Letters & Opinion

Get Off Chastanet’s Back

Image of Prime Minister Allen Chastanet

DEAR MR. EDITOR:
IT is very important when we are establishing new organizations in this country that we ensure that such bodies are led by persons with some intellectual capacity who are able to deal with issues with some measure of maturity and level-headedness, because these leaders represent other people and it would reflect badly on all members if they lacked the ability to grasp and discuss issues properly.

I refer to one response that has been aired in the media to Prime Minister Chastanet’s remarks about young women having children that they cannot support.

The group “Raise Your Voice” has taken the Prime Minister to task in a manner that seems to have been translated as “personal” considering the number of times the group’s leader, Ms. Sealys, invoked the Prime Minister’s name. It appears that the response was about the singer rather than the song he was singing. Given the group leader’s well-publicized differences with Mr. Chastanet in the United Workers Party, one must ask whether she was the correct person to respond to his views on the issue or articulate her group’s position.

In St. Lucia, we have to get to the stage where we stop this habit of personal attacks on people for their views on issues. This culture seems to have been introduced in the public forum by the St. Lucia Labour Party with its constant attacks on Mr. Chastanet that has now been picked up by many. This started after the gentleman’s assumption of the leadership of the UWP. The personal attacks began then and have not let up to this day.

Apparently, the Labour Party is of the view that this is the best way to defeat the UWP leader who won three leadership contests within his party and then defeated their own failed leader, Dr. Anthony, in the elections of 2016.

Ms. Sealys, in challenging Mr. Chastanet’s position, never offered one solution to the chronic social and economic problems that unplanned births was having in the country. She seemed to believe that simply saying that the Prime Minister’s position was wrong and out of touch with reality was enough. Well, the fact is that the public expects better from any organization purporting to have the interests of people at heart.

I am not saying that Mr. Chasanet is correct. In fact, he could be totally wrong but I must ask the question: Should young women and their men continue to bear two, three, four children that they cannot support? What are the implications for the various systems in education, for example? Are these children being properly reared to make a positive contribution to the society?

We have got to understand that the majority of these kids grow up to be a burden on the society. In most cases, they are abandoned by one or both parents from very early. From here on there are problems: dropping out of school, taking to gangs, drugs, crime, etc. Soon, they are in the courts, then in our prisons. Is this the life we want for our young people?

I am sure Allen Chastanet has the means to take care of his own children. It is for us to try to give ours a chance as well. Resorting to criticizing or abusing him for his views is not going to get us anywhere. Give the man a break. Kenny Anthony spent years in government giving us as six for a nine, then leaving us with a huge mess on our hands. We said nothing about it, now all of a sudden everyone has mouth. I repeat, get off Chastanet’s back.

Vernon Toussaint

3 Comments

  1. I can’t even begin to comment on some of the ignorance in this piece – suffice it to say, it’s just so funny how the very things we criticize about someone is exactly what we espouse. Sad

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