Our Readers' Opinions
November 20, 2009

Stop feeding the monster of ignorance


EDITOR: I wish to lend my voice to the current debate on constitution reform because I am disappointed in the level of debate and moreso in the Opposition New Democratic Party for feeding the monster of ignorance among our people.{{more}}

A friend in England is telling me as I am writing this that if the Queen is removed as Head of State our money will be devalued. Utter nonsense!!! I pointed out to him that there are so many countries which have done so. He said the economies of those countries have suffered…again foolishness! He used Jamaica as an example, forgetting or not knowing that Jamaica has not removed the queen as head of state and that the Jamaican dollar at one point was higher than the US dollar.

I tried to convince him to no avail that the EC currency will remain legal tender in the country. Have we forgotten that the great United States, when they broke away from England, were just 13 states? In 1763, 13 men took eight months to draft the US constitution? Were they afraid of what the queen would say? No! They believed in themselves and in the potential greatness of their country.

The year is now 2009 and St. Vincent and the Grenadines has the opportunity to declare itself a sovereign nation within the Caribbean civilisation, one which after fewer than 200 years of emancipation has produced three Nobel laureates, and other men and women of stature.

I am not angry at him. I am angry at Arhnim Eustace, Sir James Mitchell and company who have played on the ignorance of our people to stoke their political egos.

After 30 years of Independence, why should we hold on to the Queen’s frock tail? What has the monarchy ever done except to rape the Caribbean of its resources to develop its country? And as for those persons who lived and worked in England for years, your rejection of progress is frightening. You who were treated like second-class citizens and suffered racism under the same Queen now reject this new constitution? What of the belief in ourselves as a people who defeated slavery?

I imagine that if Eustace and Sir James were slaves on the plantations in 1834 they would be at the forefront of the “no campaign” against emancipation because they prefer to be well fed slaves than hungry free men, creating their own destinies.

It is only left to the Queen to say to Vincentians: “I don’t want to be your head of state because you are a liability rather than an asset.” Then Sir James and company would still beseech her to stay. It’s like a battered woman in an abusive relationship who doesn’t want to let go because she doesn’t love herself.

On November 25, 2009, if the referendum does not pass, it is not a victory for anyone; the country and generations to come will suffer. Why are we so afraid of our own potential as a people?

In my opinion, the no voters would have destroyed the work of those people who toiled for adult suffrage in 1951, even further for those who fought slavery and for the stalwarts of the 1970s who fought colonialism to give us Independence. Their work would be for nought.

I do not blame the people. I blame the leaders, and now I understand why Sir James et al would never have thought of an education revolution because every educated, well-rounded Vincentian is a threat to him. Keep the masses ignorant and your power is ensured.

Mr Eustace, it is time to stop squatting on colonial land!