Editor: That was the response of the drunk groom as the priest tried to administer the vows as he should have answered to his bride Brenetta. This traditional Union Island wedding was torpedoed and became an attraction in plays at many concerts and Sweet Mass portrayals since then.
20 years ago, another wedding was also torpedoed as the vows were apparently broken even before the marriage was consummated. It is a truism that indeed opposites attract. The people of Union Island broke their traditional voting pattern and expressed their confidence in the New Government. They believed wholeheartedly the promises made and the vows written in the 2001 Manifesto. They promised the people of the Grenadines to:
1. Establish local Government
2. Solve garbage and disposal problem
3. Reduce property taxes
4. Improve Secondary Education
5. Build a TVET Centre
6. Upgrade hospital/clinic facilities
7. Create employment in Tourism, IT, Fishing, & Culture
8. Improve Sporting Facilities
9. Improve air and sea transport including making Bequia airport more productive.
10. Extend electricity to Mayreau
11. Give the Grenadines its fair share of roads, housing, community centres and more.
On the night of the honeymoon (victory), there was no doubt that it was “Labour Now.” A Rasta man who had come out of the hills took out his “spliff” and said, “This is we time now.” He fully expected the legalization or at least decriminalization of the herb. He was greatly disappointed at this apparent broken vow. Party Warriors announced prominent jobs for party supporters over and above those who were more qualified and experienced. This was later confirmed through pronouncements and subsequent actions: Own the jobs, own the country, meaning the land. Undoubtedly special privileges were only for party supporters as it was apparently said that others were “dressing up in Red” with the vain expectation to benefit.
When the people of Union Island complained that their expectations were not met despite voting for the Government, party stalwarts said that we should not expect anything because the Government did not win this seat. This is an apparent extension of “Learned Helplessness” as the Government is for every square inch of the country.
The hope of perceived victims of discrimination were dashed after Integrity Legislation were enacted neither within the first 100 days nor within the last 100 days.
Justice seemed elusive as despite favourable court judgments for Teachers, Civil Servants, and Land Owners, apparently all must come back to Papa.
Consequently, the relationship between Papa and the People inevitably may end with an annulment or divorce as appropriate.
Anthony Stewart, PhD