If Mary Street could talk
As unbelievable as it may seem, I suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after many battles in the Legislative Assembly with persons on the opposite side of the issues I was championing.
I assume that many elected representatives past and present have suffered similar levels of stress and depression while and after fighting for their political perspectives. This may explain why we have all with perhaps the exception of Mr. Truman Bodden and Mr. John Mclean Sr. developed pregnant looking tummies. I remembered that when debates got too repetitive or aggressive some members simply got up from their seats and went to the common room to find something else to eat.
I am a Libran thus constant and protracted political rhetoric and bickering was not always compatible with my needed diet of fair-mindedness and value measuring. Perhaps this is one reason why I did not make a very good politician because in Caymanian politics, character assassination, bullying and deceitfulness have been the characteristics for success while a forgiving and repenting nature is always a sign of weakness and a lack of faith in the doctrine of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
During most of my youth I operated as a political activist but in my more matured years I managed to become a seated political leader. I achieved what good I might have accomplished as an Independent member of the Legislature where I fought for one idea after another without fear or favour. This could be one of the reasons that the only two elections I won, I won standing alone as the people’s candidate in George Town. And I was not easily courted and separated from that position. It took the betrayal at the infamous turtle meat dinner in Northward in November 200 and then someone discovering that mean streak which lies within all of us, to cause me to abandon by independent political values and take-up fighting for the politics of Mr. William McKeeva Bush.
In retrospect I might as well have thrown myself to the lions since the first thing the West Bay political elite demanded from me was my resignation from the presidency of the National Alliance of Caymanian Employees, the first and only labour union in our history. This was like Samson allowing Delilah to get him into bed just long enough to cut off his locks. Thus some have said that I should never have let my love and admiration for Mr. Bush’s striking social interventions on behalf of the poor, fool me into believing I could do more working along with him, than trying to make progress on my own one painful step at a time.
As I continue to see things unravel in his political party and our entire society falling apart and turning against itself, I feel I could have done more for democracy and our working people if I had remained fighting for democracy and social justice on the streets and in the workplaces of these Islands. But although I have for some time now been reduced once again to the position of simply commenting on the character and performance of our present socio-economic and political systems, I accept my role; although it still gives me no great pleasure having to expose myself in the public eye as I did in the trenches of the Legislature.
I guess it can be said that those that have lived or live in glass houses should be careful where they throw stones but I must; even if afterwards I suffer from some undefined anxiety. I must continue to question the actions of all the members of the Legislature even if my own actions are still to be examined and questioned.
In conclusion, because of the latest revelations that Tom Jones was given an extravagant $12 million mobilisation payment by the PPM government and therefore the Honourable leader of the opposition Alden McLaughlin, who was then the former Minister of Education, I must ask him publicly if he does not yet think that if he had gifted that mass amount of money to a local company that they could also have purchased the necessary human and mechanical resources to have completed any physical project this side of heaven.
Mr. McLaughlin should tell the people who the local partners of Tom Jones are and if he would have given Tom Jones the contract to build the schools and $12 million in one mobilisation payment without their influence and encouragement. Lastly, why has his action, which cost us the people millions of dollars for work unfinished not been viewed suspiciously, or investigated as an abuse of office. Why have his actions not led to his being unelected, or his character dragged through the hog pen to the point where he becomes a target for the police and local thugs? Certainly, my ministry’s spending on affordable houses did not reach the $12 million he paid in mobilisation fees and poor people had a place to live directly after Hurricane Ivan and developed reusable land is still in existence. But he will not answer me so all I can say is what was said in America years ago: if you white it alright, if you brown stick around but if you black stay back.