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Commentary: Democracy in exile – Caribbean News Now

Commentary: Democracy in exile - Caribbean News Now
Tyrone Hodge is an Anguillan at present dwelling in California and an educator, who values schooling and one’s heritage. He has written extensively for the Anguillan newspaper and is a panelist of the Mayor Present, which originates in Anguilla each Saturday, during which we give attention to figuring out issues and providing options. His father was Walter G. Hodge, one of many unique stalwarts of the Anguilla revolution of 1967

By Tyrone Hodge

“Individuals who shut their eyes to actuality merely write their very own destruction, and anybody who insists on remaining in a state of innocence lengthy after that innocence is lifeless turns himself right into a monster.” ~ James Baldwin.

In his ebook “American Nightmare Dealing with the Problem of Fascism,” Henry A. Giroux makes use of the phrase ‘democracy in exile’ as a metaphor for what’s at present passing as a democracy in Trump’s America. Giroux talks about areas of resistance which serves to energise efforts by which more and more totalitarian practices are revealed, analyzed, challenged and undone.

Once we see what’s happening right here and around the globe, it ought to scare the daylights out of all of us for we’re all complicit in what we permit to occur.

It’s typically stated that as America goes, so go the remainder of the world, and whereas that was as soon as the gold normal, one might argue with conviction that it’s hardly the case anymore. Democracy it appears has taken one within the intestine and is gasping for breath proper now.

The bold-faced actions being taken by authoritarian governments the world over, has turn out to be the norm relatively than the exception. All of those dangerous actors at the moment are emboldened by the actions of the US.

Final yr, once we in Anguilla have been celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of our revolution, our chief minister, Mr Victor Banks, on the Ecumenical church service informed Anguillians in no unsure phrases that in the event that they didn’t like the best way issues have been going, that they had two decisions, “prefer it or lump it.”

It now seems that Mr Banks is at it as soon as once more, solely this time, what he needs to do or maybe has already finished, is to cherry decide these parts of constitutional and electoral reform that may cement his celebration’s stronghold on energy, the outcomes of which may have lengthy lasting repercussions lengthy after we’re gone. Anguilla is within the throes of each an ethical and political dilemma.

What is admittedly dangerous or untoward about that is the truth that it’s being accomplished in such an beneath handed method, that it cries out for sunshine. Mr Banks and his cronies have cherry picked these gadgets that may profit his celebration, thus guaranteeing management of the federal government. All of that is being achieved behind closed doorways and we the individuals are none the wiser. Mr Banks is operating his authorities as if it’s his personal personal enterprise. He’s aided and abetted by the remainder of his ministers who act as a rubber stamp for no matter he needs.

At situation right here is voting at giant, which might be alright was it adequately debated in the home and that the individuals truly perceive how it will work. This authorities has been working in secret for the final six or so months and identical to the Banking Invoice, comes out on the final minute to spring this on the Anguillian individuals. No debate, no nothing. Is that how a democracy features?

Mr Banks genuinely doesn’t perceive his individuals, for he retains on doing issues which are opposite to their needs and extra consistent with foreigners. There are a number of obtrusive examples. Mr Banks campaigned on the premise that he would save the indigenous banks, NBA and CCB. When requested how he deliberate to try this, he first acknowledged that it was a superb query, after which proceeded to hem and haw for the subsequent 5 minutes after which lastly concluded that it was an unfair query and that extra time can be wanted to reply the query.

As everybody is aware of, we misplaced the banks. Mr Banks outright lied. You should use all of the euphemisms within the e-book to explain what he did; it nonetheless comes out as a rattling lie. Mr Banks additionally promised to repeal the Stabilization Levy and had we requested the suitable questions he would have needed to inform us simply how he deliberate to make up the shortfall of funds which is why the previous Chief Minister Hughes created that regressive tax. Once more, Mr Banks took liberties with the reality. Mr Banks’ historical past is fraught with blunders on the expense of the Anguillian individuals. When Cap Jaluca was lastly bought, Mr Banks forgave the house owners a $17 million debt and was solely capable of recoup $13 million from the sale.

Mr Banks has allies in Governor Tim Foy and Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon. Governor Foy, who within the midst of a constitutional disaster refused to satisfy with the Honorable Opposition Chief Ms Webster and as an alternative left for the UK for a 3 week trip.

The opposition member Ms Pam Webster, recognizing what was happening needed to rally the troops utilizing swiftly referred to as press conferences broadcast on native Radio Kool FM and Klass FM to alert the individuals what was afoot by Mr Banks and his cronies.

