Our Readers' Opinions
February 12, 2010

The NDP’s Bad John talk

by: Dr. Richard A. Byron-Cox 12.FEB.10

Banter, trading insults, character assassination and abusive language have always been commonplace in exchanges between our politicians. Some, once in power, go beyond attacks on each other, firing away at John Public at will. “Nincompoops” “Breadfruit mentality,” “bat but don’t score,” “backward,” “untutored and uncultured” are popular jargon, thanks to political leaders.{{more}} Of late, however, politicians, particularly some in the NDP, have turned into Bad Johns and now regularly spit militant, violent, threatening lyrics at opponents real or manufactured.

Up until the ‘98 elections, bad john talk was mostly kept in check, only raising its ugly head when tempers boiled over. “Licks like peas” was the only regularly used expression with violent overtones, but referred to electoral triumph, nothing more. Then came the 8/7 results of 98 and “river come down!” The ULP decided that the country must be made “ungovernable!” Action followed words when at the subsequent opening of parliament, our late most-distinguished Sir Charles felt the heat of the political kitchen, which ULP bad john talk had baselessly accused him of having entered. The NDP decided to fight fire with fire and violent threats became essential vocabulary in their political idiom.

The first salvo was fired when James – Christian name Jessie – declared that he had given instructions to “My Police Force,” and “if is war dey want! Is war dey go get!” The ULP response was rabid, courting mayhem with the staging of the “road block revolution,” fortified by “human shields” and all. The power struggle had metamorphosed into a gladiator sport! Henceforth Ralph became the object of never-ending hate orchestrated and fuelled by the NDP’s bad john talk. Intoxicated by the referendum results, bad john talk is now the most potent missile in their arsenal. From “Lynchers” to Saints now openly issue threats of victimization, kicking of perceived opponents, and the use of state power as a terror machine for settling personal scores.

In keeping with this militancy, Ken Boyea is to be kicked in his face for daring to support the proposed constitution. A chief or major NDP fighting cock is said to have threatened to fire Keith Miller, for promoting peace in my beloved Redemption Sharps. The Deputy Head of State was subjected to a display of this despicable bad john talk and behavior at an official function of all places. But such aggressive intolerance seems the modus operandi within the NDP itself, e.g., Jessie threatening and belittling a party Saint, and a Frankenstein showing utter contempt for the leader. A tag team of Frank and Jessie James is bound to cause ruction. So this barbarism/”badmanism” flourishes, and the leader merely embarrassingly proclaims personal distance but no more. It begs the question; how many man rats are there in the NDP? Remember how Ralph made Jerrol withdraw the bail and ordered Selboy to apologize to Keith? Yes, if it were my call both would have been fired! But at least the public saw Jerrol and “Selboy” being brought to book and both have since stayed on the straight and narrow. Arhnim’s lame “People must be careful what they say on the platform” left me speechless! Are we to understand that it’s all right to encourage this elsewhere? Can he control these rouges in government if he can’t put his foot down now?

Sure we can say that Ralph & Co had it coming for “he who lives by the sword shall…” Repaying Ralph is one thing. Making your vendetta and witch-hunt government policy is naught but extreme Stalinism. This bad john talk betrays total intolerance and an intention to crush with brute force any different -even if not opposing- view. Is this how we build a kinder and gentler society?

The NDP can indulge in Ralph hate eternally, but the electorate must not surrender power to a bunch pregnant with childish spite and a zeal for vengeance. Like them or not, the ULP have and are implementing policies. In seeking to replace them, the NDP must offer something superior. You cannot meet the needs that an international airport will fill with character assassination of Fidel and Hugo. Small-minded victimization of Keith Miller is not a drugs and crime fighting policy. You will not guarantee the university places being offered by the ULP education policy by chastising the SVGTU leadership as “lick boots.” The low-income houses meet real needs of people and cursing off Julian is no substitute. Lynching Ken Boyea will not strengthen the private sector. The services to be provided by the hospital at Georgetown cannot be replaced by ridiculing Fitz Jones. Grinding axe to chop down Hans King, or exhuming Glen Jackson to mutilate his body and torture his “wicked soul,” would in no way help inform the Masses the way a new library and learning resource centers can.

The electorate of this country have gone to the polls many times guided only by the “time for a change” slogan. Oppositions offering nothing rode to power solely on this despise for the incumbent. Now some in the NDP go further and with bad john talk make ceaseless appeals to the human stupidity of some of us, while continuously mobilizing the swine in others as Kurt Schumacher might say. Are we so devoid of soul and reason that we will so readily accept “just geh rid ah dem” not caring what comes on the morrow?

Oh, and demonizing Richard Byron-Cox, as is certain to happen on publication of this piece, is merely perpetuating this ignorance and evil. Hate, victimization, lies, character assassination, pure bad john talk need replacing with feasible development plans, grounded in national unity to build on what our predecessors and Ralph have laid. If spiteful childish intransigence is NDP’s answer to patriotic reasonable counsel, then they are not fit for opposition, not to mention government.