Letters & Opinion, Politics

SLP In Panic!

By Jeff Fedee
By Jeff Fedee

IT was America’s greatest President, Abraham Lincoln who coined the phrase, ‘you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all of the time.’

This phrase has become relevant to our country today, because the people were royally conned by the S.L.P. in the elections of 2011, but will not be fooled again anytime the next elections are held. The ploy of Labour is: make enough noise and blame the Opposition, and the people will believe you. But the latest economic survey conducted by the World Bank and the U.N.D.P. in collaboration with St. Lucia’s Statistics Department, clearly shows the regression of the country in all areas of economic development, with the frightening figures of unemployment which have risen to unprecedented levels.

The latest U.N.D.P./World Bank report on the economic trends in St. Lucia, in the period 2008 – 2013 indicated that when the global economic crisis hit the world in 2008, the unemployment rate in St. Lucia was around 15%. But from 2011 – 2013 the unemployment rate nearly doubled to approximately 30% among the youth, which explains the unprecedented level of suicides and frustration among the youth. The report further states that St. Lucia has a high level of debt, which limits the government’s ability to invest in social programmes and human capital. At the onset of the crisis (2008) the contribution of construction, tourism and agriculture to real GDP growth declined significantly and has not recovered since.

Yet instead of engaging the people in the economic realities we face, St. Lucians have observed in recent times that at the S.L.P.’s constituency conferences, the most memorable being the one held in Babonneau, the speakers on the platform, most notably the representative of that constituency Alvina Reynolds, ably supported by the Prime Minister, were behaving like persons who are demented. St. Lucians watched the pitiful spectacle of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health, in hysterical mode spouting their venom at the opposition U.W.P. as though the party was responsible for the current state of affairs in the country.

Evidently the Prime Minister has come to the realization that the country is in crisis, and his party is in trouble. He is definitely running scared, and despite his confident public persona, in his moments of introspection, the situation in the country must be having a damaging effect on his psychological state. In the last desperate period of his administration Kenny cannot point to one notable area of success.

This Labour government which is bankrupt of ideas, has not introduced any innovative ideas or policies for the advancement of our country, any further from the platform and foundation laid down by the U.W.P. decades ago. A classic example is the recent announcement of Labour’s intention to build ‘affordable’ low and middle-income house for St. Lucians. The S.L.P. government is stuck in the past of trying to duplicate successful policies of the U.W.P. with the multiplicity of housing projects stretching from Beausejour in the North to Black-Bay, Vieux Fort in the South, which are not the practical solutions for the issue of housing in St. Lucia today and for the future.

It is evident that our Ministers who travel frequently at great expense on our taxes, do not open their eyes to the ideas and innovations that are visible in the advanced countries that can be transferred to our country. It is patently absurd that with our limited land space we should be intent on using large swathes of land to build individual houses for low and middle-income housing. Travel should develop and expand the human mind, to think and reason and to apply the technological advances that they observe in our country. Even those who are unable like our Ministers to travel far afield, just next door in neighbouring Martinique the economically wealthier Martiniquians live in apartment complexes.

We observe that in the developed world countries with unlimited land resources, build modern apartment complexes that can accommodate thousands of citizens for both the rich and those with limited financial means. With the largest land-mass of any country in the world, China uses its land efficiently with massive sky-scrapers as apartment complexes for housing for the people in a country blessed with vast and unlimited expanses of land.

The Labour Party demonstrates very clearly that it is stuck in the past and does not have the intellectual capacity to realize that we are wasting our limited land resources, some of which should be preserved for the future patrimony of our country, and areas for the development of agriculture which this government, with its limited perspective has not come to the realization that agriculture should be the main pillar for our country’s future growth and sustainable development. But this government indulges in projects of low and middle-income housing because it provides the opportunity for cheap votes and to indulge in blatant corruption, with the evidence of the 42 low-cost houses in Monchy which cost the government $37 million, which even the Conway residents complained were of substandard quality.

Our Prime Minister announced recently that he would like to leave politics with honour. Is there any honour and decency in the language he uses to flay his political enemies? Has there been any accounting by his government for the millions in the N.C.A. and STEP scandals, and cost overruns; the secret deal to sell St. Lucia’s coastal patrimony to a questionable oil explorer Jack Grynberg to exploit our waters without the knowledge and approval of Cabinet? Why was that deal kept secret from the cabinet?

