More and more I am becoming aware of the fact that more people than I think agree with the observations that I make in my letters to you.
Not too long ago a lady saw me in a supermarket and said to me, “Mister Russell, you ever take time to analyze why the Dutchman doesn’t share?” My reaction was, “They don't share?” She continued, “I am surprised that you have never talked about ‘Going Dutch’ when writing in the paper.”
I was not sure where she was going with this so I told her that I do not write in the paper. I write letters to the Editor, knowing that it is the Editor’s prerogative to print them or not. Because I had something else to do, I excused myself, collected and paid for what I purchased and left.
As I drove to my next destination I thought of what the lady had said to me. Later on in the day I asked a faithful reader of my letters if he had any recollection of me writing anything accusing anyone of “Going Dutch” or using the term. He knows the phrase, but did not remember reading about it in any of my letters to you. He said to me, “That is not far-fetched, because it ties in with giving with both hands outstretched and I will get you one day.” Which reminded me of the passage in the bible: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35).
I will never be able to pinpoint and/or decide what was/is their agenda, but what I know is that our education system, which was among the best during my school days and shortly after, was altered in a way that what I was able to achieve with my MULO diploma at the age of 16 is more than those nowadays with a HAVO diploma. But I have always asked myself, what was their agenda when they changed one of the best educational systems in the Caribbean region and surroundings for the Mamoet wet, which up to now, after so many years, is still a confusion. Over the years when I would mention that during a conversation, my father would say, among other things, that brainwashing and indoctrination are among the most dangerous words in the dictionary.
Now this: I have not put my two cents into the formation of the new government, because I did not postulate myself and expect those who are elcted to do what is best for the country. My only problem with what I am seeing so far is that experience would tell me that integrity could not find its way into those discussions. I was reminded of the reasons why the Amsterdammetjes in the Frontstreet were removed and why the fire department building in Cannegieter Street was torn down, among other happenings from the past.
I have always stated that there is no official opposition in Parliament there are members who either vote for or against propositions.
I was about to close this letter when a lady who can know what is going on called me and asked me if I can please ask those people who are fighting for position to put St. Maarten first. It is primarily between the big vote-getters. I told her I will get back to her but in the meantime she should try to find out how that is regulated in the individual parties. What I know is that receiving more votes in a Parliamentary election does not determine your place in your party.
What I have noticed during the last elections (and as we know, we have had at least three times as many elections as any other kingdom partner since 10-10-’10) is that there is competition and backbiting within the individual parties. It is no secret in St. Maarten anymore, when it comes to people in high places in government, who is doing what. The newspaper can easily make a special archive of all who have been investigated, arrested, indicted, punished and condemned. And there are more to come. So when someone tells me that there is jockeying and fighting for position, I do not ask, “True?”, I ask, “Who?”
If I look, for instance, at the N A list, both Jacobs as well as Doran lost plenty votes. I am not sure what criteria could be used if there would be a dispute between those two who should be the party leader. As an outsider looking in, if I would look at the type of complaints directed at that party membership, I would think it would be wise to let sleeping dogs lie. Sometimes it is wise to avoid having to listen to what evil tongues say.
Russell A. Simmons