My fellow Anguillians, these whom we’ve elected to characterize us have deserted the ship. As an alternative of searching for our greatest pursuits, they as an alternative look out for their very own. The time has come for all of us to current a individuals all on the identical web page to battle for that which is ours. Our chief minister and his cronies have to be stopped. He merely can’t have carte blanche to do no matter he pleases at our expense. Can we not keep in mind from whence we got here? What brief reminiscences we now have. Have we forgotten the arduous occasions? Have we forgotten that we have been a individuals left alone in the midst of nowhere to fend for ourselves?

True, in the course of the 80s and the early 90s we have been affluent, not due to any grand scheme put ahead by our leaders, we simply occurred to be in the appropriate place on the proper time, however just like the grasshopper, we failed to save lots of for that wet day. Our faculties are in disrepair, they lack correct rest room amenities, cafeterias and libraries. Academics are nonetheless utilizing the archaic curriculum and are failing to show our youngsters their historical past. John Kennedy stated: “Youngsters are probably the most useful useful resource and its greatest hope for the longer term.” If we don’t train and nurture them they’ll fall by the wayside. My fellow Anguillians, are you able to not see what is occurring to us? What the satan are we doing?

Mr Banks is utilizing the Anguillian type of gerrymandering to remain in energy however, sir, we’re watching you. You’ll be introduced earlier than the courtroom of public opinion and consider me, once they’ve had sufficient you’ve had it. We’re making you a promise; you gained’t get away with it. You persistently do no matter you need and with out a lot regard for the needs of the individuals. You probably did this with the 2 native banks, you signed a Banking Act that killed our two native banks and within the course of returned Anguilla again to the clutches of St Kitts. You could have signed over Anguillian land to an asset administration firm situated in Antigua, which can give them the facility to liquidate our nation. You might have relinquished our sovereignty to St Kitts. Did you not perceive what 1967 was all about?

If one didn’t know higher, one might simply surmise that this entire state of affairs was a plot to disenfranchise Anguillians. Anguillians are nonetheless struggling because the international disaster of 2008. Some individuals haven’t had a job since then. Inform me, sir, how are they purported to pay their mortgages? In your marketing campaign speeches, you informed the people who: “It’s all about you.” What did you imply by that? Frankly, it’s all about you, sir.

There’s nothing improper with Anguilla that a strong financial system couldn’t remedy. As an alternative of stacking the decks to ensure your political longevity, why aren’t you on the market making an attempt to jumpstart the financial system?

Mr Banks, I do know that you’re a scholar of historical past so you’ll glean what I’ve to say. You little question know what occurred in Bermuda some time again when the legislature went towards the needs of the individuals. You’ve gotten persistently executed that to us. You’ve got handled us as if we have been complete morons, however know this, what goes round comes round. Your day of atonement will come, and it’s hoped that will probably be sooner somewhat than later.

Anguilla, this land that we love is being slowly misplaced to us. Our authorities has and continues to behave in ways in which one may name treasonous, ways in which haven’t been conducive to our greatest pursuits. We would like no a part of the OECS, CARICOM and, most significantly, the ECCU. The place have been these organizations once we have been struggling and wanted assist? You’ll in all probability recall that when nearly all of these similar individuals have been siding with Robert Bradshaw, they have been admonished by Ronald Webster when he advised them to remain out of Anguilla’s enterprise to which that they had contributed nothing. Mr Webster’s admonition nonetheless resonates and it’ll do the remainder of the ECCU to heed his warning. Now they need to profit from our assets at our expense. We’ve as soon as once more develop into collateral injury?

We would like our banks again and we would like the cash illegally taken from each banks. We would like you and the member from East Finish to recuse yourselves from something having to do with the banks, provided that the member from East Finish was a member of the board and also you have been the minister of finance throughout which all the banking maladministration was occurring, to not point out that a relative of yours ran one of many banks. Do the each of you not see the battle of curiosity, or is it as a result of it’s Anguilla and we the individuals simply don’t know any higher?

There’s an previous saying that claims, when you end up in a gap, cease digging. You will have continued to dig, and your newest rip-off is as they are saying down south is a butte. You might have cherry picked these parts of constitutional reform that may profit your celebration and all with the blessings of Governor Tim Foy and Lord Ahmad, each of whom are liable for the great governance of Anguilla.