I wish a survey would be conducted of the perception of St. Lucians on the performance of this government as well as its chances in any coming elections. The government has been unable to keep its election promises and unable to provide meaningful solutions to the country’s multitude of problems. The fact is St. Lucians are pessimistic for the future of this country under Labour, and will not take the chance of imposing another five years of hardship on themselves. May the remaining period run quickly to get rid of this disappointing bunch.

1 Comment

  1. ERROR # 1
    Lincoln was a great president for following a script that was prescribed by overwhelming national circumstances.
    First, the fledgling nation if carved up would lose its momentum to rise as super power.
    That said, imagine a strong south supported by foreign powers who can encroach , nibble away like parasitic poachers on the borders of northern states. The north with its factories and need to access raw materials needed to enforce its MANIFEST DESTINY FROM SEA TO GULF TO Shining SEA
    Strategically the labor and fighting pool of African descendants could sway the fulcrum of military and economic might DECISIVELY for the North.
    Therefore, Lincolns “Cotinental ambitions were those of the Wall Street bankers and Brokers who gave card blanc to wage ceaseless war on a limited south. MORE won the war.
    You give too much credit for a job that was dictated by the $$$$ powers that be. Corporate open ended Capitalism versus family style feudal capitalism- Big money won.
    His personality wins top accolades, yes, nevertheless,he shares the grand stage of greatness with most of the founding fathers who went on to become presidents. After all they risked their necks to a legal execution (treason). Lincoln never faced a legal execution for going to war. Washington, Jefferson et al did.
    Woodrow Wilson and the polio afflicted Roosevelt and Kennedy also belong in that class of great presidents, n’est pas ?
    ERROR #2 You treat all readers like peechiwit (the bird) with pea wits (size of intellectual functioning); note the lyrical rhymes. Doggone- you inspire my latent bombastic MC Dillinger (JA Toaster) dance hall vibes 🙂
    Only bird parents regurgitate warm VOMIT as sustenance for their chicks.
    The Greatest (now here is an appropriate use of the SUPERLATIVE) bastion of capitalism spiraled ominously at about the same time when St. Lucia’s economic balance sheets nosedived . Hello, are we not TETHERED to the CAPITALIST empires.
    Unlike the US with its immense untapped natural resources (including petro derivatives, manufacturing of the most cutting edge tech and a military industrial complex that could bleed most opponents into submission)- her recovery followed predictable patterns. Infrastructure spending , and bailouts checked unemployment.
    Unfortunately, St Lucia appears tanked all because the natural resources are too little to sustain 165000.
    Yet you flood us with obvious stats about a well known crisis. How about unearthing the likkle activities that average StLucians share in your ndictment: Black market trade, living and copulating without a plan and or way beyond their means. Falling prey to EASy loans from commercial banks etc. The countries that fared well or better were the ones whose rate of savings to expenses accts were historically high. Translation =prudent /frugal daily living choices are a great defense for the obvious cycles of capitalist depression.
    We drink our paychecks away and in the stupor copulate without phallic balloons (our manliness must not be shrouded)_ We repeat the same vices until…….
    There I steered your penmanship as a plume of advocacy for responsible living
    Error #3 Damning the homes built. Any able bodied man is better motivated to seek economic viability if his base of operations is his own castle —-
    rather than a tent , crumbling rental or the streets .
    Majestic error of all. A return to green gold prosperity. NEVER HAPPEN even if every 238 sq miles is planted over with bananas, 2/3 or more will rot on our wharves. MARKETING 101
    BRAND NAME RECOGNITION . DOLE AND CHIQUITA have sealed the mass futures markets for this product in Europe and America. Sure there is always room for a BOUTIQUE market of our bananas – malheuresment, the quota or share of this market is trivial.

    In summary, you opened with an unsupported superlative that shows your misunderstanding of US History. your aim was to use the emotional connection with the Emancipation Proclamation in subliminal guise. Remember the work of European and Americans to abolish slave trade and the political movements to emancipate in Europe paved the lead for the US. The Civil war hastened the need as in MANPOWER. Lincoln merely went along for the luxury ride to emancipation (no pun intended)

    Again you referenced the WTO knockout of our banana industry in the hopes of resurrecting John Compton’s coattails for your current marauding clique of opportunists to ride on; again subliminally.
    Great former educator that you are, your subliminal prowess is best suited to Hollywood script writing, oui!
    Tally ho!

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