You as a government have failed us
On the eve of the holiday to commemorate our emancipation, the government of the day dipped its pen into the inkwell of callous arrogance and removed with one stroke 152 years of Black history. West End School in their minds should exist only in a museum or in a history book that probably will be never published.
The cemeteries in this parish bear the names of those who knew the importance of education. Many of them did not have the opportunity and dreamt of better for their children. They would not appreciate the manner in which their struggle has been taken for granted in a parish that worked for years to replace the United Bermuda Party. A victory that granted you four seats.
The disrespect is beyond belief and, out of respect for our elders, we will not just sit back and take it. We have the power of the vote and, as you know, Somerset residents know how to vote and whom they should vote for.
You as a government have failed us.
You appear on television and smirk with contempt as you describe the temples of vanity you propose to build. Life is uncertain and has no guarantees. You need to remember the people who trusted you. Or are we to describe you as power-grabbing egoists. Power at any cost. Do as I say and keep quiet.
This is not what the constituents in Somerset voted for. You have described those of us in the fight to maintain the West End School as a bunch of old people. Since you believe history should be written, take a minute and educate yourselves on the history of the Progressive Labour Party and you will see, if you choose to re read it, where you began to lose your way.
In this fight to preserve the West End School, only one Member of Parliament in this parish has supported us. We will not forget this and neither should you. The people of Somerset know their power and know how to use it. No, we will not be voting for another party. We know the ideals of the Progressive Labour Party and we will not vote for anyone who in their maiden speech asked us to stop whining and protesting over a school but find something more useful to protest against.
How dare you. This is Somerset and we listen to what our MPs have to say on air. We heard you and your shameful display of arrogance. We heard you ask us to check ourselves and put our energy elsewhere. We also heard the stomping of feet and the clapping of your elated colleagues.
I have been associated with this party since 1968, when being a PLP member was not fashionable. I’ve lived to see this picture play out before and the end has not been good.
You do have time to redeem yourselves, but it’s possible that you do not know where to begin.
• Cecille C. Snaith-Simmons, the mother of Sandys South MP Jamahl Simmons, is a former student of West End Primary School and the 2020 winner in the Adult section of the Dr Stanley Ratteray Memorial Christmas Short Story Contest