Letters & Opinion, Sounding Off

Dear Mr. Prime Minister

Image of Rochelle Gonzales
Image of Rochelle Gonzales
Rochelle Gonzales

DEAR Mr. Prime Minister, lend me your ear. I’d like to speak solely to you in my first Sounding Off for the New Year.

How do you feel when you look at the state of our island today? I mean how do you really feel? Before we go further, I’m not blaming you for any of it, you’re only fresh off the boat and what is going on now is the result of decades of hard work…or lack thereof, But I just want to know how the current state makes you feel.

What do you think of at night before you go to sleep? Are you a praying man? If so, what do you pray about? Is St. Lucia anywhere in your mind in those last few minutes before you close your eyes on your plush pillow and bedding?

When you look in the mirror, I’m sure you feel proud of your accomplishments thus far…but are you really? I mean, if you let your conscience have a voice louder than a faint whisper, can you still keep your head up and stare tall and proud at that man staring back at you in that mirror?

Now again, I will have to remind you that I am not attacking you or your character…I just want to know.

It has been almost half a year since you became the head of our nation, and although I realise that whilst in governance, that is no time at all, but for us who don’t form part of the Lucian Elite Squad, you might as well count those months in dog years, because it has been a long and hard time…are you happy with the steps and progress you have taken? In fact, have you even taken any for that matter, if at all?

Before you swell your chest and rush to say yes, think about it for a minute…

Locals and visitors feel more vulnerable than ever with bold and brazen crime taking place on a daily basis.

Reports of rape of women and children are so common these days that people don’t even get a chance to be fully outraged over the last incident.

The value for life is near non-existent…goodness sake, I’m still in shock over the 9 homicides, and especially this past Sunday which is being dubbed “Bloody Sunday” six lives were lost due to violence…SIX in ONE DAY!!! And not to mention the fact that one of those cold and callous killings was carried out by a Police Officer…reports are that the victim was fleeing…AND? Why are police officers still running around without the proper training to tell them that it is not ok to kill someone for fleeing?

On the 10th day of the first month of the year 2017, we have now beaten out the likes of Jamaica and Trinidad for having the highest rate of homicides per capita…how did we get there?

Thieves are running around with a sick sense of entitlement over the belongings of hard working and honest citizens, and the vast majority of them get away with their crimes.

The laws of the land are now jokes that no one takes seriously, including politicians, law makers and law enforcers.

Then there are the other pressing issues like the fact that locals are being stifled in their own island as chunk by chunk and acre by acre, our land is being sold and leased to “foreign investors” making it increasingly difficult for locals to own a piece of their homeland.

The justice system…to say it is in shambles would be the understatement of the New Year, as people continue to languish in an over crowded prison without trial and the real criminals and murderers walk amongst us innocent and law abiding citizens, because archaic loopholes make it possible for slimy lawyers to get them off scot free.

Health care is right down there racing with the justice system to see which one is worse, as people are dying trying to survive, medical affordability is seemingly only for the rich, medical facilities are…”YIKES” and medical availability is slim, requiring most patients with serious illnesses to travel abroad to seek treatment.

The state of human services is downright offensive to say the least with a nation becoming overrun by the mentally unstable and homeless, and don’t even get me started on what women and children who are victims of sexual crimes and abuse, or are at risk have to go through.

And all of this is me being vague and scratching on the tip of the iceberg, so with that said, can you sleep peacefully at night knowing that all this is continuing under your watch?

How can you feel and understand our concerns and pains like having to work for $300 or less every fortnight and then going home to feed a family and maintain a household, OR having to walk through “trouble spots” after working a 16 hour shift and then getting robbed and or even hurt/killed whilst making your way home, OR watching helplessly as your hometown is leased off for 99 years at only US $1 per acre and now you’re uncertain of your future, OR sitting by and watching your nationality that you love and are oh so proud of being sold, and if that is not bad enough, it is being sold to GOD knows who for only $100K?

How are you OK with all of this? Are we that desperate for the foreign dollar that you are willing to sign away the soul of our island to get it?

I don’t have the answers, but I know that if I was given the opportunity…no, the privilege and honour of leading a nation, I know that I would do my utmost to be the change that the people are crying for, and I would do so selflessly.

What is it that you have to prove? Why are you simply continuing on the trend of leaders past and choosing to firstly be petty with the tit for tat, i.e. terminating contracts or the deliberate reshuffling of people who were hired by the previous administration…even when they were doing exceptionally well for their sector and turning a blatant blind eye to the victimisation of opposition supporters?

It didn’t start with you, but it could end with you, so why are you just falling into the same old Prime Ministerial slot of being a bully that answers to no one…including your very own employers…the people who voted you into power?

Also, and I’m not targeting anyone in particular but if the cap fits…you know the rest, but are you truly satisfied with your cabinet? Is your mind really and truly at ease with the belief that you chose the right people for the job, with country first and foremost as opposed to their bank accounts?

I’m not going to delve into the little empty promises like the “chingching” and all else, no, Mr Prime Minister, I am appealing to your moral side. I am not even going to question you on whether you have one or not, I am simply going to assume that you do.

And when it comes to my beautiful island home, I am not ashamed to beg. I am no political party supporter…I am a St. Lucian and my home is my main concern, so with that said, I am asking that you seriously examine that man in the mirror…that man who is in the best position to finally do something about the deterioration of our island, and I am asking you/him to do what is right.

I am asking you to stop with the madness and fix our island and at least spearhead the movement towards restoring it to its former glory.

I am begging that you put your pockets and the pockets of your henchmen/ministers on a diet and feed the nation instead just like you promised…not just with money and food, but with all the vital areas that are starved of due care and attention.

