Letters & Opinion

Something Rotten In Saint Lucia

By Peter Josie
By Peter Josie

LET’S be frank and truthful; there’s something rotten in the state of Saint Lucia. True, the rot did not suddenly appear overnight with the IMPACS report and the sending of Police Commissioner Francois on extended leave. No! It has been festering long before IMPACS and Francois. What remains uncertain are its exact genesis and the extent to which it has eroded the institutions of the State and the confidence of people in politicians. The question is what must be done about it, when, by whom and can trust be restored?

For answer one must reach beyond the superficial and correctly examine the root cause(s) of the malaise, and decide how best to exorcise it. Why not begin with the uncertainty surrounding Police Commissioner Francois, and reports in recent STAR newspapers of a $5-million termination payout for his services. The seemingly unending absence of Commissioner Francois from his job, must concern persons who believe that security is the first law. Why is there so little official (Government), information? Is there an offer of $5 million to amicably relieve the Commissioner of his services? Do the citizens of Saint Lucia deserve clarification and factual information on this burning issue? If yes, whose duty it is to provide such information?

Perhaps it’s time to recall the crucial roles the State performs. It must provide security for all its citizens. Such security falls to the police and its quasi-military, SSU branch. The State has a duty to pay police and its several other public servants. But the State produces nothing, and sells nothing. It pays its debt with money raised through taxation. Here lies the catch! Taxes are collected only from those who earn a certain stated (legal) income. The most reliable source of such income is the tax paid by businesses and workers. The smaller the tax base the more difficulty the State experiences in meeting its obligations. Collections are compounded when the revenue (tax) base shrinks or remains sluggish.

The more people who work and the more businesses turn a profit, the more taxes that are to be collected and the more money that becomes available for social agenda – schools, hospitals, roads and temporary work programmes. To enhance its income potential, a state offers incentives for production of goods and services to enterprises to later generate taxable incomes. Sometimes a state imposes too high a taxation burden on its citizens. In such an environment, entrepreneurs (and citizens) often search out ways and means to hide their incomes (and profits?), to avoid paying such high taxes.

It is at that point that discussions (and speculation) on the nature and purpose of the State begins anew. It may then be useful to re-examine the separation of powers between the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary and see to what extent the executive encroaches on the legislature and/or the judiciary. Separation and independence can flounder (and fail), if the executive fails to provide correct and principled leadership. Separation of powers also suffers if the executive over-reaches its portfolio and tries to dictate to the judiciary or if it encroaches upon the constitutional authority of the Governor General, and Parliament.

Unfortunately, the conduct of the executive branch, and the often lukewarm approach by the opposition in parliament, leaves the State vulnerable, and subject to manipulation by an executive determined to have its way. Newspaper reports have suggested that, the executive usurped the power of the Governor General in the Grynberg agreement. In addition, people remember the initial circumvention of the Financial Rules and Orders in the fiasco known as Rochamel, and the deceit of the parliament in securing funds to pay the same.

To add to these difficulties there is reluctance by journalists to subject the executive to closer questioning and scrutiny. How long can a self-respecting people tolerate such deceit and false excesses? How long can the government apologists pretend that all is well and that the people are better off today than they were five years ago?

Given all that is known about IMPACS and the many lies and deceit of the Executive, how should one accurately describe the cabinet of Ministers? If one were to use three words to describe the Government, what would these words be? Secretive! Reckless! Liar! Such accusations have been proven time and time again over the government’s stay in office. Indeed, many believe that the sooner the government fades into history, the better for all Saint Lucians – and the OECS region as a whole.

It’s also obvious that the government has run out of ideas. In the absence of sensible economic solutions it has constructed smoke-filled bonfires around Allen Chastanet, as diversion. The amateurish criticisms of Allen Chastanet and the effort to change the conversation from IMPACS and Commissioner Francois, has not worked. The allegation of a $5 million payout in a sick economy (as people go hungry) seemed designed to spread more anger and disgust.

In its defence, the government has built at least four layers of protective cover-ups. Its die-hard supporters pretend to see no evil, hear no evil and feel no economic pain.
Its hand-picked civil servants grow fat on the taxes of those whom they loathe. Some insist that the emperor is clothed in finery, even as they secretly laugh at his grotesque nakedness. His ministers have subordinated their better judgment to prop up failure. Finally, there are corrupt party officials, in reality a secretive board of directors, whose survival is inextricably bound-up with that of their leader. Throw in a PRO or two and the whole enterprise lays bare and ugly.

Where does all this leave Saint Lucia in its worst economic situation? That’s the $5million question on which the fate of Police Commissioner Vernon Francois seems to turn. Whither the future of the police service? Can a professional and impartial police service be guaranteed at a time of growing misery and public discontent and mistrust? How long can migration and religion dampen the flame of anger and fierce disenchantment? Can trust and confidence in Government ever return?

