A Heather Cole Column – Beyond the Boundary
Cricket! Glorious cricket! CLR James wrote a book entitled ‘Beyond a Boundary in 1966.’ It was a book that describes cricket as the mirror image of what happened in West Indian Societies. So much so that it is the best medium for explaining anything that happens in our lives across the wide spectrum from politics to even instilling fear. The book was about politics explained through cricket.
A present we have a situation where Fruendel Stuart the Prime Minister of Barbados has decided to go beyond the boundary of the Parliamentary 5 year term and is refusing to call an election as is customary. As many other have called it Parliament has closed and Mr. Stuart and his merry men are still loitering on its steps.
Picture it, the last ball has already been bowled on the last day of a test match at Kensington Oval. The opposing team has left the field, so too have the umpires, the grounds men have taken up the wickets, the fans have left Kensington but a man is still at the wicket demanding to bat. His team members have gathered.
But truth be told there was nothing that this batsman did prior to close of play that was spectacular. There were no sixes or no fours. One did not hear Andrew Mason as he almost gave someone a heart attack say “straight through the covers! 4 runs!’ Or, ‘a mighty shot, clears the boundary, into the stands! 6 runs and the whole of Kensington erupts.’ There was none of that from him or any other member of the team.
As the crowd left Kensington one could clearly see disappointment etched on their faces. It was the kind of performance that one wants to quickly forget and bury in some box. The few that are willing to talk are upset because that batman refused to leave. There is no joyous celebration in the air and others try to understand what happened at Kensington today, trying to be consoled by believing that the batsman did not understand the game. Yet others are too upset saying they wasted their money and could have stayed home. The complacent say his stats were never good anyway. Yet others shake their head in disbelief. The batting conditions were perfect, nothing was wrong with the pitch and there was no rain to make the outfield wet; yet the entire team failed to perform. It was a dismal and embarrassing performance.
The commentators were left trying to explain the phenomenon. Truth be told, none of us understand this, it is perplexing to our psyche, outside of our narrative. All we know is the tale of the errant school boy, who when he got caught or bowled pulled up his stumps or took his ball and went home effectively ending play.
There must be a reason why Fruendel has decided to stay beyond the boundary of a close of play. Is it because of the length of time that it takes to convey land? I am referring to Clico’s lands and one must note that the judicial manger has not made public an audited list of the lands of that company. I am of the opinion that it is illegal after the close of parliament to create new laws, disperse funds from the public purse and share out government contract or conduct any business on the behalf of the government except in the case of an emergency situation. There is no transparency, no accountability and no recorded approval by Cabinet.
However, one is certain that Fruendel Stuart is starting to realize that beyond the boundary is a very strange place to be as no one can predict the sequence of events that will unfold. One wonders if beyond the boundary there is a cliff from which some of his Ministers will jump. Mara Thompson has already stated that she will not be a contestant in the next general election. One wonders if Denis Lowe will be available. It is significant to note that Fruendel Stuart is no longer in control of this situation. The best way to describe it is that he has opened Pandora’s Box. Not only has revelation are revelation occurred regarding the activates of his government; for example the giving away to Crown lands to Pharciple with the conveyance now in possession of Jada Construction, a London newspaper has written a negative but accurate assessment of the island’s situation and Germany is warning its citizens about the sewage crisis. Alas, stranger than fiction he is responsible for creating a spectacle of general elections as a person who is renowned for less than a stellular reputation has entered the ring to be a contestant for the City of Bridgetown and taken the spotlight from him. Another person has also declared his candidacy for Christ Church West Central on Facebook and one wonders if Tom, Dick and Harry will do likewise. That being said it is time for Fruendel to ‘ring de bell.’