I had to reach into the archives of my mind, to the days when I was a young man, and attended meetings of the Labour Party on the Market steps, and realize today that the St, Lucia Labour Party, although it holds political power, is engaged in the same ‘mepwis’ and criticism directed at the United Workers Party in the mid 1960’s, as it is doing today.
Do you remember the insulting names that they gave to every single Minister of the U.W.P. administration, the worst directed at the father of our nation, Sir John? Therefore the manner in which this Labour Administration is behaving, even when it is given the rare opportunity to manage the affairs of St. Lucia, is the same way it behaves when it is in opposition.
Instead of efficiently managing the economic and social affairs of our country, the Labour Party Administration concentrates its entire public relations campaign against the opposition United Workers Party and its internal affairs.
Instead of fulfilling the promises Labour made to get into office, it is wasting money on inane and insipid ads on radio and television on the Leader of the Opposition, as though he is responsible for St. Lucia’s economic decline, instead of explaining how government has failed to fulfill the promises it made to provide jobs for St. Lucians. When official statistics indicate that between 45-50% of young persons in St. Lucia are unable to get jobs.
While the S.L.P. is wrecking the economy of St. Lucia, it tries to give the citizens of this country the impression that the country is on the rebound, and singing its own praises that St. Lucia is under efficient management.
But how could it be, in the provincial society that we live in where everybody knows what is going on in the corridors of government, that there is rampant nepotism and cliquish relationships, in which it is widely known that incompetent and incapable persons are given important positions overseas and even within the offices of the Prime Minister who have had to be transferred, and party hacks have had to be sent overseas to assist those dithering and totally incompetent persons in the management of these important positions.
Yet while our economy continues to deteriorate and our financial resources are unable to afford these extravagances, this administration refuses to reduce its expenditure and continues its excessive spending on what a perceptive hotelier called ‘cocktail ambassadors,’ who have not been able to persuade one foreign investor to come to our shores to invest or provide much needed jobs in our country. Yet the Labour Party has its paid hirelings, some of who are well known mendicants and alcoholics who hide their faces from the public, on the airwaves, singing the praises of this incompetent administration, which has no credibility.
Instead of fulfilling the promises Labour made to get into office, it is wasting money on inane and insipid ads on radio and television on the Leader of the opposition, as if though he is responsible for St. Lucia’s economic decline, instead of explaining how the government has failed to fulfill the promises it made to provide jobs for St. Lucians. When official statistics indicate that between 45-50% of young persons in St. Lucia are unable to get jobs
What these hacks don’t realize is that there are reputable international organizations, such as ECLAC and the World Bank, which have given their assessment of St. Lucia as a failing economy, whose position in the O.E.C.S. has descended to the lowest level.
I was bemused when a paid SLP hack called Timothy Poleon’s radio programme during the course of this week to praise Prime Kenny Anthony’s announcement that the St. Lucia economy is on the rebound. Given the level of St. Lucia’s economic crisis, there can be no improvement in our economy when there is a limited period left in the ability of this Labour government to undertake any improvement or adjustments in the country’s economy.
The main objective of any government should be to satisfy the basic needs of the citizens of a country by creating the climate and environment for the creation of jobs, for one to support one’s family and provide the necessities of life. Today we are living under a government that does not have a grasp or a vision and plan of what a country needs.
The SLP government therefore abdicates the responsibility for which it was elected, to put the onus on a group of private citizens called a Vision Commission, to Chart a way forward for the development of St. Lucia. Visionaries in all societies are men of outstanding genius who think outside the box of ordinary men.
They are the ones with exceptional mental acuity and percipience which our largely pedestrian population do not possess. The onus lies upon the SLP government to present a visionary plan for St. Lucia, which incorporates the moral, philosophical and physical plan for the development and growth of St. Lucia for the next decade.
Unlike this Labour government, which is shirking its responsibility, the United Workers Party has always had the long-term visionary plans for St. Lucia, that have transformed St. Lucia to what it is today, against the vociferous opposition of the St. Lucia Labour Party, to a point of stagnation today.
There was the construction of the Castries Gros islet Highway undertaken by the U.W.P. administration in the 1960’s, more than forty years ago, against the vociferous opposition of a retrogressive Labour party.
There was the construction and dredging of the Rodney Bay mosquito and sand fly infected swamp, which has transformed the northern sector of St. Lucia to a modern mecca of vibrant business modern commercial enterprises, and up market homes, which is a magnet for visitors from the other Caribbean islands and visitors generally. Perhaps the most revolutionary social programme developed by the United Workers party was the N.I.S. renamed the N.I.C. by the Labour Party.
Even that was opposed by a retrogressive Labour Party. Immediately on coming to office in 2006, the U.W.P. laid down its Quandrant Development Plan, which was highly praised by the World Bank.
I can recall vividly as a youngster from New Village, attending a meeting of the Labour Party on the Market steps and even at such a young age I was a appalled at members of the Labour Party imploring the Conway residents to resist any attempt be the U.W.P. to remove them from the subhuman, fetid conditions of Conway and the nauseating smell of rotting turtle carcasses and to refuse to purchase the first housing project units of San Soucis ranging from $25,000.00 – $30,000.00.
This retrogressive Labourite would tell the people of Conway that the U.W.P. government was offering the residents size 10 shoes for people with size eight feet. These inane comments remain indelibly imprinted on my mind.
The Labour party had been against every single progressive initiative that has ever been undertaken for St. Lucians. And it continues today with the Airport Development Tax that was terminated by a visionless Prime Minister, which has already accumulated EC $50 million, and we would not need to mortgage our patrimony to a foreign entity for 30 years.
The U.W.P. has always lived under God’s grace that is why our country has always prospered under the governance of the United Workers Party. On the other hand St. Lucia and its people have always suffered under the malice, greed and venality of Labour.
(Submitted by Jeff Fedee)