Why are we citizens of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), those of us who are not vendors, not making our voices heard in defense of our brothers and sisters who do vending in Kingstown in order to provide for their families?
Why have we remained indifferent to the exhibition of this arrogance by those who had offered themselves for leadership of our nation, and who had pledged to work towards the advancement and the economic development of our people?
Our present crop of leaders has been barefacedly, for decades now, blaming our slow development and the weak economic platform, on the colonisers whom they said left us with nothing to permit improvement of our circumstances.
But a dispassionate examination of the circumstances prevailing in our land since we assumed the responsibility for the governance and administration of our own affairs as a nation, will show that the citizens of this land were more reasonably, more civilly, more respectfully treated by the colonizers than they have been by their own administrators to date. In 1935 when our people revolted, violently, because of what they saw as unreasonably high taxation, the British were prompted to send out the Moyne Commission which resulted in the commencement of the process which resulted in self-government instruments being devised.
Forty years later when our teachers, as was their democratic right, took to the streets in peaceful protest, our homegrown administrators treated them as criminals, tear-gassed them, and threw them in jail, in cells that were ‘wutlessly unhealthy”. Even the gentle Yvonne Francis-Gibson a respectable woman who had been a strong player in societal development wherever she resided, was treated inhumanely.
The arrogance, immaturity, lack of concern for the well-being of the people, and the citizens, the modus-operandi of our local administrators launched then is still persisting today.
The callousness with which the administrators have been dealing with the hapless vendors in Kingstown graphically reflects this.
I have been noting for some time that the British administrators in their time seemed to have exhibited more maturity, more reasonableness, more human decency to the public, the citizens, than we have seen from our own local administrators over the last several decades.
In yesteryear, if a citizen wrote to the British Administrator on any issue that the citizen was concerned about, the Administrator would have responded. Is this so today? Is the citizen shown that sort of consideration?
Interestingly our Prime Minister has been saying that the most important ‘position’ in the state is that of “citizen”. However, we should now know better than to lean on the utterances of untrustworthy men.
But where is the ODD in all of this agony being faced by the vendors? The voice of Renwick Rose should have been heard by now considering his declaration in 2001 that he was committed to standing in defense of the citizens of this country.
The vendors of Kingstown are also citizens!