WHILE the title of his commentary, “Let Loose the Dogs of War” has led a commentator in this newspaper into a spot of trouble, it is the preceding phrase that may be more significant. That phrase is “Cry Havoc”, the full line being “Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war”.
In the sense used, “Havoc” refers to a military order permitting the seizure of spoil after victory, or alternatively, the rape, pillage and plunder of the defeated.
Our politics now seems to have turned into a blood sport, with our country the spoil of victory.
And as the country falls apart, we turn to the poem by Yeats, also previously quoted in this newspaper:
“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world …
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity”.
The Second Coming,W. B. Yeats, 1865-1939
As we witness the persistent attacks on the normative values that bind our society together, we remain incredulous that there are some who claim title to the concepts of “transparency and accountability” on our little speck of dust. They would be on much safer ground simply reminding us that we have a long history of not applying the applicable laws on our books, and that institutional financing had kept us safe from ourselves – corrupt practices are much more difficult on World Bank and CDB funded projects.
And as we now struggle desperately for a breath of fresh air on fair Helen, we must be mindful of those who would encourage us to go in search of something that lies before our very eyes, because in the common usage of those words, “transparency and accountability”, this government is transparent. We have seen through them. What they are not is accountable, as there isn’t a thing that we can do about what we are seeing.
Recently we have seen the spectacle of Prime Minister Chastanet rising in our Parliament and asking for anyone with information on the Grynberg issue to come forward with it. In that regard, he is not alone and is merely repeating the antics of former Prime Minister Stephenson King.
As far as we understand, one of the principal issues associated with Grynberg is a question as to whether or not former Prime Minister Anthony had the authority to sign the document that he supposedly did, the lease of our seabed to Grynberg.
Well, we have read a cogent summary of the Grynberg matter in this newspaper by a Mr. Stephen Lester Prescott, widely believed to represent wordplay on the title, St. Lucia Labour Party, a summary which also provides a defense of Dr. Anthony’s right to sign that document.
Yet, nearly three months later there has been no rebuttal of this defense of Dr. Anthony by anyone, nor any indication from our Prime Minister as to whether or not the information contained in that article is satisfactory, or sufficient.
We are therefore left to conclude that the only acceptable response will be a statement from Dr. Anthony himself in Parliament, and if this conclusion is correct, it would seem that the stage has been set for another of those immemorable displays of bad manners and indiscipline to which we have become accustomed from those honourable members of the House.
While none of us will be watching that upcoming display of hooliganism, I want to encourage our Prime Minister to demand that Dr. Anthony present that defense of himself in the House, as Dr. Anthony must be made to be accountable for his actions. And in the minds of many, if he cannot defend himself, then he should be prosecuted and jailed. This will make half of our country happy.
But, at the same time that Prime Minister Chastanet is making those demands for information, he must satisfy the identical demand himself. There is much that is still not known about the DSH proposal, while the financing scheme that has the government reimbursing DSH for its investment in its money-losing racetrack requires particular explanation.
And while this DSH project appears to be entirely dependent on CIP funding its viability remains highly questionable, with the Opposition claiming that the project proposal has failed due diligence examination on numerous occasions. Yet the Government continues to ignore Clause 24 of the CIP Act which requires that it lay annual reports of the CIP Board before Parliament detailing the number of passports sold, the names and citizenship of the applicants, and the amounts involved.
In these circumstances, we are forced to rely on a statement by the CEO of the CIP that in the two years of its operations, 259 passports have been sold. If this is in fact the case, where is the financing for DSH and the other hotel projects to come from? And when the smoke clears and this pipedream evaporates, how is current DSH design and construction expenditure to be reimbursed?
So that when Prime Minister Chastanet is in his turn eventually required to account for his stewardship of this DSH project, if he cannot defend himself then he too should be prosecuted and jailed. That will make the other half of this country happy.
Then we will have two former Prime Ministers, sitting side by side in jail, in a completely happy country. Oh Happy Day!
But this wanton disregard for our laws and our values, camouflaged in political bloodletting, is driving us to anarchy. And as our country falls apart, there seems to be nothing that the centre can do to hold.