Prominent attorney-at-law Ralph Thorne, QC, has poured cold water over this year’s national Golden Jubilee celebrations, suggesting that instead of moving around to schools with the commemorative ‘Broken Trident’, the Freundel Stuart administration should be delivering much needed school supplies to them.
Addressing a St James North constituency meeting of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP), Thorne, who is also the BLP’s candidate for Christ Church South, was scathing in his criticisms of the symbolic national emblem, describing ‘The Broken Trident’ as “plywood with cheap paint”.
He also called on Government to stop taking the ‘Broken Trident’ into schools and to instead take some soap and toilet paper and put them in the bathrooms.
“The teachers are taking soap and toilet paper into school for themselves and for their children,” the Opposition spokesman claimed, adding that “some have another bag with lunch, sweet biscuits [and] snacks – not for themselves but for the children in this society that this [ruling] Democratic Labour Party built”.
“They [Government] have destroyed your material conditions and no symbol is capable of restoring it,” charged Thorne.
“I would personally like to kick it [the national symbol] down, if they bring it near me, a piece of plywood and a rusty piece of wrought iron they dragging [around].
“It’s an empty slogan,” he stressed, while also advising Barbadians to, “kick it down. Kick down the plywood and rusted wrought iron covered with cheap paint”.
However, Thorne said, no one could accuse him of a lack of patriotism while insisting that it was wrong for Government “to be dragging a piece of plywood and a piece of wrought iron up and down the schools of this country, telling children that they must clutch onto this thing and take photographs next to it, as an expression of patriotism, and deep love of country, and commitment to the society that they [Government] have destroyed”.
The Opposition spokesman also predicted that “this 50th year of independence they talking about will be the worst independence over the last 50 [years]” since “this is a country that is insecure, tottering on the brink of failure.
“You live now in a failed society, and no symbolism or sloganism can restore, your sense of good feeling towards your country,” he told the gathering of party faithful.