Firstly, Parliament was in session, debating (and I use the word loosely) Anti-Gang legislation, and the usual distractions, disruptions and interruptions were in evidence, coming from the usual culprits.
While Eugene Hamilton was on his feet, Denzil Douglas began to interrupt. Eugene stood his ground, and Denzil continued. Eugene told him that he wasn’t afraid of him and that he should get some manners, and this caused Denzil to explode. Fuming and frothing, he left his position and stepped into the aisle as if he might to march over to Eugene and deal with him.
The Speaker should have put Denzil out. But, of course, that wasn’t going to happen. In the end, both men apologized.
Gangster behaviour coming from the Prime Minister, in Parliament, as it debated Anti-Gang legislation. Wow!
As people listened, they recalled his many previous outrageous outbursts in Parliament, and his platform shockers such as:”I am ten-man-in-one”, “ I bad since I born”, ”I incite already”, “They better don’t turn me on you know because when I turn on I Man hard to turn off”, ”Dem(PAM) got board(billboards), we got wood. Call me big wood Dougie”, and so on.
And I recalled the comment of Mr. Patrice Matthew, a young man serving a long prison sentence here in St. Kitts, made at Operation Future’s Conference held last week at the University of Health Sciences and Medicine. He told leaders:”Don’t tell us the way; show us the way!”
How are young people expected to behave when they see and hear the leader of the nation behaving in this way? What credibility can he have with them when he tells them that they must behave themselves?
A young graduate told me recently:
“Mr. Astaphan, you know about the gangs in St. Kitts, but I bet you don’t know about the ‘NIPL (pronounced ‘Nipple’) Gang’. It’s the worst gang in the country”.
I answered:”NIPL Gang? Nipple Gang? No, I never heard of it. Where is it based and who are in it?”
“It’s based on Church Street. It’s leader is the Prime Minister, and “NIPL” stands for ‘No Integrity in Public Life’, and it’s sucking the life out of this country“, she said.
As Patrice Matthew says, don’t tell us the way, show us the way! Young people are watching and learning.
Secondly, in Parliament yesterday, Ricky ’ the Harasser’ Skerritt , who spends much of his time in Parliament talking, disturbing, interrupting and harassing, was busy harassing Sam Condor, saying that Sam was the darling of the Opposition, etc. Disrespecting the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and the Government. And not for the first time.
But the Harasser knew what was to come before the day was ended, so he was enjoying himself at Sam’s expense, big and broad in the Parliament. And none of his colleagues stopped him. Not one Comrade uttered a quiet word of caution to have him desist.
Ricky, who was one of former Prime Minister Dr. Kennedy Simmonds’ trusted advisers, who while at the Chamber of Commerce mocked Sam when Sam was in search of a job, and who wanted to replace Dr. Simmonds as the leader of PAM, standing in Parliament as a member of a Labour Government, mocking Sam, the quintessential Labour Man!
Given licence to do so because he became one of Denzil’s chihuahuas, and a member of the NIPL (Nipple) Gang.
Can you imagine that?
Poor Papa Bradshaw must be spinning in his grave.
Thirdly, the new Police Commissioner, Mr. C.G. Walwyn was sworn in. And Sam attended and gave remarks at the ceremony as Minister of National Security.
And fourthly, before the cock finally crowed to bring down the curtain on the 31st day of August, 2011, and all on the same day when the Anti-Gang Bill (introduced by Sam) was being debated by the Parliament, when Ricky took a turn in Sam’s tail, and when a new Police Commissioner was sworn in, Denzil topped it off by firing Sam as Minister of National Security.
Yes, he fired Sam.
He went on TV and radio and announced that he was taking ministerial responsibility for the Police and Defence Forces.
His explanation was that the high rate of homicide and other violent crimes was a threat to the nation’s economic recovery and its stability, and that with the buck stopping with him as the Prime Minister, people were looking to him to take direct responsibility for crime fighting.
This buck-stopping-with-him story I found curious, because he had never before accepted responsibility for anything negative that had happened under his stewardship. Was his announcement last night, therefore, a signal that he has changed and is finally ready to accept responsibility, or is he setting up somebody yet again to be his fall guy?
He also announced that the two agencies will now be administered from a new unit to be set up under his Ministry, with its own permanent secretary, and so on.
And with the agencies now taken away, Denzil left Sam with Immigration and Passport, NEMA, Fire & Rescue and Prisons, and proclaimed that those responsibilities would now fall under a new ministry to be called The Ministry of Homeland Security.
Now here’s the deal. While he says that Sam will continue being in charge of Immigration and Passport, it is he, Denzil, who will continue to sign Citizenship Certificates, hundreds upon hundreds of which were waiting to be signed by him while I was Minister of National Security, some for over ten years.
And it’s he, Denzil, who will decide if and when people are to get diplomatic passports. For example, I’m told that Opposition Parliamentarians have requested such passports and have not received them, while ‘lesser’ luminaries flash theirs gleefully.
Further, it’s Denzil who will micro-manage the other agencies in Homeland Security (LOL), as well as Social Security, and Labour.
So let’s take Denzil’s move for what it is: a vindictive, callous and brutal attack on Sam.
Some years ago, Sam (Timothy and I) had expressed some concerns about his leadership. Several retreats were held, all to no avail. Finally, a meeting was held at the Marriott, with then Barbados Prime Minister, the late David Thompson, brought in by Hartley Henry to help sort out matters.
That infuriated Denzil. And all three of us had to be dealt with, as well as Sam’s wife, Jeanne. That’s the fate that all who question and stand up to Denzil must suffer.
We were referred to by him as the ‘Gang of Four’. And in short time the vicious personal attacks in the social media and elsewhere began.
What made things worse for Sam was the stand that he took at the Labour Party Conference in May of this year.
Then on top of all of that he had the gall to tell Denzil that he did not want Mrs. Astona Browne as his Permanent Secretary.
Sam had committed grievous sins against the Maximum Leader and he had to be embarrassed and punished.
So the plan was to have him present the Anti-Gang Bill to Parliament but to adjourn to 31st August, 2011, the same day on which the new Police Commissioner was to be appointed, and on which Sam was to be fired.
Interestingly, the debate was not completed on 31st August, 2011, so whereas at the start of the debate, Sam, as Minister of National Security, was the mover of the Bill, at the end of the debate and at the time of the passage of the Bill, Sam would be no longer the Minister of National Security.
When did that ever happen before? How much embarrassment did Denzil and his NIPL Gang feel that they needed to put Sam through?