By Troy Prince (Concerned Vincentian)
“This saying wasn’t commonly used for several centuries until it received a boost in the civil rights and feminist movement in the United States in the 1960s. Since then, the use of the expression has grown considerably and now any group that is complaining about anything they want to stop is likely to say, chant or make into a banner ‘enough is enough” — Vi Brown.
Interestingly, “enough is enough” has been a hit song on the lips of majority of Vincentians over the last two decades. The use of the expression continues to be sang when relating to the perpetual economic hardships of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).
Today, “enough is enough” continues to be the road march title in SVG. This saying can be heard even more loudly given the premature end to the 2024 Budget Debate. Frighteningly, for most Vincentians, the most notable take aways from the budget debate are the projected increases in NIS contributions, drivers’ license, airport charges, to name a few.
Unsurprisingly, if Vincentians did not pay attention to anything else during the debate, these increases really caught their attention and have them singing even louder, “enough is enough”.
Shamefully, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and the ULP continue to fool the people of SVG into believing that they wholeheartedly/primarily possess charity and compassion for the poorest of Vincentians. Couple such a misleading nature with the recent budget presentation and it is evident that it is quite the opposite. Again, the richest thing the poorest of Vincentians took away from the budget debate are the constant increases in taxes that continue to be borne by the most vulnerable of Vincentians.
In the words of Bob Marley and the Wailers, “you can fool some people sometimes, but you can’t fool all the people all the time”. As powerful and truthful as this saying is, the hearts of the ULP parliamentarians continue to think otherwise, and they are right. Evidently, some Vincentians continue to be fooled all the time. These parliamentarians continue to think one thing, while their mouths and actions say another. Is “enough really enough”?
Fearfully, SVG, for majority of Vincentians home and abroad, is not the place they really want to reside given the current economic hardships. However, the most frightening thing about SVG are not only the people that are evil, but, also, the people who continue to not do anything. If we want to live in an SVG where the welfare of the citizens comes first in the minds of our leaders, then we have to stand up to the evil doers, especially if they happen to be elected officials.
However, our nation is very sheeplike, despite what others might think. The majority of Vincentians really want their country to work and prosper. I am sure that Vincentians in general are patriotic. We should not give up and be victims to the wolves we elect to Parliament. Unfortunately, we as average Vincentians (those of us not in Parliament, not wealthy, those of us just working to pay bills) would have to collectively and loudly demonstrate in some monumental ways in order to see changes or implement changes that we would want to see.
Too many Vincentians, since 2001, have allowed themselves to simply become sheep and continue to elect the wolves to control them. The sheep is an animal that lives life as a reaction to stimuli. They are programmed to survive, and seek gratification. Hungry, they eat. Thirsty, they drink. When threatened, they run. Everything about a sheep is highly predictable. They will also wildly follow another sheep without any understanding of the other sheep, or situational awareness. Sheep are victims of their own circumstances, which they feel powerless to change.
“Get up stand up, stand up for your rights, don’t give up the fight” — Bob Marley and the Wailers. Too many Vincentians have allowed themselves to be persuaded that only Ralph Gonsalves and the ULP are necessary for the salvation of SVG. If we want to live in a SVG that benefits all Vincentians we have to stand up to our leaders especially the elected leaders. It is quite shocking that people in SVG still believe anything the government feeds them. It is appalling that even the poorest of the poor continue to believe that the government of the day will save them and make their lives better after 20 plus years of suffering. Vincentians, you cannot continue to be “sheep”. As we look for role models Chatoyer has much to offer.
“Chatoyer has lessons to teach us today, that all is not lost and small size does not necessarily translate into subjugation” — Adrian Fraser. Chatoyer’s significance to SVG lies in the fact that he is still our only national hero and our father of independence. According to Adrian Fraser in his book “Chatoyer” (Chatawae), Chatoyer possessed the will, determination and strength that SVG needed in its fight against the enemies of his people.
In summary, the experiences on this very day in SVG can clearly be categorised to those of our national hero. Our modern-day challenges in SVG are different, but we will be able to stand up to them if we understand Chatoyer and become inspired by his spirit, determination and strength — Fraser.
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