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THE ‘NETTE EFFECT: Twisted side of politics

Antoinette Connell

THE ‘NETTE EFFECT: Twisted side of politics

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As I sat in the pew at church I was watching as little Joshua’s body jerked up and down and twisted and turned while his grandmother hurriedly tucked back in his shirt just in time for Sunday school.
He gazed intently at me and I offered him a smile. He responded with a smile of his own, you know the shy kind that children give when they are up to a bit of mischief.
“He likes you, you know,” his grannie said.
I laughed as Joshua head dipped a little now that his secret was out.
“He said that you are pretty,” she continued.
The next Sunday I presented little Joshua with candy. That kind of brutal honesty is to be rewarded and I might add – for my part – encouraged.
I imagine that someday someone will – to my face – dispel the notion that Joshua has placed in my mind. But until then I have an admirer.
After all the electioneering and the insincere Facebook comments, hearing the innocent perceptions of children is refreshing.
The depths to which men will sink in hopes of victory came home more clearly to me last week after the State Opening of Parliament.
There they were – men and women from opposite sides of the political divide embracing and almost falling over each other to greet so-called political foes warmly.
You would never believe that for the three weeks prior, there was all-out fighting with each man and woman sinking their claws into opponents as the fists flew and the political blood flowed. You would not have believed some of the things they said about each other’s physical appearance or about the favours granted to one another.
Granted that all this was done from the safety of the political platform but still words have a way of piercing the heart and lingering with you forever depending on the severity of the puncture.
Some even went to Facebook with their campaigning which brings me to an intervening point regarding the popular social media site.
Facebook permits cowardly acts to flourish or users to hone their embellishing skills. What do I mean? Parties do not have to face each other so many will use that as a licence to trade insults or for one person to carry out a systematic attack on another.
Often the information will be put out there and it will stick as though it is the truth.
In other cases users will post a picture or statement that is really quite offensive and what do the other users do? They condone the behaviour by clicking ‘like’ or remarking positively on the posting. Eventually these white lies will become so matter-of-course that a bigger lie may not be too hard to create. Be careful.
So as I saw the pictures of politicians embracing each other after such fierce verbal fighting I wonder whether the yardfowls on the outside were also witnessing the display. While on the inside of Parliament Barbados Labour Party and Democratic Labour Party members forgot past insults, on the outside the party supporters were still somewhat divided and the colours were there to prove it.
In one corner you had the reds and in the other the blues and yellows cheering on as their favourites rounded the corner. It was the same on the campaign trail, which was without major incident.
Let’s hope the supporters become colour blind.
• Antoinette Connell is the DAILY?NATION?Editor.