Category: Island Talk Created on Saturday, 30 June 2012 08:28
I am not a Montserratian, but I hope Mr Editor, that you may kindly permit me some space in your media to share my views on what I see as the sad state of politics in this island that I have adopted as my home.
Recently there has been much political talk in the air and I have been carefully listening to ZJB Radio, reading MNI Alive, and taking in a few observations.
Mr Editor, permit me to ask a question of the Montserrat section of your readership; is the Premier of Montserrat suffering from hubris?
What is hubris some persons might ask. I have provided a definition:
hubris or hybris (ˈhjuːbrɪs) — n 1. pride or arrogance 2. (in Greek tragedy) an excess of ambition, pride, etc, ultimately causing the transgressor's ruin.
How many persons reading this have seen the movie 300? 300 is based on the story of the Persian invasion of Greece. The movie in itself is a story based on both fact and fiction, and shrouded in the usual flair of Greek mythology. The moot of the story itself immortalises the Spartan King Leonidas and his elite guard of 300 Spartan warriors, who held back the might of the Persian armies including their most fearful section, The Immortals.
I make mention of this movie, for the context of the movie itself, and not in any manner to uphold or refute its context as either fact or myth. But in the movie, the main antagonist the Persian King Xerxes becomes incandescent with rage when Leonidas mockingly refuses to bow to him. Xerxes launches into a tirade of threatening to wipe Greece from all memory. Leonidas’ calm response only fuelled the fire of what was to come.
In the scenes that immediately follow, Xerxes displays a critical character flaw; as indicated by the narrator in the film, this flaw was hubris.
Xerxes was so caught up in his self-affirmation as a god-king, that he was absolutely beside himself with the notion that any lesser being, as he considered Leonidas, would dare defy him. This leads Xerxes to throw his best, including Persia’s most fearful unit, The Immortals, at the 300 Spartans, but to be beaten back again and again. It was only betrayal that eventually leads to the Spartan’s subsequent defeat. As the movie depicted, this even galvanized ten thousand Spartan warriors to lead an additional thirty thousand Greek soldiers to face the Persian armies.
Premier Reuben Meade somehow reminds me of the Xerxes depicted in the 300 movie. Premier Meade seems to me to have an extremely distorted sense of self-confidence, he does appear to suffer from extreme pride and his arrogance knows no apparent bounds. Hubris.
I sometimes wonder if this attitude of Premier Meade hides something more disturbing and lacking in the man himself, besides the obvious of course, that he is a consummate control freak and he absolutely hates being challenged. Even more disturbing is that the Honourable Jermaine Wade, a mere hatchling, considered just coming out from his egg with the shell still over his head, seems to have impressed himself upon his Premier, not unlike what new hatchlings do, and follows him proverbially. One cannot help but wonder if the Honourable Wade considers himself the Premier’s protégé as he exudes the full array of the Premier’s attitude, including hubris.
When the Honourable Romeo tabled the motion for no confidence, many people here laughed. Some said “Surely he does not expect for it to pass in the Legislative Assembly with the government in majority”. But many people simply missed the point. The point of the notion was to bring the matter to the house for debate. This was not about Montserrat’s ability to become independent or not. It was about Premier Meade’s autocratic dictatorship type leadership and his lack of accountability to his government and more so to the people of Montserrat.
And whereas Premier Meade successfully highjacked the proceedings and made it out to be an argument about independence, and whereas his government ministers and one from the opposition fell in line behind him in larkish fashion, the Honourable Romeo’s loss damned the Premier in showing him up as one who would stop at nothing to both cling to the power he now possesses and to give no accountability for his actions. And the other members who voted for confidence in Reuben’s leadership demonstrated their own myopathy and the notion that they would “mortgage” their consciences to bask in the trapping of royalty.
Premier Meade’s cabinet and the one opposition member who voted in his leadership have played in the Honourable Romeo’s hand and damned themselves along with Premier Meade. The Honourable Romeo’s supposed loss will come back to haunt those whom we hope still have a vestige of self-respect left.
Of the 9 elected members of legislative council, only the Honourable Romeo and the Honourable Lewis have acted with any dignity. Like the 300 Spartan warriors, they have dared to stand up to Xerxes Meade, his protégé, his Persian cabinet, and the one traitor. Whereas the 300 Spartan warriors were killed, Romeo and Lewis are still very much alive; as alive and well as Premier Meade’s hubris.
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