IN fact I have been so accused many times but I am not disheartened. It’s what artistes are made of. A study of many of the world’s geniuses would reveal similar traits.
On Tuesday night at the Laureate’s Chair organized by the Saint Lucia Writers Forum, the featured writer was Mr. McDonald Dixon, who worked for years with government and is a respected artist. He lamented that he does not fathom the designation of a Ministry of Culture. In fact, he is of the thinking that we should not have one at all.
He takes the idea beyond my proposing the establishment of a Ministry of Arts and recounts that for decades upon decades, administration after administration, government has been served with several position papers geared toward the full assimilation of the arts and artistes into Saint Lucian life that would cause a rebirth of sorts. Reminds me of Sir Derek Walcott’s “A City’s Death by fire”. Our time of renaissance must come. But it will not come from administrations who are tone-deaf to the arts, who really are living carcasses, whose burial should have been long announced and whose intenment should have been a forgotten history.
I do not know in how many ways to say it but the system (governmental) is not working. Change is coming, they say, but unless art is a medium of change, it’s not going to happen. Our people have lost their soul because the Arts are relegated to nothing. The department of Creative Arts is no more and the people who lead us really think that what we need is another KFC franchise. They do not breathe an air of what our celebrated Nobel Laureate has said: “A society without the arts is a cultural desert”. They do not know what that means and they will not understand why I stand outside of KFC and offer food for the soul. They are clueless.
Last week, I heard Mr. Earl Huntley presenting papers on constitutional reform in what he presents as a tripartite agreement, somewhat bringing peace between what the people want, what the political directorate want and what the constitutional reform commissioners wanted. But really and truly the ideas are not news. I have been writing about this for years, myself and others like Oliver Simpson and Amatus Edward come to mind and only after his death I have come to learn that Mr. Hunter J. Francois was of similar thinking. I guess I am the small fry and so if the luminary Earl Huntley can shed some light on this and it will ignite a fire, so be it. As a people, however, we have to be able to assess the message and not vilify the messenger. For those who have followed my writing, they would have seen a synopsis of the independent model of governance which I have proposed as follows:
1. that all candidates in a general election run on an independent ticket.
2. that no parliamentary representative should be made a Minister of government.
3. that all ministers be appointed from the public service.
4. that the parliamentary representative become the head of local government in his or her constituency, attending to the needs of that constituency.
5. that there be a mechanism for recalling members of parliament before the end of their term of office, should the constituents be dissatisfied with their representation.
6. that the Prime Minister be elected. He or she is voted for by the entire nation and he or she is not a parliamentary representative.
7. That the upper house or what is called the Senate is done away with and replaced by a Council of Ministers.
8. That consideration be given to the appointment of a President instead of a Governor General.
Follow my campaign on facebook.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kensley-Peter-Charlemagne-Change-We-Must. This mad man is signing out till next week.