I only starting to talk about it in the last little while, but this season is always one of reflection and re-dedication for me, with the two month transition from Emancipation Day on 1st August to Independence on the 31st August, then onto Republic Day on 24th September…I always spend this spell in some sober reflection, in between the life. It seems to me that the very sequence of events and the consequent holidays in the season imbue it with an inner meaning in terms of a national transition to some kind of depth and purpose…Emancipation to Independence to Republican status…maybe that is just sentimental of me, but let us see…
So there has been a growing campaign to challenge the presence of Jack Warner in our Cabinet – the leading people in that effort have been Lasana Liburd of Wired868 and Kirk Waithe of Fixin’ T&T – The effort is a necessary one as it raises questions as to the proper role and functioning of the Cabinet in our Republic…I have gone a little further in calling for a higher standard in terms of who is eligible to be admitted to our Parliament…I believe the minimum test should be the ‘Fit & Proper’ rules as established by the Central Bank, in which case Dr Bhoe Tewarie would also be ineligible…Now we have had people being scandalized that Jack Warner was made acting PM after he resigned from FIFA and this morning the place is buzzing with talk about Collin Partap’s dismissal from Cabinet for allegedly refusing to give a specimen of his breath to the police after partying.
At this 50th year or Jubilee Juncture, the burning question in this arena is how are we doing? Have things improved on that governance aspect?
What is interesting is that amidst all the sound and fury, we can sometimes miss the lessons history can offer us as to the roots of some of these issues…I am saying thank you here to Judy Raymond – yes, she is my cousin – who has started a series of fascinating articles which are using the Guardian’s extensive archives to show some situations from earlier days…I did resign from the Guardian, but the edition of Sunday 26th August had a real classic, “PM: Who don’t like it…Could Go!” which recalled the infamous 1964 episode in which the ‘Father of Nation’ defied his critics by re-appointing and promoting Dr. Patrick Solomon…also see “Solomon Acts as PM,” and “Minister Took Stepson From Cops.”
Of course, every right-thinking person knows that ‘Two wrongs do not make a right‘ – so that is not what I am saying.
I think that our ongoing concern over arrogant and irresponsible behaviour in high office has serious roots, so we need to dig deep to end this nonsense.
‘King’ David Rudder, used the opening stanza of his 1996 classic “The Strange Tale of Madame Occohantas and the Westminster Dreadlocks” on the virtual silencing of our Parliament by the growing rift between the then PM, Patrick Manning, and the Speaker of the Parliament…all of which lead to a messy climax with a bizarre State of Emergency being imposed so as to virtually imprison the Speaker of the House. I tell you…Rudder’s first verse is something our children should learn in school…
“Big Big war in the House of the Balisier!
One ah de Warriors break-away!
Because Bad-John ting is part ah dey Tribal lore.
From de days of rough-neck O’Halloran,
Right down to ‘slapperman’ Solomon! 1
So in de tradition, Occahontas declare a war!“
© 1996 Lypsoland Music. Lyrics Used by Permission.
Rudder was telling us about all then and now…in fact is Sparrow who gave Rudder the 1986 acclamation of dubbing him ‘King David’…which leads right back to the start…
Yes, the title of this post is from the Mighty Sparrow’s biting classic on that scandal – you can hear it here. The fight for betterment is a part of our lives now and we must keep it up! Listen to Sparrow…yuh think it sorf?
- The ‘ole-talk’ at the time was that Solomon slapped a policeman when he went to have his stepson ‘released’ – he was the then Minister of Home Affairs, with responsibility for the Police Force.