HAVING spent fifteen days abroad for personal reasons, I had the opportunity to reflect on the political wranglings in St. Lucia by tapping into WhatsApp, social media, local news and some talk shows.
Being a former and ardent supporter of the SLP, I have a relatively good knowledge of the modus operandi of the party and can vouch for the SLP’s performance in opposition as being second to none, not excluding to date the seventy erroneous statements on WhatsApp to pull the wool over the public’s eyes, similar to statements made by the former PM advising investors to stay away from St. Lucia.
Unfortunately, with the advent of the internet, Facebook, other social media and the like, we have all witnessed a proliferation of information — both true and false — but sadly the latter seems to have the edge. The people and organisations involved in these ongoing exercises may view this as being funny, while on the other hand, they have not really considered the disruption from the backlash of their actions.
St. Lucia is a small nation with limited resources and talents in every respect, but the areas we can fully address are those of responsibility and frankness and if those responsible for distorting this fragile gift of nature continue, our future remains in question.
The present administration inherited a Treasury devoid of finances but, in all fairness, all the OECS countries remain broke, therefore, prudence and thinking outside of the box by way of grants and focusing on projects which make economic sense is vital to our survival.
The banana industry is a perfect example of an industry which needs to be nurtured as the results can bring positive social values and at the same time our foreign exchange earnings can be enhanced. Our Minister of Agriculture has clearly understood the footprints of this industry by taking into consideration the various crops which can be grown within the banana industry, thereby providing the farmers with additional earnings.
For the many bright and under privileged St. Lucian children, the focus is now on artificial intelligence and vocational education to fill the gap of the various technical jobs presently available based on a major hotel expansion. Greater attention must be directed towards the importance of family life and better housing in order that the roots of discipline and hope are within the grasp of the ordinary man.
The ease of one phone call from a renowned drug dealer to a teenager for peddling his goods for instant gratification must be discouraged, failing which the harsh consequences of what has taken place in the Philippines may very well be a sad story which befalls St. Lucia.
We have clearly heard the cries of the opposition in respect to the PM’s travels but the nation must understand that without DIRECT FOREIGN INVESTMENT our tiny nations will wallow in the doldrums. DIRECT FOREIGN INVESTMENT will not automatically fall into the coffers of our Treasury as the donor nations must be convinced that their funding is carefully, professionally and honestly disbursed in order that the mismanagement which occurred at St. Jude should not be repeated.