One cannot deny, that political leaders do at times prove pivotal or have a determining influence upon the outcome of historically significant events. Therefore, a study of secession cannot be fully explored and appreciated without reference to Simeon Daniel. The question of the paramountcy of Daniels role in Nevis’ secession odyssey is a delicate one, but one that must be discussed and fully assessed. Daniel made his appearance on the political stage when the political landscape in Nevis was at its crossroads and he breathed new life into it. Indomitable courage and political pragmatism was displayed throughout his political career, especially during his encounters with Bradshaw. One must never forget that his political career began and progressed through the 1960’s and 1970’s, which were politically turbulent times, during that epoch elections were determined nit by ballot, but by the bullet/barrel. Tyrants and dictators were rife and any would-be political opponents were either imprisoned or put before the firing squad. Notwithstanding all this, Daniel was fearless in opposing Bradshaw who, as noted earlier, was in command of an army. This strongly implies that Daniel’s absence would have precluded achievement in that period.
If consciousness is memory and future, what then is the memory of Daniel in the Consciousness of Nevisians? And what will the future think of him? Only time can tell. Yet, he has left us a rich and lasting legacy; one that includes-the sixth form college, a solid infrastructural foundation, the Four Seasons Resort and of course , section 113 on the 1983 constitution.
One would be flabbergasted and dismayed at the scant respect that is being accrued to Daniel by a certain faction in our society. Even Brutus he notorious traitor, when considering killing his “friend” Julius Caesar still displayed great respect for him. His exact words to the other conspirators were:
“Let’s be sacrificers but not butchers…And, gentlefriends, let’s kill him boldly
but not wrathfully: let’s carve him as a dish fit for the gods, not hew him as a
dish fit for hounds”
Perhaps those few misguided ones who have already thrown Daniel to the hounds, can take a leaf, even from the book of a notorious traitor.
A Historian bold enough-or foolish enough-to write about any “great man” must be prepared to do so against considerable odds. He will be forced to objectively acknowledge the limitations of his subject. An objective and balanced scrutiny of Daniel’s Political career will indicate that he indeed, advertently and inadvertently stepped on a few toes. It will also be revealed that Daniel, like so many of us, has his share of ‘skeleton in the closet’. Daniel was by no means a saint and if intimated, I am quite sure he will be the first to condemn such heresy.
Inspite of his shortcomings, the evidence strongly suggests that Daniel was responsible for the organization of Nevis’ modern nationalistic politics and as such is the father if our nationalism. It is a documented fact that his political archrival and adversary, Bradshaw, has been coined a national hero. To the political directorate, power brokers and proletariats of Nevis, Hint! Hint!