Is everything wrong in Dominica?
Since January 2000, when Dominicans physically catapulted the UWP out of office after a mere 4 ½ years in government, everything seems to be wrong with Dominica these days. There is nothing good that has happened or is happening in Dominica, so they say. According to those who see only evil on Dominica, this is the worst time in the history of Dominica.
Suddenly every institution in Dominica has been “corrupted” by one young man. Every organ of State to include the Presidency, Public Service, Parliament, Police Service, Auditor General, High Court, Office of the DPP, the IPO, Electoral Commission, Cabinet Secretariat, the Board of National Bank, fiscal planners and economists in the government service, observers of economic matters in Dominica (such as the ECCB, the IMF) and the vast majority of the NGO community including the church (protestants and Catholics) are all corrupted at worst and at best have warped minds, inept, devoid of any moral fibre, bereft of any intelligence and unable to think for themselves. According to the possessors of all moral attributes, Mr. Skerrit’s supporters and well wishers succor i.e. they go begging (hand in glove) to Mr. Skerrit for small personal favors befitting the lowest of human attributes. They are unable to participate in an informed and educated manner on the talk-shows.
Those who dare to call to disagree are regarded and treated as the scum of the earth “singing for their supper” and the mute button is engaged, to be followed by a serious tongue reprimand. The notable exceptions are the WEF, DFP, MRD, representatives of the People’s Parliament, callers to Q95, and the recently resurrected ‘Citizens Forum for Good Governance”. Outside that narrow group of political acrobats and one-sided social and political commentators, every other human being and every other institution apart from the UWP is corrupt and fit, as it were, for the “Labass” heap of immoral and corrupt creatures. There can be no other plausible or common sense explanation when one listens to the many utterances and media protestations of the new breed of journalists who practice their craft as crass UWP supporters. It’s always a one-sided analysis of the many social issues in our country. Every commentary has to start and end with Mr. Skerrit, either personally as a result of something somebody in government (policy maker or technician) did or failed to do.
With the exception of the few institutions listed above, led of course by stalwart mouth-pieces of the UWP, they see corruption in every aspect of Dominican life. By their public appearances and enunciations, the only two areas in Dominica that are not associated with Mr. Skerrit’s corrupt Dominica are Salisbury and Marigot. The voters list in these constituencies have been purged, the identity of voters is not and has never been an issue at election time whether general elections or bye-elections, bribery of voters does not exist and they are able to get their message out – DBS Radio or no DBS radio. Not even Roseau Central, which is a UWP stronghold, if you believe Mr. Prevost, has escaped the scrutiny of the holders of the highest level of morality. They speak about the message that the people of Salisbury and Marigot has sent to the rest of Dominica.
It would seem that the only individuals in Dominica who can face the acid test of human qualities for honesty, integrity, intelligence, independence of thought and spirit, forwarding thinking are those who support the principles and policies of the UWP especially when fronting in the media and those who unhesitatingly accept without question everything that is uttered by Dominica’s most prominent media based politician, fronting as a veteran journalist. Judging from what that has been happening on the talk-shows, it does not seem that way. One gets the impression that everything the UWP says, or everything their spokesman expertly and intelligently elaborates on behalf of the UWP is the gospel truth, an uncontroverted fact deserving conviction on the slimmest of evidence and or conjecture. Once it is said on “cue”, then it is absolutely true and the guilty party deserving of jail.
One particular media practitioner has been hiding behind the cloak of journalism in his attempts to bring to naught all that Dominica is proud of. Does a journalist see issues of national development only in the negative? Doesn’t he/she have a responsibility to report on every development – good or bad? Can we stand and beat our chest and say with any form of conviction that the government of Prime Minister Skerrit has not done anything good for Dominica? Is it fair to apportion all evil and wrongdoing to one person/institution even when it is clear that there are many others who can be equally criticized?
A journalist sees both sides of the coin. A journalist ought not to take political sides in the practice of his trade, unless of course he first discloses so. His partiality has to be in the corner of truth – all the time and every time, without fail. Does not matter who is involved. Judging from Q 95’s daily talk shows and media interaction, is there any reader who can say with any degree of certainty or clarity of conscience that in the last five years, that those journalists, veteran or amateur, have by their own investigations reported on any issue that would paint a negative picture of the UWP? Is there any reader who can say that in the last five years that same veteran journalist has reported on any development program or agenda that would seem to lend some kudos to the Labour Party government led by Roosevelt Skerrit?
Finally, it has to be categorically stated that any journalist by virtue of their Dominican citizenship, has the sacred, constitutionally guaranteed right to freely associate and to freely share his/her views and opinions without restrictions. That is their God-given right as citizens and free men of conscience. In the practice of journalism however, that personal freedom is somehow brought to an objective check in that the practitioner of journalism, even though a citizen of the country with constitutionally guaranteed rights, in the discharge of his functions as a journalist, has a great responsibility to inform on both sides of the issue – good or bad. It ought not to matter whether Mr. Skerrit comes out good or bad in an investigative piece. But it cannot be that Mr. Skerrit is always wrong and that the UWP is like the newly ordained “Altar Boy”, have never experienced political power and has never practiced a brand of political genocide of opposition supporters. Simply put, everything cannot be wrong in Dominica simply because Mr. Skerrit is the Prime Minister – not by any stretch of the imagination. If that is so, then the vast majority of the Dominican public who supported Mr. Skerrit with 62% of the popular vote in the last general elections are all wrong, – says who?