You at the moment are promoting residency by funding to whoever can fork up the cash, and never solely that, they’re going to be referred to as Anguillian? Victor, what the satan are you doing? You’re granting Anguillian citizenship to the grand youngsters of Anguillians who’ve by no means set foot on Anguilla, however with out screening them they will are available to vote for you merely since you handed a regulation that gave them Anguillian citizenship. Do you not see what’s mistaken right here?

Anguilla is not a democracy and it hasn’t been one for fairly a while now. It seems that democracy is in reality in exile Given the best way the Westminster system goes, what we’ve had has been an elective dictatorship which has since morphed right into a plutocracy or kleptocracy, take your decide. Of america, James Baldwin as soon as stated that: “On this nation, we’re menaced, intolerably menaced, by a scarcity of imaginative and prescient.” For the final 50 years we in Anguilla has been menaced, intolerably so, by a scarcity of imaginative and prescient. Each 5 years we play musical chairs with the federal government. Have we not discovered something?

Our second is now, for there has by no means been a time that scares the hell out of all of us like now. Our authorities has abdicated its obligation. These tasked with our nicely being sit idly by ready for us to self destruct in order that we revert to Crown Colony standing. We haven’t fared properly as an Abroad Territory and we positive as hell gained’t do any higher as a Crown Colony. It’s simply not within the playing cards.

Day after day, we watch with bated breath, the actions of our elected authorities and we marvel who the heck are they working for, certainly not us. We can’t proceed to only speak about resistance. It’s time for motion. We noticed what occurred once we opposed the Banking Invoice within the Home; the cops have been available with full riot gear, full with submachine weapons and assault canine.

In 1967 we merely demanded that the St Kitts police get on Clayton’s aircraft and depart. Do you truthfully assume that they’ll comply with our requests this time? Keep in mind, nearly all of our Royal Police Pressure is non-belongers who’re right here only for what they will get. Do you truthfully assume that they gained’t open hearth if given the order? If that occurs, Victor and his cronies had higher begin in search of new everlasting addresses, as a result of they may have Anguillian blood on their palms.

So, Mr Chief Minister, astute politician that you’re, assume lengthy and onerous about what the historical past books should say about you, and I promise it won’t be sort, and to these fellow cronies of yours, historical past won’t be sort to them both, for they have been your enablers, who rubber stamped every part that you simply needed to do and, sir, your boastful type in the home and your remedy of the opposition member who works with none type of a price range and your lack of cooperation; we’ll hold these round your neck like an albatross.

Anguillians we’d like a brand new plan of assault, one which’s properly coordinated, targeted and one which’s relentless. Each considered one of us should come collectively. There can’t be any factions, it’s all for one and one for all, to cite the “Three Musketeers.” As Henry Giroux says in his “American Nightmare.” We’d do properly to heed the phrases of the good abolitionist Frederick Douglass:

“It isn’t mild that’s wanted, however hearth; it isn’t the mild bathe, however thunder. We’d like the storm, the whirlwind, the earthquake. The sensation of the nation have to be quickened; the conscience of the nation have to be roused; the propriety of the nation have to be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation have to be uncovered; and the crimes towards God and man have to be proclaimed and denounced.”

The oppression, with which we’re being handled now, leaves us the indigenous Anguillians in a really tenuous place. Mr Banks thinks and has stated as a lot that we’re a headless physique and you recognize what meaning. He additionally stated that we should accept second class citizenship. So now that we all know how he actually feels about us, what can we anticipate? We’ve to stand up and problem Mr Banks on his actions. If we don’t we’d as nicely get on that aircraft heading for anyplace, simply not Anguilla, for there shall be nothing left to return residence to. We merely can’t afford one other 5 years of Mr Banks and firm. It’s time for a clear sweep of each the flotsam and jetsam that has gotten us to this place.

So in the long run, everybody from Thomas Jefferson to John Kennedy has stated, Democracy ceases to exist with out an knowledgeable citizenry, for being knowledgeable permits one to execute his or her civic obligation.

Henry Giroux ends his ebook “American Nightmare,” just by saying: “In the long run there isn’t a democracy with out knowledgeable residents, no justice with no language important of injustice and no change and not using a broad based mostly motion of collective resistance.”

And so, my fellow Anguillians, are you as much as the duty? Keep in mind the phrases of James Baldwin: “Individuals who shut their eyes to actuality merely invite their very own destruction, and anybody who insists on remaining in a state of innocence lengthy after that innocence is lifeless turns himself right into a monster.” And so, my fellow Anguillians, within the phrases of John F. Kennedy: “Ask not what your nation can do for you; ask what you are able to do on your nation.” What is going to you do on your nation?” That’s the query. Might God bless and maintain Anguilla.