Junior Minister Jackass
Dignified silence. I learned at last to keep a dignified silence. Remember when Walter Shandy is looking for a tutor for young Tristram and he says he wants a man who "will not point at offal." When I say I have maintained a dignified silence, I just mean I haven't talked about it here in these pages. Some of you know the story about the man who is now Junior Minister for Research in Nevis (he was Junior Minister for Crafts a while back but has apparently upgraded himself). And when I was in Nevis I certainly didn't keep quiet. After I left Nevis I wrote here about other things that happened there but always left this alone, out of consideration for the other, truly decent people that he was working with, and out of that dignified silence.
But I lost it yesterday. Yesterday I learned a bit of news, and people, the full heart spoke. Well, the full heart laughed its head off actually.
Charlestown, Nevis: Seemingly enraged by what the Junior Minister for Research, Hon. Dwight Cozier, said during his address to Parliament in the 2008 Budget hearing, the leader of Opposition, Hon. Vance Amory, called the Junior Minister a ‘jack ass.’
Hon. Vance Amory said his reaction was as a result of a “tissue of lies” being told by the Hon. Dwight Cozier.
Hon. Cozier demanded an apology and threatened to walk out of the August House should Hon. Amory not apologise.
“If he (Hon. Amory) is allowed to stay (in the House of Assembly), I will leave,” Hon. Dwight Cozier stated.
“I looked at Honourable member and called him a ‘jack ass.’ I do believe he is,” Hon. Vance Amory was reported to have said.
Mr. Amory, who is also the leader of the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) and a former Premier, said he would not apologize but Cozier lobbied to the President of the House of Assembly to get an apology from Mr. Amory
This may seem trivial to you, but while I was living in St. Kitts a man was fined EC$600 for calling an off-duty policeman a donkey. There, at least, people can take these things seriously.
What makes this even worse is that Cozier takes himself fearfully seriously, in a sort of primitive way. I mean, even Mr. Pecksniff practiced a certain amount of self-effacing, urbane wit. When Cozier feels his dignity affronted (by disagreement, lack of sufficient deference, by being caught shamelessly lying), the blood rushes into his eyes. He has no Kung Fu -- not even bad Kung Fu. So basically, of all the people in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, this is the man whose utter inability to deal with it, whose utter lack of wit, candor, and presence of mind ensure that he will feel the sting of it worse than anybody. And Vance Amory knew exactly what he was doing. The St. Kitts list people have been talking about nothing else since it broke in the list yesterday. They're absolutely feasting on it. This is the sort of thing calypsos get written about. Is it too much to hope...?