Don’t give up— give up!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - COMMENT -

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IPeter Josie ’ve never be­fore taken is­sue with per­sons who as­so­ciate elec­tion cam­paigns and the rant­ings of politi­cians with “the Silly Sea­son.” To my way of think­ing, there are other pub­lic events more de­serv­ing of the as­so­ci­a­tion. I leave it to you dear reader to de­cide which events make sea­sons silly. There is frankly noth­ing silly about per­sons who may have missed their call­ing and who in­stead have cho­sen a political podium from which to vent anger at them­selves or at a failed govern­ment. Missed op­por­tu­ni­ties for so­cial and eco­nomic progress are le­git­i­mate rea­sons for protests. The Brits have given us their soap boxes at Hyde Park Cor­ner in Lon­don. It’s an ex­am­ple to copy in a fledg­ling democ­racy.

There is a malaise in this so­ci­ety of sad lit­tle men with half-hid­den his­to­ries and dodgy char­ac­ters, who are of­ten less well read than those they wish to rep­re­sent in par­lia­ment. It’s a dis­ease wor­thy of pause. It should make us think long and hard about men­tal ill­ness and how to man­age it. Free speech should be en­cour­aged even though it takes savvy to de­tect lo­qua­cious political im­posters who are bold, ego­tis­ti­cal and given to greed. Such per­sons are ruled by their own de­sires, and ex­ploit peo­ple with de­cep­tive words. There is noth­ing silly about such im­posters. Elec­tion cam­paigns may al­low any id­iot to vent his feel­ings openly but look more closely and their hid­den agen­das will be de­tected.

Such crooked per­sons abuse the rights guar­an­teed in a con­sti­tu­tion. It al­lows some­one with rum-glass in hand at 10.30 on a Sun­day morn­ing, and who knows not what the in­side of a pri­mary school looks like, to ap­pear in pub­lic and an­nounce the com­ing of a new mes­siah: him­self! Those who take him se­ri­ously are equally to be ex­am­ined for men­tal de­fi­cien­cies.

Such is the na­ture of political cam­paigns that loud­mouthed party hacks, political novices and party af­fil­i­ates, all con­spire to ad­vo­cate bet­ter wages and work­ing con­di­tions for those with­out jobs; bet­ter health­care for those who do not work and do no-work when em­ployed, and bet­ter ev­ery­thing for those in a hurry to ex­pe­ri­ence the New Jerusalem soon­est. Such is the na­tive in­tel­li­gence of so­cial­ist ide­ol­ogy. Men­tion money and ev­ery­one ex­pects a pay day whether or not they have earned it or, care what rem­edy that money is in­tended to com­pen­sate. From th­ese aspects, it is not dif­fi­cult to see why the ca­sual ob­server may re­gard this ris­ing id­iocy ev­ery five years as the silly sea­son. Frankly, there is noth­ing silly about planned de­cep­tion in any sea­son.

For such as are de­scribed above, an elec­tion cam­paign may be the only op­por­tu­nity to raise their voices, and at­tempt to shine. In­de­pen­dence an­niver­sary passes and leaves them de­jected. They see lit­tle hope in the warmed-over pa­rades and fake smiles at of­fi­cial in­de­pen­dence func­tions as in­vi­tees drink out their ex­cess taxes dol­lars. Christ­mas leaves them cheer­less and broke, and wish­ing that some Dry-Sea­son-Santa would ap­pear in his dream with a bag of med­i­cal sup­plies and a bucket-full of money – and wa­ter. Car­ni­val is an abom­i­na­tion un­wor­thy of their so-called Chris­tians morals. It is deemed un­wor­thy of their un-vi­ti­at­ing soul.

Call an elec­tion cam­paign what­ever pops to your head, but please stop call­ing it ‘the silly sea­son.’ There is too much cun­ning, too many de­lib­er­ate lies and schem­ing for it to be re­ferred to as silly. Such cal­cu­lated cal­cu­la­tions de­serve a more ap­pro­pri­ate name. The only things silly about the sea­son are the peo­ple who al­low politi­cians to get away with lies.

If an ap­proach­ing elec­tion is ac­cepted as ‘the silly sea­son’ it may dis­suade those who aren’t silly and who may have solid ideas for na­tional de­vel­op­ment from par­tic­i­pat­ing in the process. It is there­fore strongly rec­om­mended that the elec­torate should be ed­u­cated to ‘don’t give up, give them up’. ‘Them’ here refers to failed politi­cians and syco­phants out to de­ceive and filled their ra­pa­cious pock­ets’ giv­ing noth­ing in re­turn.

Dag Ham­marskjöld, the first Sec­re­tary Gen­eral of the United Na­tions (UN), once said that the demo­cratic vote in the hands of the il­lit­er­ate masses can be more ex­plo­sive than the atomic bomb. He may have for­got­ten to com­ment on politi­cians who de­lib­er­ately set out to keep the il­lit­er­ate masses ig­no­rant. He also failed to say what, if any­thing, the UN can and should do, about such politi­cians. There is no need for a mod­ern day na­tion­al­ist leader to be as dra­matic as the first UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral. The new na­tion­al­ist leader has to ed­u­cate his il­lit­er­ate masses and teach them to fish be­fore they can STEP. Stay­ing wed­ded to an old mind-set that has heaped pain upon mis­ery, and lies upon de­ceit can­not be a pos­i­tive thing to do.

Per­haps it would in­stead be best to imitate the re­bel­lious slave who says ‘any place is bet­ter than this slave plan­ta­tion I’m outa here.’ Run­ning away may not solve ev­ery prob­lem but it sure beats stay­ing in an abu­sive and de­hu­man­iz­ing sit­u­a­tion. The equiv­a­lent ‘silly sea­son’ there­fore sug­gests; ‘don’t give up, give them up. Fur­ther­more it also says: ‘Don’t let peo­ple piss in your eyes and call it rain. The time to give them up and to cut a new path to a brighter fu­ture is now. And no one should be al­lowed to de­scribe words used to ex­press your anger as ‘the silly sea­son.’

There is noth­ing silly about peo­ple who dare to speak their minds. Bet­ter that than ‘not a word, not a word, not a word and to al­low cun­ning and crooked politi­cians to have the ears of the na­tion to them­selves. So what­ever the sit­u­a­tion, one must make a con­scious ef­fort to give up the peo­ple and the things that are a bur­den on one’s health and an eco­nomic bur­den on one’s backs. Let those who wish say silly sea­son. His­tory teaches that peo­ple choose to change their govern­ment by what­ever means they deem ap­pro­pri­ate – silly sea­son or win­ter of dis­con­tent— call it what you will.

For­mer govern­ment min­is­ter Peter Josie: Now a reg­u­lar colum­nist and political an­a­lyst he re­mains as acer­bic as he’d been when he and the late Ge­orge

Od­lum were in­sep­a­ra­ble.

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