A Ray of Hope! Trott Talk by Amba Trott

My dissatisfaction with and opposition to the Denzil Douglas led Labour Government has been expressed many times in my commentaries, especially in recent months. This may have given some readers the false impression that the opposition entity known as Team Unity had my full and unequivocal support. Up to now, this has never been the case. Underscoring this are the closing words of my article published Sept. 6th 2013 titled WHO’S CELEBRATING INDEPENDENCE? “While I am hopeful that the current ruling Labour Party will be defeated in the next Federal Election, I am also hoping that as soon as possible the current Nevis Island Administration takes the necessary steps to again allow Nevis to seek its own independence. I think that is something most Nevisians would have no trouble celebrating!”But it is what I said earlier in the article that is most revealing; “My fear about a Unity Government is based on the way Nevis has constantly been treated with abject disdain under every arrangement made thus far. A perfect example can be found in a book published by Hon. Timothy Harris in September 2008 titled ST. KITTS AND NEVIS – PORTRAIT OF A NATION – CELEBRATING 25 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE. I’ve scoured the book many times from cover to cover, but it’s hard to see how Nevis fits into the picture. In my opinion, this book is a cruel mockery of what supposedly makes St. Kitts and Nevis a proud and independent addition to the World Community of Nations. A stunningly accurate portrayal of the actual relationship between St Kitts and Nevis, it unintentionally provides glaring evidence of why many Nevisians have been unhappy within the Federal set-up and would prefer Nevis to become a completely independent country. In the Hon. Timothy Harris’ book, Nevisians are marginalised in every conceivable way. For instance, in the acknowledgements at the beginning of the book, the author states, “Without the assistance and support of many, this publication would not have been brought to fruition.”He then goes on to list a number of persons and the areas in which they assisted in the undertaking. Unless I am badly mistaken, not one of them was a Nevisian or even a resident of Nevis. It leaves the sad impression that no Nevisian input was sought or deemed to be necessary, or of any value whatsoever to the project. The inference might seem to be that Nevis’ status in our Federation is of little consequence. I find such an omission inexplicable, inexcusable and unacceptable. I feel this is an unpardonable affront to the dignity and aspirations of all Nevisians. Surely in any book purporting to be about St. Kitts and Nevis, evidence of Nevisians ought to be reasonably proportional. Harris fails miserably on that score. Has his mind-set changed since then?”The answer to that question may have been answered in an address Hon. Timothy Harris gave last week during Parliament on December 10th, in which he stated, “Nevis is a part of our Federation. I am the son of a Nevisian father born Godfrey Nisbette in Cotton Ground, Nevis and the son of a Kittitian mother, Margaret Harris. I love Nevis and I love St. Kitts. Those who love build.””My love for Nevis, enjoins me to work hard for Nevis and Nevisians. I pledge to give Nevis its best years in a Federal Government because IT’s TIME. The Nevisians who listened to yesterday’s Parliament may have every right to say Nevis did not feature much. Nevis is an afterthought, an add on for a Police Station, an arena for narrow political agenda of an outgoing regime. IT’s TIME for Nevis not to be an afterthought.”Hon. Timothy Harris also specified that a Federal Government of Team Unity would work cooperatively with the Nevis Island Administration, support the Geothermal Project, share SIDF resources equitably, and also as a goodwill measure, provide a lump sum to address the unfairness of the past in this regard. There was more in the address that I believe indicates a vast change from the mind-set that produced such a one-sided portrait of our two island nation eight years ago. I still think he ought to apologize to the people of Nevis for that faux-pas. But at least I do honestly believe that in the address by Timothy Harris in the Parliament last Wednesday, I can see a bright ray of hope. But in the Budget Address by our questionable Prime Minister, I see nothing of the kind. In fact after nineteen years under the leadership of Hon. Denzil Douglas, two of which are tainted by his disgraceful disdain of a Motion of No Confidence, I wouldn’t even trust a glimmer if there was one! ADDENDUM: The event advertised last week in the Leewards Times’ four page fold-over cover is obviously a sign of what to expect from the Labour/NRP team during the upcoming Election Campaign. Perhaps that was just the opening salvo. Big spending on big events to razzle-dazzle the electorate and numb the sensibilities. I feel pretty sure that I-OCTANE + COPPERSHOT don’t perform for free. From whence comes the funding for this expensive high-powered event – the PEP, or SIDF maybe? Is that the true meaning of the motto “CONTRACT for PROGRESS?”Also, it may be just my peculiar way of looking at things but I feel that the manner in which the likeness of the SKN flag was displayed was outrageous. In my opinion, using the primary symbol of our nationhood as a backdrop for advertising dancehall artistes and partisan political slogans is just as reckless and potentially harmful as avoiding Motions of No Confidence and selling our passports to nationals of countries under international sanctions. But that just seems typical of the direction the current LABOUR/NRP Federal Administration has chosen. That “ray of hope”in Team Unity seems even brighter now!