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St. Lucians Confused Over Independence

Queen’s Counsel Kenneth Monplaisir
Queen’s Counsel Kenneth Monplaisir

A veteran attorney has arrived at a theory to explain why he thinks St. Lucians are not truly independent at heart and what they should do to get there.

Queen’s Counsel Kenneth Monplaisir told The VOICE that St. Lucians lack the discipline which would permit them to enjoy a sense of independence but that this was perhaps no fault of theirs.

The issue, he said, lies in the nation’s history of indecisiveness dating back to the times of colonialism.

“I think it’s our historical background where we’re part French, part English and when the French took over and they did not know whether to side with the English and vice versa. So there was this kind of ambivalence in the mind which to me still exists”.

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Monplaisir added that St. Lucians don’t know whether they were coming or going and were are afraid to speak their minds when given the opportunity to do so.

He said: “I think it’s difficult and it’s through the pattern of changes that we had in our history…you don’t erase this historical situation overnight”.

Monplaisir did offer up one solution to the matter, suggesting that the nation’s youth should be targeted in order to break the cycle.

He advised: “To me, it’s a sense of discipline that we need to inculcate from the young right up. Don’t expect any headway with those over 30, but we need to guide the young people”.

Monplaisir said that St. Lucians needed to practise national pride in the same way that other nations like Jamaicans and Barbadians do rather than bring themselves and each other down.

He also suggested that more St Lucians needed to develop a sense of humour and be less angry with one another.

6 Comments

  1. The majority of people here were never either English or French even though these dominated the institutions, laws etc. That the norms and values, prejudices etc of the minority white population was imposed on to the wider majority African and other non-white populations is moreso the reason for any ambivalence than the back and forth between British and French. As for independence, the exploitation of the majority was never simply a matter of a constitutional arrangement between Britain and St. Lucia so independence cannot be achieved simply by a constitutional re-arrangement.

  2. I was watching what few videos there are online about st lucia’s history; compton had a quote that ‘Independence is not just a day’. That is probably the best way to describe what you are saying. Too many Lucians just think of it as a party. Yet some do not want to own their own problems. It is often forgotten that it was largely self autonomous internally for years prior to 79. Another thing that he said (paraphrase) is that Lucia will drown internationally because of ignorance. That is another thing which has come about (Grynberg etc)the result of what happens when you mess about with things you don’t understand.

    There is another documentary online about st lucia’s natural habitat. This should be compulsory viewing for everyone – to remind us all about what happens when economic development happens in an unregulated manner. The very things which we need to preserve are lost forever. This is only 238 sqm of land, so the margin of error is very narrow indeed. True independence is understanding and managing issues at that level – not some bookie expecting free land from the government.

    1. We have nationhood. Yes? Well, lots of it: We sing. We dance. And we have a flag, a national anthem, and a national symbol. For 36 years we have been there and done that. But independence? What the heck is that?

  3. First of all it is important to define the term Independence. On a micro level St Lucia’s independence appears favorable but on a Global scale we have to accept our economic independence hold the key to that national pride we all seek to establish.
    The education system has a significant role to play to instill that sense of pride in people (from the cradle to the grave). I know little about the train of thought that conditions the present leadership in St Lucia but from close observation, I find it unnerving the present leadership have chosen to model St Lucia’s Trading Development plans on failed European states (Greece) .” How can a country in financial crisis ever expect to progress economically with a minister of the interior who is a professor of Marxist criminology”.

  4. “Kenneth Monplaisir told The VOICE that St. Lucians lack the discipline which would permit them to enjoy a sense of independence….”
    —————————————————————————————————————————
    Maybe St.Lucians have come to the realization that our ‘Quasi-Colonial Arrangement’ with England, and the rest of Europe, isn’t true independence; and have, therefore, become ambivalent.

    1. The fact that they have “come to the realization…isn’t true independence” is of no fault of Britain or St.lucia. As St.Lucians, we have not taken pride in our independence because we lack confidence. Sure we can back ourselves up in petty arguments but can we back our country?

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