating Guv-ah-mint wid lickle or no input from our highly paid representatives, and therefore could do wid less people in Guv-ah-mint. Instead we hearing we need four more, Flay-pity-Flop, Flaw-pity Flip!

Dr Alexis said it all “Ah Constitution should resonate wid de people”. Resonate as in Loud and Clear. When de Guv-ah-mint and Awe-position cannot resonate on simple matters like number ah seats in Par-liar-mint and number of terms foh ah Prime Minister, den we are not maturing, we are Power-seeking. Ah could just see de “side show” foh de nex coming weeks, 15 or 19 seats, PM foh life or not! Ah wish Eustace and Gonsalves could sit down together and seek to find solutions to what is important foh dis country right now, isn’t it finding ah way to fight Crime, Drugs, Unemployment, de money cry-sis; saving our ailing Banana and Our-root industries, ah better Health Service, or is it only about Referendum and getting ah New Constitution? Until we truly Resonate let us deal wid more important issues. And wid dat, is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.