PRESS RELEASE – IN the last seven years of our existence as a political movement, no one has ever been able to accuse the Lucian People’s Movement (LPM) of not being a responsible opposition that always fights for the best interest of our country.
While we fought bravely against the inadequacies and failures of the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) when it governed St. Lucia, we also demonstrated balance in our praise of its efforts whenever it was warranted.
By June 6, 2016, on the very day that the SLP was finally booted out of office, it was the consensus within the LPM that a grace period of six months should be afforded to the new government of the United Workers Party (UWP). We felt then that the UWP deserved the very same consideration which was given to the SLP in 2011.
In honouring our commitment to respect the wishes of the people, the LPM did everything in its power to remain silent and to allow the UWP to make the transition from politics to governance. We had hope then that the UWP would see the merit in becoming the government of all the people and, thus, become transparent with our nation. It was also our hope that the UWP would have demonstrated that, unlike the previous administration, it was capable of governing with a remarkable difference.
Sadly, on its first anniversary in office, none of this has happened. Instead, what we have is a government that enjoys peddling untruths, seeks to alienate fellow St. Lucians who did not vote for it, and is not transparent about its activities and the work which it does on behalf of our nation.
We have been placed at a great disadvantage by this government’s inability to create a level playing field, which would ensure that local entrepreneurs are given the very same respect and lavish opportunities that are granted to their foreign counterparts.
Today, what we have in St. Lucia is a government that continues to promote political tribalism, engages in gross victimisation, and enjoys promoting internal corruption (which puts some members of government on track to becoming very wealthy overnight), among a whole list of dirty laundry and political transgressions against the common interest of the people of St. Lucia.
To make matters worse, we have become very disillusioned with the direction in which our Prime Minister is taking the country. His arrogant political posturing and high-handed behaviour in undermining the opinions of those who disagree with his policies invoke a growing dislike for him within the ranks of the LPM.
While Mr. Chastanet has aligned himself with conservative political values, he has failed to realise that St. Lucia is not the United States, where there are safety nets to protect the poor and less fortunate among us. Moreover, even the great United States, which is today ruled by an irrational and perhaps insanely dangerous president in the person of Donald Trump, still cannot prevent millions of its poor and disadvantaged citizens from falling through the cracks.
Therefore, when the Prime Minister of St. Lucia purposefully sets out to introduce a Donald Trump- or Republican Party-like agenda which seeks to benefit the rich while crushing the ambitions of St. Lucia’s already poor and desperate lower class, the LPM can no longer remain silent in the face of this vicious political onslaught.
Those who believe that the Prime Minister is alone in this need look no further than at the men and women around him and, specifically, at those who enable him through their silence to pursue these incoherent policies. They, in the view of the LPM, are no different from the Prime Minister.
Although it has been a full year since the election of the UWP into office, there are no tangible signs that things are about to get any better in the country anytime soon. Unemployment is still dangerously high, and crime is threatening to finally destroy the existence of peaceful communities throughout the island while only a few members of the UWP have profited from a change in government since 2016.
As members of the LPM, we affirm that the end results will be no different from what has traditionally obtained in the country. It is our view that, given the governing trajectory of the UWP, one can expect nothing more than ti-boutik-style road repair projects, upgraded public facilities, and the offering of rations and other political sponsorship in hopes of securing re-election in 2021.
Within the entire scope of this perpetual struggle for economic survival in St. Lucia for the last 38 years of self-rule, all we have seen are big promises of jobs, which, in the end, amount to nothing more than a grand illusion of comfort to partisans and political fools.
The Desert Star Holdings Limited (DSH) (project), with all of its economic trappings of grandiosity and infused with the short-sightedness of all Mr. Chastanet’s men put together, will prove grossly inadequate in terms of fulfilling our nation’s need to effectively eradicate poverty and provide decent-paying jobs for most St. Lucians.
It is for this very reason that today, the LPM is drawing a line in the sand by stepping up our commitment to oppose a Prime Minister who is too proud to listen, does not entertain dialogue, and is too naïve to even understand that these bad policies serve only to diminish his political appeal.
As a small political organisation, it is clear that we cannot do it alone, and so, we would like to enlist the support of new members who are willing to offer our country a new flicker of hope.
No one who understands and values progress can sit around without questioning the rule of a man who is too arrogant to accept that protecting the country’s poor and those who are already economically oppressed is the very essence of good governance.