PRIME Minister Anthony needs to temper some aspects of his public behaviour and try to live up to the image and expectations of his high office. We are disappointed that the Prime Minister continues to use his lofty position to threaten and intimidate opponents, a matter that can also have implications for the future stability and social order in our country. This kind of behaviour, coming from that level, is unprecedented in St. Lucia.
Dr. Anthony does not have to like his political opponents, but he must at least demonstrate a willingness to respect and tolerate them so that they, in turn could reciprocate. After heading the government for so many years, one expected that he would be displaying maturity in how he relates to those on “the other side”. But this has not been the case.
Instead, the Prime Minister frequently comes across as a rabble rouser and bully, a person with a chip on his shoulder and old scores to settle. We fail to understand why a sitting Prime Minister, democratically elected with a comfortable majority in parliament, under no serious pressure from his opponents, should be exhibiting this kind of disdain for the leader of an opposing party and his family as we heard again last Sunday. Where is this heading?
Anthony needs to understand that this land does not belong to him, that all of us who call ourselves St Lucians have a stake in it. As far as we are aware no one has bequeathed to him or his government the power to decide who should lead the opposition or any other group in the country for that matter. It is downright presumptuous of the Prime Minister to portray himself as possessing that right or power.
What is alarming is that while Anthony refers to Allen Chastanet as the harbinger of “the most divisive and class driven politics in our country since independence”, many utterances from himself and his party colleagues in recent months have sought to do the very same thing: the pursuit of an agenda of race and class, with all its dangerous consequences.
Even more alarming was his declaration last Sunday that he was making this statement “unapologetically”.
Our Prime Minister must give his people better example than that. Given the various problems that confront the country at this time, it is asking for trouble to be doing or saying things that have the potential for fomenting additional strife of any kind. Political leaders ought to be working to unify their people, not divide them. It will be recalled that some years ago Anthony even threatened us with “Armageddon” and he has been quite scathing in his criticisms of opponents or persons perceived to be opponents. In all of this, Anthony seems to be thriving on the fact that so few people seem prepared to stand up to him when he misbehaves.
One should understand therefore the defiance being exhibited by the Civil Service Association in its ongoing dealings with the government. It is the Prime Minister’s high handed behaviour that has brought this on, and while many would have preferred to see the association considering the bigger picture of the state of the country and its economy, it is clear that as far as the CSA is concerned, there is a greater principle of dignity and respect that is important here.
Anthony needs to come down from his “high horse”. No one lives forever. But we must all seek to live well and treat each other likewise.