‘OH what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive.’ In recalling these lines which George Odlum so loved, I couldn’t help feeling sorry for the people of Saint Lucia who listened to the Prime Minister’s address.
As a former Leader of the Opposition Anthony said that it was extortion for the UWP Government to charge $12.75 for a gallon of gasolene. At the time the world price of a barrel of oil was US$147.00. Today the price of petroleum has dropped to less than half what it was in 2008, yet Saint Lucians pay $13.75 per gallon for gas. Who is the real extortionist? How can the high price of gasolene here be explained especially in light of gas prices in Grenada and St. Kitts?
The truth is that Dr. Anthony has frittered away the income taxes of the working people, including VAT, on unsustainable and recurring annual expenditures. This is bad and injudicious management of the island’s economy. Why are the Anthony Government and his paid hacks trying so hard to convince the people that his $13.75 per gallon for gasolene is justified? Rubbish! I say. Poppycock! The figures which are now being presented (and explained?) are to bamboozle,mamaguy and fool the people. With the price of oil at less than half what it was in 2008 why can’t the bright boys with their Ph. D degrees sell gasolene for at least $10.00 or even $9.00 per gallon. Why?
The question must be asked: Which is more beneficial to the people, a review of gas prices every month or the review every three months which Kenny and his SLP introduced? Please note, dear reader, that even as he criticized the monthly review in his recent address to the nation, he offered from the other side of his mouth a review of gas prices monthly if the conditions warrant it. Another case of Kenny and Tony! How pathetic and hypocritical that such garbage is coming from the lips of the country’s leader at a time when the island is celebrating the excellence of its two Nobel Laureates.
It is difficult for Anthony and his hacks and acolytes to answer with a straight face, the extortionist charges now laid at their doorstep. They know they lied to the people. Sadly, the former UWP regime was too timid to give a robust and proper rebuttal and to call Anthony the dissembler he is. For my part, he and his new SLP opportunists must be returned to the opposition benches where they belong. The SLP has never been able to grow the economy or to manage it properly – period! Thankfully, time and the democratic vote within the UWP have taken care to see that the party is ready to resume office.
The people are discovering that political opportunism whatever its colour is never about fairness or playing by the rules. Rogues, who are too often plentiful in politics, will do anything; distort any information, in order to get into political office. Afterwards, when the people finally discover their true quality it becomes a matter of voting them out. The last elections here also proved that the will of the people does not always manifest itself at the polls. This time around the party in power will try and manipulate constituency boundaries, plus buy off weak opponents and even try and tamper with the voters’ list, in order to stay in office. They must be stopped, whatever the cost!
Someone was once asked a SLP hack how and the SLP managed to win the last elections. ‘By pulling a rabbit out of the hat,’ came the quick response. Pulling a rabbit out of the hat, dear reader, is a common magician’s trick, using sleight of hand whilst re-directing the viewer’s eyes elsewhere. Everyone except the most innocent imbecile knows that there was no rabbit in any hat to start with. So the ‘magic’ is a joke on the audience – in this case the people of Saint Lucia.
For how long can politicians fool the people? We may now answer this question with some confidence, not very long. The ball is now in the court of the Opposition UWP. That party seems finally determined to do what it must. And Kenny Anthony is already messing all over his pants. He is mortally afraid of Allen Chastanet, who many believe has the support of his entire family. One merely has to observe the abundance of nervous prattle with which every utterance of Allen Chastanet, Guy Joseph and Rigobert is deliberately twisted and misrepresented by the paid hacks of “New Labour”.
Thankfully the people of Saint Lucia know how to march and protest when their government begins to lie and disrespect them. Anthony used protest marches to good effect when he was in opposition – purgatory. So he is mortally afraid of his own weapon (medicine?). But the people have said ‘enough is enough.’ We march! No more rabbits out of any hats, not even out of red hats. No way!
St. Kitts and Nevis provides a good example of a politician who refuses to go when it seems obvious that he has ended his useful political purpose. The question is why is Denzil Douglas good enough to advise the SLP to ‘stay loyal to de party’ and he is not now good enough to advise them how to lower the price of gas to $10.75 so that the SLP supporters can benefit? The question needs to be repeated. How a gallon of gasolene can cost $10.75 in St. Kitts which has one third the population of Saint Lucia and less than one third the numbers of motor vehicles? How St. Kitts do it and Saint Lucia cannot?
As if to give the game completely away Anthony looked tired and jaded in that last address. The speech fell flat on its face. I was as struck by the vacuous nature of the man’s words as much as by his dead panned physiognomy and morbid contemplation of virtue past dead. His words mattered little after ten minutes or so into that speech. His hardened face and worried countenance had spoken more loudly than his words; shouting defeat, defeat, defeat! That was enough for me. The boastful arrogance had evaporated and those who have eyes to see witnessed a defeated pretender who has yet to come straight and admit it.
Finally, why was the world economy not important when poor Stephenson King was Prime Minister? Why didn’t Anthony tell the people whether he will be attending the Caribbean Energy Security Conference in Washington D.C. on January 26, this year? Why didn’t he inform the people when drilling for petroleum in Saint Lucia waters, under Grynberg will begin? As far as this writer is concerned the UWP must march and protest and hold public meetings until Anthony lowers the price of gasolene to nine or ten dollars a gallon. In addition, he must be made to pay for the tangled web he weaved. He must not be allowed to pull any more rabbits from any hat, period.