Foaming Rivers of Blood AnthemBy Jean Yaw Twum Lukaz MIH
4/23/2012 10:17:55 AM -
"I'm going to make a speech at the weekend and it's going to go up 'fizz' like a rocket; but whereas all rockets fall to the earth, this one is going to stay up."
Speeches trigger wars, speeches make wars, speeches win wars and speeches cease wars Guns and bombs, no doubt, do the same. Both speeches and ordnance, paradoxically, have the same effect when applied to peace and they are respectively effective in degrees of 'clash', 'boom' or 'bang' depending on the influences on the constituent groupuscules.
The curse of a call to arms may be a cause célèbre indeed but, causeless, shall not land on our soil. In Ghana's case, the speech has hardly begun and the conclusion of the whole matter is just a guess. The battle has never been for the strong but for bullies and anal retentive personalities.
Try as whosoever might, to maintain and sustain longer-term electoral support based on a single issue for such a potential disruption will require a relatively sophisticated ideological base to the mass electorate of any political party, given our long history of political disruptions.
Crying war for the sake of ethnic preservation is to allude to Virgil's line from the Aeneid [6, 1.86] about the Tiber foaming with blood: "Et Thybrim multo spumantem sanguine cerno." To (mis)quote from Enoch Powell's 'Rivers of Blood' racist speech: 'I can already hear the chorus of execration... Here is the means of showing that ethnic (added by this writer) communities can organise to consolidate their members, to agitate and campaign against their fellow citizens, and to overawe and dominate the rest with the legal weapons which the ignorant and the ill-informed have provided. As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding. Like the Roman, I seem to see 'the River Tiber foaming with much blood'.' The Rivers of Blood speech was a controversial speech about race and immigration and was made on April 20, 1968 by the British politician Enoch Powell at the annual meeting of the West Midlands Conservative Political Centre in Birmingham, in the Midland Hotel. Earlier in the week, Powell had said to his friend Clement Jones, who was a journalist at the Wolverhampton Express & Star, "I'm going to make a speech at the weekend and it's going to go up 'fizz' like a rocket; but whereas all rockets fall to the earth, this one is going to stay up."
The next day, the Leader of the Opposition Edward Heath sacked Powell from his Shadow Cabinet! [Bravo!]
Ethnocentrism is no metaphor and has got nothing to do with political correctness, and if the Ministry of Truth dares, let them ban from politicians words such as 'boom' , 'die', 'war', 'burn', 'no peace', anti-peace',' ethnic cleansing', 'purges', 'dispersion', 'genocide', 'suicide', weedicide metaphors [no offence to marijuana], 'Ganyocide', 'Ewecide', 'Akanocide', 'anything-cide', 'empire', 'anything-colonialism', 'holocaust', 'A-Bomb', 'Agent Orange', 'Vietnam', 'Angola', 'Liberia', 'Sierra Leone', 'Kenya', 'Mali', and of course the man-made diseases [including political analphabetism] and their pretended solutions [a.k.a. Chemical-Biological Weapons]. Ghana, after all, is just a tribe.
By the way, how do you call people that incite genocide and thereby cause offence: sinners? I am yet to catch that register and add it to my International Law and Politics repertoire just like the definition of 'a terrorist' [no analysis required].
The great historical experiment of INDEPENDENCE that begun with a speech had to work by any means necessary but alas, must it fail likewise? Unless the next stage of our progress is REINDEPENDENCE there has never been anything new under the sun.
Well, if reincarnation does not work in politics, elections could do the trick sometimes but Dr Busia differs: 'elections which do not offer a real choice between possible alternatives are meaningless - a mere mockery of the democratic process.' Furthermore, 'It has come to my knowledge that a few people, particularly in Accra, are behaving in a way which brings discredit to all of us. Their reaction has been to refuse to sell to fellow citizens who belong to other tribes; others are reported to have resorted to other forms of molestation like throwing stones at cars of people who do not belong to their political parties' [Election Speech, 3rd September, 1969].
In his book 'His Excellency the Head of State', Danny B. Safo forgot to add one reality, a pun of Dr Kwame Nkrumah's popular statement 'The Ghana Armed Forces believed that the principle of 'one man, one vote' is meaningless unless it is linked up with the principle of 'one man, one bread'. A government which operates on the basis of 'ten men, one bread' for the masses of the people is unjust, and unjust rulers do not deserve to be sustained by any theoretical conceptions of democracy. As you all know, dead men have use for only one type of box - not the ballot box' [The punster Col I.K. Acheampong, Two Years in Office].
'This mood was so traumatic that when Generals Acheampong and Utuka were executed, the Catholic Standard of all newspapers, perceived it from a cleansing viewpoint and interpreted the rain which fell on that day as the blessings of heaven on the event' [Oquaye, Mike, Politics in Ghana 1982-92, p.548]
When Arnold said 'I'll be back' in Terminator, a metamorphosis or better still reengineering of his character was not to be visualized as a flashback of memories better forgotten: 'I am not here to impose myself on this country; far from it [really???] I am prepared, at this moment, to face a firing squad if what I've tried to do for the second time in my life does not meet the approval of Ghanaians.Today we've initiated a Holy War West Africa will burn [well, I can still smell the smoke] There is no justice in this society and so long as there is no justice, I would dare say that 'LET THERE BE NO PEACE'. You will hear from me again' [31st December, 1981] Oh no, not you again!
Just when it was being felt that some of the words of the National Anthem such as 'and help us to resist oppressor's rule.' [as well as the national institutions that promote them] have outlived their usefulness, the cork of the over-aged wine popped!
The question is, 'Who is the real oppressor and who are the real actors in this melodrama?' The invisible players move in the silhouette of who knows what
Salvation comes not by observation because whilst you hear 'How hath the oppressor ceased!' in the left ear, the right ear plays to 'Rejoice not thou, ... because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent' [Isaiah 14:4;29].
So which is the oppressor: the provocateur, the agent provocateur or the provoked or their devils?
In this life, not only men, not only families, not only towns and cities, but Empires shall pass away and so shall the world, Ghana, oil, provocateurs, agent-provocateurs and the provoked. It is all vanity and a chase after the wind We are only fifty five years old. God keep us and give us peace.