Is it a commentary on our politics that, on Independence Day, a denizen of the letters’ pages suggested we should revisit the “West Indian Federation” idea?? Maybe it was all that blood rushing to the heads of our citizenry when those eight Caricom Prime Ministers came down to revel in our Agri Investment Forum and Expo?? All those MOUs signed for cooperation in every area of economic activity they could think of – and certainly not limited to agriculture??
But your Eyewitness is old enough to know (from bitter experience!) that these sorta decisions shouldn’t be made when you’re very angry or very happy. Or feeling ANY strong emotion, for that matter. Just like with marriage, you gotta decide on hitching-up matters in the cold light of realism. And unless your religion permits polygamy, marriage is only between two individuals, while the Federation was ten and is now fifteen. That’s fifteen times the challenge!!
So, the first thing is: are federations the way to go nowadays?? Don’t forget that the British foisted the WI Federation on us as a way to keep us tied to their coattails, without having the responsibility for our needs. It didn’t take but 4 years for Jamaica and TT to jump ship. Whatever they might’ve said publicly, their rationale was they didn’t want to take responsibility for the “little eight” islands!! Has anything changed since? The second thing came out of the first: will the leaders be willing to give up their “power” to a Federal Structure?? Let’s not forget that most of these leaders have proven to be Little Caesars who just love strutting on the world stage as “World Leaders”!! Once they’ve experienced those 18-gun salutes, can you keep them down in the second-tier seats??
If we couldn’t get the CSME going – which was just a Caricom Single Market and Economy – after 29 years, what’s so different now? Cause we got oil?? Well, Trinidad had oil for 100 years!! Including when they broke away from the Federation!! Money doesn’t make persons – or countries – more altruistic, just more arrogant! Then there’s the practical question of biting off just what we can chew – so that we don’t choke and asphyxiate ourselves.
“Do we bring in Haiti into the Federation?” Sure, they were the first slave society to defeat a colonial power and gain independence and all that. But can we really deal with their challenges – especially when their population far exceeds the rest of all Caricom combined??
Anyhow, your Eyewitness hopes that you, dear readers, would give the matter some thought on this Independence Day. Shouldn’t we see how this “Agri” thing would work out – so we don’t take an albatross around our neck??
…on mass killings
Like all of you, dear readers, your Eyewitness is absolutely horrified at that shooting by another 18-year-old; this time, of 19 schoolchildren and two teachers in Texas. What the heck is the world coming to today? Just the other day, there was that race-hate killing spree in Buffalo NY that left 10 Blacks dead. What was the reason this time? Both the killers and the killed appeared to be Hispanic. The kid first shot his grandmother before his killing spree…so maybe his reason was personal?
But your Eyewitness also wondered why he didn’t feel the same outrage when he’d read about Russia bombing sites in Ukraine, where, for sure, hundreds of schoolchildren had been killed. Same as when the US carpet-bombed Iraq or Afghanistan etc. Could be the reporting of the individual killings, placing faces and stories on the dead that we can relate to, rather than anonymous statistics?But it all doesn’t matter to those who’re killed, does it?
…on constitutional choices
So’s to give the Opposition an input into governance matters, our Constitution requires the President to consult with the Opposition Leader on certain constitutional appointments.But what happens when the Opposition use that shield as a sword to cripple governance?