University of the West Indies Lecturer, Doctor Tennyson Joseph has sharply criticised Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, during the recent conference of the opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP).
“Of all the persons who have occupied the office of prime minister, Chastanet is the least prepared for the job, and he is leading the least able group of men and women ever assembled as the cabinet of St. Lucia,” he told the 68th annual Conference of the SLP.
Joseph made it clear that he was not speaking on behalf of UWI or as a representative of the institution, but in his personal capacity and as a card-bearing member of the SLP.
He declared that the same historical forces that explain Donald Trump in the USA explain Allen Chastanet in St. Lucia.
“All the myths were the same. Trump claimed that he was a successful businessman and he would make America Rich and Great Again, Chastanet claimed that he was a businessman and he would put“ching-ching” in St. Lucians’ pockets,” Joseph recalled.
“On my way here an old lady told me that she could not hear the “ching-ching” in her pocket, because the rumble in her belly was too loud,” he stated.
Joseph said Chastanet even promised that he would get America to remove visa restrictions on St. Lucia.
“Big lie, after big lie, after big lie, but the people of St. Lucia were drinking it up!” He exclaimed.
“Just as Trump in the USA was treating politics like the making of business deals, our own tropical Trump in St. Lucia was busy going from constituency to constituency treating the selection of candidates like the making of deals. All kinds of people were promised all kinds of things. People who were fifty and forty years old, who for all their lives never once expressed a public view about anything, never had a political view on anything, were being called in the middle of the night and convinced that they should become politicians and public figures overnight,” Joseph told the SLP conference.
According to him, people who could not even spell the words ‘Honourable member’ were getting excited by the promise that they could be parliamentarians.
“Now some of them who ran for Chastanet are busy regretting. They waited until after they entered politics to discover what politics is really about. Now any chance they get, and to anyone willing to listen, they are now saying that they are not politicians,” Joseph stated.
On the other hand, Joseph asserted that the Saint Lucia Labour Party is the party best prepared to lead this country into the future.
According to him, after three decades of being in opposition and making its contribution to national development, it was no accident that the oldest political organization in St. Lucia gave this country the best prime minister and the best government that St. Lucia has ever seen.
“The years 1997 to 2006 were indeed the years of St. Lucia’s transformation from an agricultural economy into one based on tourism, services, financial services, tele-communications and a knowledge economy. Under Kenny Anthony and the SLP, schools were expanded and new primary and secondary schools were built, universal secondary education (USE) was introduced, health care was modernized, the psychiatric and general hospitals were modernized and transformed, the Beausejour Cricket Ground (now Darren Sammy Stadium) was built, the George Odlum National Stadium appeared out of nowhere, the fisheries sector was modernized, the telecommunications sector was liberalized and every household far in the country and deep in the town, got access to telephones, electricity, television and water, and I can go on and on and on and on,” he stated.
However he lamented that despite the SLP’s great history and unmatched contribution to development, it finds itself in opposition once again.
” Despite all the evidence of our ability to govern, despite all the proof of our genuine commitment to St. Lucia’s development, despite the fact that we have consistently produced the best and most able leaders of St. Lucia, and despite the fact that we have always striven to maintain a record of uprightness and propriety in government, we find ourselves arrayed against class and social forces which consistently succeed in mobilizing enough public opinion against us to deny us our rightful place as the government of St. Lucia,” Joseph observed.