Brantley: What Will Define The People Of SKN In 2015? by LK Hewlett
Coming off an undisputedly tumultuous 2014, the people of St. Kitts-Nevis are being asked, “What will prove to be our actions or omissions which will define us in 2015?” The question is being asked by Opposition Leader in the Federal parliament, Nevis Deputy Premier Hon. Mark Brantley in his New Year’s Day speech. “My question to you and challenge to us all is what words and what actions will this new chapter employ? What will be the language of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and the collective will of its people this New Year?” As the general elections fast approaches, Brantley says an opportunity is being presented depart from partisan politics. “I have decided that in this the first chapter of the book called ‘Opportunity for our little country’, the cry ought not to be one of partisan politics. It ought not to be one of further divisiveness, polarization and denigration. Our first chapter for this dawn of a New Year should be made of sterner stuff. We should seek so far as mere words will allow to exhort our people to aspire to manifest the greatness that lies within them,” he urged. Brantley last week chaired a symbolic ceremony where members of the tri-party Team Unity signed the Charlestown Accord outlining how the multi-party government would collaborate with the Nevis government for better relations. He continued to promote unity among the people of the federation, encouraging the populace to rekindle the ability to work together for the greater good of not some, but all of the people. “Let us learn once again the fundamental Kittivisian tradition of loving our neighbours and caring for them as we care for ourselves. Let us pledge ourselves to fighting together the scourge of crime and criminality that continues to bedevil our country. Let us renew today our pledge to love and care for each other, to raise each other up, to help the sick, the elderly and the infirm, to assist the poor and the needy, to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to shelter the homeless,” he said. The Deputy Premier was equally adamant that the people defend their democracy and constitutional rights. “Let us rekindle our respect for our Constitution and the high offices enshrined therein. Our citizenry must respect high constitutional offices just as those who temporarily hold such offices must respect their office and the citizenry they serve. Our rights and benefits in this our land flow not from societal position or family bloodline or political connections but from our citizenship. None of us should be denied his or her birth right in these lands called St. Kitts and Nevis. “Let us accept that the fundamental rights and freedoms of our people must be respected and that we, you and I, respect the rights and freedoms of others. Our people must be able to participate in their democracy without fear and without intimidation. We must be willing to shout at the top of our voices that which we fervently believe whilst defending our brother’s right to shout at the top of his voice that which we categorically reject. Let us defend our democracy at all times even as its enemies encamp at our Nation’s gates.” Moving forward into the New Year, he said, the people should strive valiantly to shut out the steady diet of negativity and look forward to this new chapter for the Nation with abiding hope and assurance.