October 29, 2004
No fear of the future

Though we had expressed concern about the slow start to activities leading up to the celebration of this national 25th Anniversary of Independence we had also expressed the hope that “there was still time “ to salvage pride and come good. Happy we are to report that notwithstanding the hesitant start, in the end, the country became engulfed in a flurry of activities that may have made many Vincentians feel that justice was done to the celebration of this country’s birthday. {{more}}

We had too, by way of another earlier editorial, sparked a national debate when we questioned whether we ought to have been showcasing a military style parade instead of the talents and achievements of our people during Independence. We are satisfied that our concerns were heeded and we saw efforts at satisfying both tendencies. There was ample showcasing of the productive capacity of our people through exhibitions and cultural shows and then, finally, tradition was maintained with the military parade at which the Prime Minister addressed the nation.

Our country stands at an interesting cross roads 25 years after the attainment of Independence. The government of the day has been making good on its stated intention at facilitating the reform of our constitution. This for Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves is, in a manner, making good on something which he, as a member of the radical YULIMO and then the United People’s Movement of the seventies, had proposed to do. While the Constitutional Review Commission, headed by another of the leaders of the UPM, Parnel Campbell, has been meeting, the Local Governance Commission has been actively holding consultations nation-wide. We have, in fact embarked on a journey which will see genuine change in the way politics is legislated, if not practised.

Change must first be conceptualised and enunciated before it begins to take root in man willing to embrace it. Many of the positive ideas being practised today, of which we must feel justly proud, will bear fruit down the road. That is the normal course of life.

What some today call the education revolution will bear fruit when the many young persons now being admitted to secondary and tertiary institutions, begin to graduate and join the work force. So too will we see the fruits of the seeds being sown at primary level when we see the many dancers and dance troupes begin to emerge on the national stage.

Twenty-five years after the birth of a young nation is not time to despair. It is time to begin to think creatively as we confront the many challenges before us.

It is only a positive thinking people, who believe in our possibilities, who will have the mental fortitude to even begin to contemplate a future for our country.

Collectively we face the rising scourge of the violence being perpetrated in our midst. In this we must be a united force. We have in these columns pleaded for help for our police in combating crime. Today, as we note a growing reluctance of persons to come forward to share information with the lawmen, we advocate the setting up of and a number, which will allow informants to call in information anonymously. This will go a long way toward helping crack unsolved cases.

Today and onward, it has to be a united effort, in all we do and especially in fighting crime.

We must refuse to live our next

25 years in fear.