Manning's Mindlessness

March 29, 2001
by Corey Gilkes

I am wondering should I be surprised that there hasn't been much public comment about Patrick Manning's protest over Minister Yetming's decison to dispense wth the wearing of a suit in Parliament.

The mere fact that Mr. Manning and certain members of the Opposition could see it fit to make an issue over Minister Yetming's choice of dress is a clear indication that the Opposition is as bankrupt of radical ideas and ideologies as the Government is. Indeed, their criticisms were stark testimonies to the fact that what we got in 1962 was Independence in name only, flag independence. But where mannerisms, value systems and of course, dress is concerned, most of us are more dependent upon the "Mother Country" now than ever.

To think that these individuals could, with straight faces, insist upon the wearing of that "uniform" makes me shudder. These are the people to whom we are supposed to entrust with the charting of our destiny? They are supposed to guide us in the forging of our own identity? Mind you, this aping of Eurocentric models is not only found in our hallowed halls of Parliament, it can be found in just about every institution. I laugh myself silly almost every time I see poor lawyers and judges go about their daily duties dressed in that get-up. As for when they march through the streets every year? Oh boy!!

Our aping of foreign models says a whole lot about us as a people; no wonder we haven't clamoured for a change in the coat-of-arms, no wonder there is no encouragement for those who are more than capable of designing a dignified form of dress for formal occassions that suits our climate, no wonder the UWI is spoken of with such scorn by some of the most brilliant minds this country has ever produced.

If, at this juncture in our history, we still believe that the only appropriate dress for formal occasions is a European uniform, then we may as well resume the teaching of "Rule Brittania" to our schoolchildren.

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