Finally, to properly analyze IMPACS and the future of Police Commissioner Francois, a closer look at the economic performance of the island, the burden of taxation on ordinary citizens and the hostility towards a failed government, bears serious scientific investigation. With this in mind, the incontrovertible fact remains that something is rotten in the state of Saint Lucia. The island’s reputation has been tarnished by this government. The fate of a much admired Commissioner has been placed in jeopardy. The island has fallen from where the late Compton left it. Its general squalour and filth demeans its best days and says that, something is rotten in Saint Lucia.

15 Comments

  1. Pee-Tar,
    Imagine you have 3 downs to cover 1o yards and so retain POSSESSION of the pigskin ‘football” in order to repeat the incremental opportunities to advance up the field and score a touchdown or field goal.
    Depending on FIELD POSITION, most defenses anticipate a short or deep pass offensive play on first down. Consequently, they deploy the correct coverage formation.
    Pete, as Flambeau team quarter back, you thew a “HAIL MARY” pass on first down starting from your own 20 yard line.
    Pete. ole boy, this is clearly and indication that “TIME” is running out on Flambeau’s “GAME” clock. This act of DESPERATION is fraught with all the the “hebephrenia” showcased in the Prince of Denmark’s “To Be or not to be”.
    Ziggy Freud must have loved reading Hamlet, oui?

  2. Pete, what happened since your last piece of objective writing?
    This piece has all the giddy gurgle after effects of SENNA dislodging a three day CONSTIPATION.
    This checker board of reheated vomit implies an impatient external force impinging on your better writing abilities as in puppet master of flameout flambeu.
    Poor jab, your better writing moments are missed.
    Nevertheless, I like your choice of the “madness” of Prince Hamlet of Denmark;

  3. Pete,
    Although this was literary hogwash and knowing there is so much better writing within your gr; let us share a taste of the bard as your article’s title suggests:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ks-NbCHUns
    I like both Burton and Olivier’s renditions BUT for absolute mental scape implying introspection I prefer Olivier’s.
    Besides Burton top heavy Emotive Welsh expressionism does not speak to the communication clarity that is seriously omitted in your bouyon.
    You guys had 5 years to create a viable alternative to this current incumbency.
    Now that the election game clock is late in the final 4th quarter you’ll are throwing desperate ‘Hail Mary’s” as a poor substitute for real political agenda!!!!!
    Have us Mercy, please send down Percy.

  4. Oh by the by Pete,
    I read this other article in current p0stings ” Remembering George Odlum”. I so looked forward to a proper eye witness report on the topic or posted activities. Your “rare’ lens of objectivity would make for a delicious reading -my dream indeed.
    Anywho, let me add the overview definition of Hamlet’s “madness” and this current piece of writing:
    (Disorganized schizophrenia is one of five subtypes of schizophrenia. Also known as hebephrenic schizophrenia, this particular subtype often has a poor prognosis. As the name suggests, it is characterized by disorganized behavior and speech, as well as disturbances in emotional expression. )
    You are regressing -again, Peetar!

  5. Just to add clarity to the term ‘Flamboyant Flambeau Flameout’
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHx3lWQjNWM
    just like a German Luftwaffe Heinkel after a burst from an RAF Spitfiree
    -Pete imagine sipping a highball of Tanqueray with icey Lime Squash at ye olde Club Blue Danube , overlooking Faux A Chaud and the Harbor while the jukebox plays “In The Still of the Night”- back in da day of your blossoming neo Simon Bolivar creed.
    -while watching this video clip,oui.

  6. Wake up Pete and stop imagining that you are Travolta and Mary Isaac is Tina Turner. There are a few poignant messages embedded in the Saturday Fever Disco Clip:
    African polyrythmns
    ORGANIZED movement
    TO BE confidence (unlike mopping Hamlet)
    Energy
    Flame on Fire
    Cross cultural affinity
    Peetar, your club has a ways to go to shake off that wet drippy blanket syndrome :)’
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tj1VnD-NRhw

  7. In the Long Night of Flame is out Flambeau
    you may want to utilize the following as Human Warmth/Care package.
    Please don’t share with “dat Mary”-
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBT3oDMCWpI
    Think instead of the anticipation you used to sense on your way to buy a Rock Cake and squash by Cazbon’s Bakery (near the South West corner of the Ave Maria Primary School).
    I bet you wonder where these alluring/charming lassies who served up the pastries etc are today.

  8. Josie:

    There you go AGAIN ! whenever you resort to the practice of alchemy (transforming Allen into credible) coupled with exorcism, your writing descends into the abyss of falsehoods and demonic invocations of Beelzebub. You begin this séance pleading ignorance and the lack of available information pertaining to Vernon Francois’ collaboration and complicity with the Hit Squad of Killer Cops who littered the sidewalks and roadways with cadavers of Black young Lucians ‘mal-le-wez’ with the blessings of Michael Chastanet as witnessed in this video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLrnriLmWRE

    How much more revelations do you require to establish in your delusional existence that Vernon Francois should be sent to the Gallows to join the likes of Augusto Pinochet for the innumerable extrajudicial murders of these poor Lucian men the Chastanets refer to as “BAD BOYS’ who should be “TAKEN OUT” ??

