A most galling affront to Nevis and Nevisians

The Editor:

In your February 10, 2006 edition, Ursula Huggins-Whitney wrote a Letter to the Editor “About Paranoia.” Her letter is highly objectionable.

She began with, “I am troubled by the recent example of ordinary individuals being afraid to express their political opinion of local politics in public. This seems to recall the days of Prime Minister Bradshaw when any person could be imprisoned on virtually any charge.” Besides the “imprisoned” statement, she got things even more wrong by calling Premier Bradshaw “Prime Minister”.

She then stated, “I recently hosted a fundraising event for the NRP and was surprised that . . . both long-term residents who are not citizens as well as Nevisians were concerned about publicly coming forward to say what they believe.” I am not sure why it would have been necessary for them to “say what they believe”, which is the same as criticizing the government in this instance, for them to give money. If they are going to give, they will give, be it in cash or by check. Conversely, if they didn’t give, they didn’t want to. So what’s really her complaint? It was nothing more than she wanted them to openly criticize the government and they did not.

The follow-up to that should be thus: why would non-citizens who obviously cannot vote in Nevis want to be so assertive, so vocal, in trying to get rid of one government in favor of another? Why is she trying to get them to influence the outcome of any election in Nevis?

Nevis is obviously a small island where, at times, it may take only a few persons to influence the outcome of an election. So how much money would be raised from these non-citizens in the attempt to influence the outcome of an election in Nevis where they cannot vote? Of course they will not try to replace one government if they did not think the alternative will be more favorable to them, and I wonder if that would not work to the detriment of Nevisians on a whole.

She also said, “Some long-term non-citizen residents believe that they could be expelled from Nevis and be forced to sell the homes if they were know to support an alternative to the current administration.” I’ve already questioned why these non-citizens would want to be so open, so vocal and free with their money in supporting an “alternative to the current administration” that was elected by Nevisians. But it would have been helpful if Ursula Huggins-Whitney had given us some examples where non-citizens in Nevis were expelled by the current administration in Nevis. It would have been helpful had she told us how they are being disadvantaged. Absent that, it only means they would want an alternative because that alternative will prove to be more advantageous to them. It’s a search for favoritism by these non-citizen residents and that would be against the best interests of Nevisians.

By the way, did these non-citizen residents tell her that Premier Bradshaw was a Prime Minister and imprisoned anyone at will?

She further said, “Citizens are concerned that they would face retaliation from the administration – either in jobs or other government agencies and services.” Ursula Huggins-Whitney needs be reminded that the political party in power in her country (Germany?) as with the United States, Britain, France and other countries put people who are supportive of them in positions in their governments, with few exceptions. That is standard operation. I wonder if she has cried out against that in Germany. She is the one who said, “perhaps I could have helped and encouraged others to make a difference [in Germany].” Well, here is her opportunity now that she’s “older and of age to protest.”

Moreover, that there are citizens in positions in the government in Nevis who hold views that differ from the administration is a healthy thing. It does not necessarily mean they have to publicly advertise their disagreements. They certainly have made their disagreements known in private, and they have the power of their vote to further register their disagreements if they are not satisfied that their disagreements are being heard by the appropriate persons. So there would be no need for a public display except to satisfy Ursula Huggins-Whitney’s thirst for it.

I now get to that part about Nazi Germany, which is the most galling affront by Ursula Huggins-Whitney on Nevisians and Nevis. She said, “I do not wish to push the following analogy, but I believe if I had been older and of age to protest when the Nazis came to power, perhaps I could have helped and encouraged others to make a difference.”

Interestingly enough, she said she “did not wish to push the analogy” but went ahead and did exactly that. She would have been better off trying to “catch air with a fishnet”. We would have understood and be more forgiving and we would have reminded her what fishnets are for. But the Nazi analogy is an impossible one to justify. Maybe we should remind her after all that fishnets are not for catching air nor water, for that matter.

There is no way on God’s earth that the Nazis should be mentioned in the same book much less the same sentence as Nevis in any kind of comparison. There is no Nevisian who can be compared to a Nazi. The government in Nevis cannot in any way be compared to a group who slaughtered Black people and Jews and started World War II where millions were killed. Nazi-ism grew from a mentality and philosophy that a particular race, the Aryan, was the “master race” — an obnoxious view of themselves.

And, when she said with her self-righteous poppycock “but I believe if I had been older and of age to protest when the Nazis came to power, perhaps I could have helped and encouraged others to make a difference,” well, she is “older and of age to protest.” Someone should kindly tell her that there are still Nazis in Germany who hate black people and jews. She can easily raise her voice and make a difference in Germany. Let her know that people are being killed in many parts of this world for no other reason than the complexion of their skin, their religion and their ethnicity. If Ursula Huggins-Whitney wants to demonstrate how to “make a difference” by her “protest”, there are plenty opportunities for her to do so, but not in Nevis. There is no comparison.

This fundraiser that Ursula Huggins-Whitney hosted could not have been done without the prior knowledge and support of the NRP. Who is she giving the money to? She obviously is trying to drum up support for the NRP. And I have my doubts that her letter would have been written without the prior knowledge of some in the NRP’s hierarchy.

Well, they certainly know about the letter by now. If her letter is the sort of bottom of the barrel, poppycock support the NRP needs in an attempt to win the election, then they are in dire straights, for this is scraping the bottom of the barrel and tossing the dregs on Nevisians and Nevis.

Neither party in Nevis should tolerate this sort of thing. However, the letter was written in support of the NRP. They must soundly condemn it. If they do not, then they demonstrate the lack of moral fiber to ask the people of Nevis for their support. If they do not, they cannot in any way claim any moral high ground, for there is nothing lower than what Ursula Huggins-Whitney has penned in making the comparison of a government in Nevis to the Nazis.

The upcoming election must be about what is best for Nevisians. The letter written by Ursula Huggins-Whitney is far from that and is highly objectionable.

Carl B. Nisbett