Our Readers' Opinions
October 7, 2011
Why are some politicians so insensitive?

Fri, Oct 7. 2011

Editor: When politicians reach the point where they are so cold that they cannot identify with the woes of the people, they should step aside and relearn the basic lessons regarding human sufferings. When ministers of government become so insensitive that they meet the people’s cries with insults, mockery, and buck-passing, it means they have lost touch with human realities.{{more}} For those things, they should be voted out of office as punishment for their insensitivity.

For a long time now, ministers of the ruling party in government think that we must take their bad treatment and ‘shut up’ because ‘that is what we voted for’. They try to make us think that neglect is equal to love. Their callousness is sickening!

Two weeks ago, banana farmers took to the streets to put pressure on the authorities to attend to their banana woes. Among other things, they called for the resignation of the Agriculture Minister, Mr. Montgomery Daniel. The farmers charged Mr. Daniel with gross neglect and incompetence.. Instead of humbling himself and trying his utmost to address the farmers’ concerns, the minister made it his duty to remind us on a political platform that no boat brought him to St. Vincent “in chains” and that he did not come here “in indenturedship”. This is Mr. Daniel’s help offered to the farmers? In an interview with Senator Anesia Baptiste on her program serving the people, one farmer lamented that she only had some black coffee before coming to picket the ministry of agriculture. Other farmers explained their difficulties in meeting their monthly financial commitments, sending their children to school etc. Sadly, Mr. Daniel only saw through his partisan political glasses. He accused the farmers of being interested in ‘their own political view as relates to their political party’. That is the best you can tell our nation feeders who cannot now even afford to put a piece of butter in their bread? You need to be fired, Mr. Daniel! And that explanation that was given about ministry official/s not doing their job blah, blah, blah… is flimsy! That excuse is NOT acceptable. It further highlights your negligence. You are the minister. What do you think we pay you for? To blame others for not doing your work?

I believe the meaning of the ‘U’ in the acronym ULP is ‘uncaring’. The ‘L’ stands for lack of sensitivity. The crime situation in this country is almost out of control. Recently, in response to many people’s call for the enforcement of the death penalty, our Prime Minister saw it fit to remind us that we voted against the Constitution bill 2009. Alongside many anti-freedoms provisions, there was a proposal to strengthen the death penalty for the crime of murder.

The PM well knows that many of us who voted against the crafty bill are strong supporters of the death penalty. Yet he gives the impression that voting against the bill meant a rejection of the death penalty (strengthened). At a time when heinous crimes are on the increase in our land and we naturally call for justice, this is the best you can say to us, Mr. PM? This is how you show understanding to our cries? We understand the global fight against the death penalty and the aim of some human rights organisations. So don’t try to give the impression that we are to be blamed for its non-enforcement.

The continued insensitivity is glaring and the examples are too numerous to mention. In March of this year, Minister Burgin made it clear that if it were left to him, the three teachers who were seeking reemployment after unsuccessfully contesting the 2010 elections on a NDP ticket will not be rehired. Mr. Burgin got his desires! Mr. Burgin chided the teachers for criticising the flaw-filled education revolution. So these teachers/nation builders should be breadless because they disagree with many aspects of the Education Revolution! This is a government that loves people? Strewps! You can’t fool all the people.

Not all of us choose blindness in the face of glaring facts and realities. We know insensitivity when we see it. The Ministers and other officials of this ruling administration continue to demonstrate their unfitness to govern people. They have lost their way because they reject the true purpose of government- to protect the rights of all the people. Governments were ordained by God for the ‘good’ of the people, NOT to be callous and insensitive to our needs.

Ann-Marie Ballantyne
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