And at Romans 14:19, “let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual up-building”.
Unity is a powerful and positive force. And when it is allowed to blossom, people feel better, and we do better. We’re better when we’re together. Better Together.
Bob Marley, who said “let’s get together and feel alright”, knew that. He saw a Jamaica torn apart by politics, disunited, distressed and deeply disturbed. He nearly lost his life because of it. Yet he continued preaching unity every day, telling Jamaicans, and everybody else, in his unique, articulate and ingenious way, that a divided nation is a defeated nation. One Love, One People. Unity.
So powerful and positive is the force of unity, that history is overflowing with bloody examples of leaders trying to break it up and to cause suspicion, friction and division amongst the people so that those leaders might remain in control. Bob Marley had leaders like that to deal with in Jamaica.
Equally, there are numerous examples of societies enjoying success, stability and progress because of the great sense of unity among their people.
Now, anyone who lives in St. Kitts & Nevis will, unless he or she chooses to be a liar, admit that the Unity Movement is growing stronger by the day. The evidence is clear.
People have come to realize that it isn’t an ad hoc, spur-of-the-moment thing, but that it’s a well thought out, planned, organized model, and the best option, for modern, enlightened and democratic governance in this country, and possibly in the region, with St. Kitts & Nevis once again taking the lead in positive political development.
More and more Kittitians and Nevisians, especially the younger ones, are absolutely fed up with the old style of politics, with the lies, the abuse, the disrespect, the corruption, the crude behaviour of the leader, the unlevel playing field, and the general sense of dependency and hopelessness.
They’re embarrassed and angry that their parents, in so many cases, have been cowed into silence by Douglas and his rapacious, ruthless leadership.
Incidentally, a small group of very wise youths engaged me about a week ago on the subject of reparation, and one of them said to me:
“Mr. Astaphan, Denzil Douglas is a hypocrite. What moral authority does he have to go to St. Vincent to talk about reparation from the Europeans for their cruel and inhumane treatment of our ancestors, when he put us, the descendants of those slaves, into $3 billion debt, put us at risk of losing thousands of acres of our land, has us begging him for a piece of land, and even threatened to sell one of us. He isn’t qualified to seek reparation on our behalf; and, on top of that, we should be demanding reparation from him for what he has done to us”.
Like that young man and his group, more and more people are realizing that it’s better to live and work as a family than as enemies, and that there’s no room in a happier, more unified, elegant, productive and fulfilling St. Kitts & Nevis for the likes of Denzil Douglas. And these people are coming from all walks of life and all political parties. Indeed, even with the fear, the intrigue and the news-carrying, a number of people who are seen in red garb and are heard saying certain things, are in fact quietly supporting Unity.
For example, during the recent the Unity Women’s fund raising exercises, a woman wearing a red political T shirt dropped a $50 bill on the sidewalk near to where a Unity Woman was standing with her contribution sheet, and said softly:
”Sweetheart, look at that $50 on the ground. Pick it up nuh, before wind blow it ‘way.”
Then she said even more softly :” Don’t mind what you see me wearing; I want to keep me work, but it’s Unity all the way”. And she continued on her journey.
I might add that from what I’m hearing, the number of persons who’ve actually joined Unity Women is nothing short of staggering. They constitute the numbers that make all of the difference in a society. And many women in the public service are subtly showing their solidarity and support.
They’re aching for a better day for themselves, their children and grandchildren, and frustrated and fed up with Douglas and his gang. Their souls are disturbed and they want peace, harmony, decency, order and dignity in this land.
One of them, a visible supporter of the incumbent, and a friend of mine, initiated a conversation with me a couple of days ago about when Unity gets into office. By doing so, she revealed her acceptance of the prospect of a Unity Government being installed after the next elections and, just as importantly, she also revealed her readiness to see the back of Denzil Douglas and, in her particular case, the deeply disappointing Marcella Liburd.
And while I’m speaking about women, yesterday’s ending of the Government shut down in the USA came about, in no small measure, as a result of the initiative of Congresswomen and Senators from both parties coming together in the cause of country above party.
No man, indeed, nothing, can stop the combined forces of unity and women!
And just as the women are supporting Unity in large numbers, so too are the men. Over 55% of men employed in the public service want a Unity Government, and in certain agencies and departments that number comes closer to 65%, and even higher. But they’re working with their mouths shut.
Only last night, a male public service employee who, up to yesterday had been a supporter of the incumbent outlaw Government, told me of a $10 million transaction that took place yesterday. And he said that the country needs to know about it.
The investigation and verification have begun. However, I’m confident that one day soon, with the Unity Government in place, all transactions involving SIDF money and funds distributed by Government agencies, and whatever interconnectivity there may be between the two, should be fully accounted for. And anybody who has sought to, or is seeking to, unjustly enrich himself or herself with any of that money, must face the consequences.
Meanwhile, many of the 3,000 young people in the PEP program are keenly aware of the manipulation and the smartness that Douglas and his gang are trying on them…. again. They remember 2009-2010, and they’re waiting to give somebody a Dougie, both those who have been registered legally and those who have been registered illegally(especially in Challengers, Old Road, Halfway Tree, Crab Hill, East and Central Basseterre and St. Peters, etc., and now we’re hearing that we might even see illegal registrations going on in West Basseterre as the chilling reality of the end of Douglas sinks in and desperation take over).
But this Unity thing goes even further. Just this morning, some Nigerian friends of mine told me that they’d been hosted to dinner by one of Douglas’ candidates who is looking for their votes. They told me that they enjoyed themselves, but that they find this Government too much like the one in Nigeria, and they prefer to see a Unity Government here in St. Kitts & Nevis. They told me that our country is too small for all of this divisiveness and friction.
The bottom line here is that many people, Labour supporters and others, citizens and non-citizens, have come to see that Douglas is an imposter, a hypocrite, a user and abuser, and a person who is grossly unfit to be the leader of this country or the Labour Party.
And they don’t want any more of that, or of him.
Unity is growing stronger. And as more and more people embrace it and feel its love and power, we’re realizing that we’re Better Together .