At the end of the day, we all are Nevisians and I strongly opine that we can be passionate about our politics without being personal, preposterous, pernicious and parochial. I myself have been following politics not only locally but throughout the Caribbean for years and I not only intend to vote for the NRP but maybe encourage one or two persons to vote for the NRP as well but I do not condone us going overboard.
We can support different parties without being enemies
There is no need for people to allow politics to make them enemies. Mr. Stedmond Tross is the Chairman of the CCM but he is like a godfather figure to me. His wife was my teacher for years and is still my wife’s favourite teacher ever. We have had lunch at his house and vice versa. He has been like a spiritual role model to me while growing up. His children are my friends and both of my parents are godparents to his son. My dad actually made the trip to Antigua for his wedding over 20 years ago. So although myself and Mr. Tross share diametrically opposite political views, do not expect me to be cursing Mr. Tross in any forum, passing him straight or anything of the sort. We cannot lose significant people in our life over politics nor should we make enemies with strangers either.
I opine that history will record Ms. Nailah Tyrell as one of the best gifts to Nevis. Her love for people, community work and her inexorable desire to see the young people and women of Nevis excel has been sacrosanct. When I was President of HOPE Nevis, Nailah would advise me, attend workshops, design proposals and even clean chicken. Nailah will never support the same party I support but when she comes home to vote, I fully expect her to find the time to take my wife and I to Four Seasons for dinner. I said in a previous article that her father, Mr. Colin Tyrell wishes that I make a million dollars every time he sees me, and I constantly thank him for speaking it into my life.
I am amazed at how a very staunch CCM supporter and lawyer passes me straight and tries to walk as far as possible from me, who is almost quarter of his age whenever he sees me. I am astounded that a “Heavy-weight analyst” who would probably qualify to be a Queens Counsel has allowed me, a man in his twenties to have that power over him. I continue to hold nothing against him and his family and would try my best to continue to greet them in good faith to make it obvious to them that while we may disagree politically, I have no personal ought against them. So for me, although my conscience would never allow me to vote for the CCM, my conscience would also never allow me to lose friends or make enemies because of politics.
Going overboard with our analysis
I was taken aback when I read an article by Mr. Rupert Byron (April 22 edition of The Observer Newspaper) where he wrote, “Vote for the Concerned Citizens Movement and by so doing lift up Jesus Christ who came into the world to bear witness to the truth because HE IS THE TRUTH”. This should be dismissed out of hand as preposterous and sacrilegious. It is important we do not go overboard when we use the name of God. As a staunch Christian, I believe that God is far above politics and he is neither CCM nor NRP nor will he ever be. I have heard politicians on both sides use religion for their own ways but never to this extent. Mr. Byron has been a man of immense integrity over the years and I would urge him not to allow politics to tarnish that. Politics is simply too petty a thing to mix up with God.
The wily Obi Elliot made the comment on Facebook that because the Attorney General wears a red tie that he is a Labour man. I have seen all the NRP Cabinet members in Blue shirts. Does that mean that they are CCM? I can vividly recall seeing Messrs Amory and Brantley of the CCM wear red ties too. Are they also Labour? I was discussing the slogan “Performance Matters” with a CCM friend of mine. He said to me “yes Ron, but it is what sort of performance”. The CCM slogan is “People Matter More! Should I now ask him, “what kind of people matter more?” I remember questioning my uncle Dr. Gilbert Daniel about a medical matter and he said to me, “Ron, remember even in medicine, if it does not make sense, it just does not make sense.” Simple, but cogent! In this political season, let us make sense with what we are saying and let us demand of our leaders that they too make sense when they talk. They can’t be for something and against it at the same time.
In 2011, my fervent wish is that when we write to support any politician or party that we leave out the verbal diarrhea and argue our positions with the supporting evidence. Let’s be done away with the propaganda and rumour mongering and let us have a debate on the personalities, performance, policies, programs and progress of either party. Let us be a showpiece to the world that we can disagree vehemently without being venomous, vituperative and virulent.