THIS week I wish to write about the governance of St. Lucia, within the context of its achievements under both the U.W.P. and the St. Lucia Labour Party. The historical reality which the older folk should make their children aware of, is that the Labour Party’s historical record is one of a reactionary position, against all the major social initiatives and development projects for the economic, physical-infrastructural, and philosophical advancement of St. Lucia.
First and foremost the aspirations for St. Lucia to become an independent nation, was resisted by the Labour Party in the most violent way. This will remain as a black mark in the SLP’s history which will tarnish its image into perpetuity. The records also show the reality, in which there has always been economic prosperity for the citizens of St. Lucia under the U.W.P. in contrast to the regression and disharmony that we are faced with any time the S.L.P. is in power.
While the Labour Party persists in the pursuance of a failed oppressive and dictatorial ideology, the U.W.P.’s political and economic philosophy is one of ‘liberal democracy,’ which values individual freedom, equality, and justice for all, instead of the oppressive features of a failed ideology in which there is the restrictive and coercive nature of the state apparatus which stifles human creativity and aspirations.
The liberal policies of the U.W.P. have proven to be the most economically successful system in the world, which provides every citizen the equality of opportunity for achieving prosperity based on the hard work and creativity of the individual.
Another of the principles of the U.W.P. which the S.L.P. is not concerned about is the spiritual development of our people. The SLP’s governance is a purely secular concept for development and the lack of a spiritual dimension, which may well account for the failures of its policies, and the country’s decline into hopelessness and despair, manifested in the record number of suicides and the casual committal of the most brutal murders of burnt and headless bodies, unprecedented in our nation’s history.
The historical records also shows the reality in which there has always been economic prosperity any time the U.W.P. is in office, in contrast to the regression and upsurge in violent crime anytime the S.L.P. takes control of the governance of our country.
This intelligence of our people and their innate common sense is reflected in our political records, which show that despite the Labour Party’s efforts to frighten the St. Lucian electorate during election campaigns, by creating turbulence and an atmosphere of violence and fear, the U.W.P. has always won the hearts of our people with their Protestant and religious ethics. The sober minded citizens of this country could see through the machinations, falsehoods and deception of Labour. The electorate fell for Labour’s false promises and deception in 2011, because of the disenchantment over certain elements within the U.W.P, who have since been put to pasture.
The percipient citizens of this country, despite the political upheavals created by Labour during the election periods, have always chosen the U.W.P. overwhelmingly to manage the affairs of this blessed, green and pleasant land of ours for the following periods: U.W.P. 1964-79, 15 years; 1982-1997 another consecutive 15 years; 2006-2011, 5 years, a total of 35 years, in contrast to Labour’s failures and internal strife 1979-1981, 2 years, followed by an interim government for 1 year; 1997-2006, 9 years, the longest uninterrupted period that Labour has been in government, and I predict their last. Finally 2011-2014, 3 years, making a grand total of 14 years.
The citizens of this country have overwhelmingly voted for the U.W.P., because this is the party that has always delivered economic prosperity. The U.W.P. during its extensive periods in office has been able by its deeds and actions, not the empty rhetoric of ‘better days’, to catapult St. Lucia into the position of the most developed and economically advanced country in the O.E.C.S. During the first period of U.W.P. governance of 30 years, the party transformed the physical landscape of St. Lucia to a modern mecca which is the envy of the other O.E.C.S. territories. The infrastructural and social achievements deserve repeating to the Labour ostriches with their heads buried in the sand, who can’t bear to hear the monumental achievements our country has accomplished under the U.W.P. compared to the minimal contribution of Labour: the transformation of a one vehicular road in which one vehicle had to give way to another coming from the opposite direction, to construct the Castries Gros Islet Highway; the dredging of a mosquito and sand fly infested swamp to create the picturesque Rodney Bay Marina with its premier housing developments in the surrounding areas; in addition to the fastest growing commercial area and valuable real estate in the country. The construction of the Pigeon Island causeway, the platform for two of the most luxurious touristic resorts in the country; the John Compton Dam, the brewery; the expansion of the West and East coast roads; the Sandals Hotels, with more hotels in this island than the other Caribbean territories. I could exhaust the reader with landmark achievements of the U.W.P. to use a common phrase, but they are ‘too numerous to mention.’
However I must add that the most radical and revolutionary social programme for workers introduced by the U.W.P. in St. Lucia was the National Insurance Scheme now the (NIC). This social initiative was based on the knowledge that workers do not voluntarily save, and were forced to make deductions from their salaries, so that they could spend their retirement in dignity. Even this initiative the Labour Party was against. Today the NIC has the largest financial assets in the country which the Labour government resorts to when in financial difficulties.
The political philosophy of the U.W.P.’s liberal democracy which has always attracted all the major investors to come to St. Lucia, will only escalate with the business acumen of the leader of the U.W.P. Allen Chastanet, who inherited this knowledge and wise business contacts from his father Michael Chastanet, in addition to management of the family hotel, Coco Palm.
It was the U.W.P. which lured the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (the ARC) to St. Lucia. Therefore all the architecture which surrounds us in St. Lucia and the activities which attract thousands to our shores such as our iconic Jazz Festival were the ideas of the U.W.P. which the Labour Party likes to bask in any time these events come around on an annual basis.
In contrast what is the legacy of the Labour Party that it can boast about that is comparable to the magnificent achievements of the U.W.P.? In the last three years this government has increased the burdens particularly on the poor. Let us not paper over the cracks as the agents of this administration attempt to do. There exists in our country young men and women with no jobs, idling, with no hope for the future. What does a rational person expect them to do?