Dear Mr. Prime Minister…please.

Rochelle entered the Media fraternity in May 2011 as a fresh-faced young woman with a passion for the English language, a thirst for worldly knowledge and a longing to inform the world of what was happening around them, whether it was good or bad.

She began as part of a small news team at Choice Television, which falls under the MediaZone umbrella. She was hired as one of the original members of the newly created Choice News Now team…Read full bio…

 

13 Comments

  1. You Rochelle will never write such trite under Kenny and send it to him or have it published in the newspaper. I am glad you feel empowered and so emboldened under Chastanet. I hope you will begin use the opportunity you have to write more sensible stuff

    1. Are you people still blaming government for crimes against humanity in the 21st century? It’s not the lack of competent governance that scares me, but the lack of solidarity among fellow humans.
      The people can do far more than the government. Politics is destructive among fools. We elect people to occupy public offices on the merits of friendship , even when they are not only under qualified, but are just as desperate for the accumulation of wealth as we the voters.
      In the 21st. century we are still under the influence of primitive ignorance in the fear of violating the imaginary gods of our preferred religions. We still create legislation that are contrary to our innate human characteristics.
      We condemn men who are limited in resources for failing to deliver campaign promises in time, while we continue to make futile petitions to our allegedly unlimited gods.
      We expect miracles from politicians within months, while we, generation after generation, subject ourselves to the unrealistic insinuations of ministers of religions. To us, they are servants of God. But my dearly beloved is our religion superior to our politics?
      It’s good to read the opinions of others; but when the unrealistic moral and political ideals become the merits for our arguments, I have to wonder… .

  2. Well put together. And their goes another oppressor with a disgusting comment. We as a people need to do this more often. Stand up and speak.

  3. The blame should start with all of us. What are we doing about it. As parents what are we teaching our children. Do we pray? We part for each other and do we pray with our children.let us take a look in the mirror and say it starts with me. Each and everyone us is responsible.

  4. We fail to understand that these failed policies of previous administrations have deteriorated our economic structure. The powers of both past and present have aligned they pockets with greed, disenfranchised the people or our country. We the People, the land, and the light have not held anyone responsible, don’t forget we elect these official to govern the well-being of our Island. Everyone is accountable for the action, and it high time that we the people, the land and the light held them accountable. My grandmother always said that accountability begins at home.

  5. You can’t create a police force or healthcare system without money. You can’t complain about selling to big business if that’s your only source of money. You can’t complain about cops shooting criminals when criminals are your biggest complaint. What do you have tourism which you hate, and bananas? Are you gonna find an entire population by planting bananas or selling trinkets to tourists? No. Put people to work in a diverse range of farming or manufacturing. Not everyone needs a college education to contribute. Theres only so much you can blame on government, when the people aren’t invested in themselves.

  6. I think the comments here are better than the article itself. Especially the one by Chris M. You complain about criminals and the likes but complain when the police stop them. You complain about policies without knowing where they originated from or how hard they are to remove. You complain about foreign investors but know nothing about how it works and the actual investment . Rather you should be complaining about concessions given to them and not given to locals. Instead of complaining about them”taking your land” why don’t you try to ensure that anything they do is given FAIRLY to a local company instead of preferential treatment and political favours. While you’re busy complaining, please take time to realise that some things ARE better. More transparency and insight into what is happening. Some of the policies which allow the current state you were complaining were already in place from the previous administration. At least as the first commenter said, you can feel open and free enough to make such a posting. Anyone who dared to do so under the previous adminstration was basically signing over their entire family to become victims of those in power

  7. The problem I feel is that Mr Chastanet is hooked on tourism and truly believes it is the answer. The problem here, is that it only takes one one act of violent crime on the island , or a natural disaster, and tourism will be crucified.

    And with no welfare state, crime will happen and continue until it destroys tourism.

    I believe Mr Chastanet’s heart is in the right place, but history of the Island shows a history that support back handed deals bordering on criminal with personal greed at its heart. When do St Lucians learn?

    They voted for this. They voted to sell off their land. They voted for tourism, and more tourism. And thus, they have to look themselves in the mirror. Truly.

    It’s time for St Lucia to look to new industry and new horizons, Not new tourism initiatives. And upmost, is that hotels must pay their taxes. Hospitals and schools will fail. Pensions will fail, and crime will dig its roots ever deeper.

    I hope Mr Chastanet is an honest man. I’m hoping he is genuine and he deserves that chance. But St Lucia produced a prominent Economist which everyone brags about. Ironically St Lucia has to date never put his theories into practice. Do St Lucians even know of his theories?

    Its time for St Lucia to progress. Manufacture. Start up new industry, look to its people for new ideas and new ventures. It’s time for St Lucia to also move away from its past. Move away from its dodgy dealings.

    Progress for Godsake.

  8. What democracy we now enjoy…you can actually ‘ spit ‘ in the PM’s eye and sign your name…no fear of victimization… sweet Helen….June 6 was freedom day!!!

  9. So Southern Educator wait…are you saying that she shouldn’t have the freedom to speak her mind?
    Are you saying that writing something like this should be cause for her to be victimised?
    That kind of sick mentality is why so many people scared to stand up for themselves and their rights down here.
    Also…how is that spitting in the pm’s face? The lady is asking for a better St. Lucia which is what was promised by the man she is talking to and she is doing it respectfully…how is that spitting in anyone’s face?
    Besides, who is the pm that he cannot be spoken to? Is he GOD?
    People like you, Anon Y. Mous, Serious and Chris M need to go to the doctor to sort out that jaundice problem because the yellow in your eyes is unhealthy to say the least

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