    I must admit however, that this here article is the most discombobulated utterances penned in this newspaper in the last 130 years of its existence, and perfectly described by the scholar Mach Beth as a “bouyon”/carlaloo, for after your opening paragraphs claiming the total absence of information available, and in your words, “Lucians deserve clarification and factual information on this burning issue…”, by the end of this drunken episode of yours on tax evasion, you were proclaiming extensive knowledge of the subject, “given all that we know about IMPAC and the lies…” we should conclude that the Government of Kenny Anthony is “RECKLESS AND SECRETIVE LIARS”, begging the question, how does one with so little information as claimed in your first paragraphs arrive at such concrete conclusions ? is it the rum talking, or the information you obtained from seances with dead people in the Choc Cemetery ?

    Josie didn’t you learn: “What does it profit a man if he gained the whole world but suffered the loss of of his own soul”?? Even a Muslim like myself recognize this truthful lesson from the Catholic Church.

  9. The most stupid song, after Pope Francis spoke at the UN — No reward for whatever you do, good or bad ! No Heaven for the Oppressed and doers of good, and No Hell for Elizabeth II and Hitler ? THE MOST STUPID SONG. — NO JUSTICE, NO GOD ? LIKE WE CREATED THE HONEY BEE OR THE FLY ?

    Surah Al-Hajj
    In the name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful.

    O men! Here is a parable set forth! Listen to it! Those on whom besides Allah, ye call cannot create (even) a fly, if they all met together for the purpose! And if the fly should snatch away anything from them, they would have no power to release it from the fly: feeble are those who petition and those whom they petition! (73)
    No just estimate have they made of Allah: for Allah is He Who is strong and able to carry out His Will. (74)
    Allah chooses Messengers from angels and from men: for Allah is He Who hears and sees (all things). (75)

    (what the Christians call the Holy Ghost, is actually the angelic Messenger Gabriel/Jibreel in Arabic; he is a creation of Allah and one of his duties is to convey divine revelations to the humans through Prophets. — Yet Christian worship him as an equal of Allah)

    This Pope is the Best Pope to have ever lived. His actions are more Islamic than many Muslims. But the polytheism in his worship annuls his good deeds.

    SurahK-Al-Kahf
    In the name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful.
    Say: Shall We inform you who will be the greatest losers by their works? (103) 
    Those whose effort goeth astray in the life of the world, and yet they reckon that they do good work. (104) 
    Those are they who disbelieve in the revelations of their Lord and in the meeting with Him. Therefor their works are vain, and on the Day of Resurrection We assign no weight to them. (105) 
    That is their reward: hell, because they disbelieved, and made a jest of Our revelations and Our messengers. (106) 
    Lo! those who believe and do good works, theirs are the Gardens of Paradise for welcome, (107) 
    Wherein they will abide, with no desire to be removed from thence. (108) 
    Say: Though the sea became ink for the Words of my Lord, verily the sea would be used up before the words of my Lord were exhausted, even though We brought the like thereof to help. (109) 
    Say: I am only a mortal like you. My Lord inspireth in me that your God is only One God. And whoever hopeth for the meeting with his Lord, let him do righteous work, and make none sharer of the worship due unto his Lord. (110) 

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/09/26/opening-for-pope-francis-shakira-sings-imagine-theres-no-heaven-and-no-religion-too/

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  10. SON OF MAN!!!!!

    PART OF A POEM FROM MY FRIEND:
    DE POLITICAN, POLICE SIGN TO BE YOUR PALLBEARER BEFORE YOU DEAD,
    LOOKOUT, BECA– USE DEM GIVE YOUR NAME TO DE LIQUIDATING FIRING-SQUARD.
    GO TO HELL!
    LIFE FINISH-FINI,
    BLOW YOUR KAKA POUL BRAIN OUT, YOU DEAD!
    YOU CHECK IT?

    PETER JUDAS WILL BURST ALL HIS NAMB-PAMBY SHIT INTO ALLEN’S MOUTH WHEN FALL HEADLONG AFTER HE MASTURBATE WITH THE 666 SILVER COINS.

  11. /

    Why has the criminal Police Commissioner Vernon Francois not been arrested along with his killer cops sill roaming the island committing new murders ? Here is this Mass Murderer at the urging of the Israelis making public proclamations of his acts of murder, while his Killer Cops murder poor Lucians while they planted fake evidence on the innocent victims to justify this abomination — that’s what is rotten, and the offensive odor emanates from the undergarments of the UWP and Vernon Francois as can be seen in this video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5RhGKvcYOM

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  12. The police murder of poor people of color, is not only about the indiscriminate use of lethal force. It is also about maintaining an ongoing climate of terror in marginal communities. It is about making it impossible for the poor, cast aside by corporate capitalists as surplus labor, to organize and build meaningful lives and to resist.

    It is terror by design, and it will not stop until police are disarmed and finally held accountable under the law. Until the rule of law becomes a reality for those who live in marginal communities, until we obliterate the poverty — the mechanism that keeps people trapped in squalor like penned animals — until we stop gunning the poor down in our streets, the nightmare will not stop. In fact, as poverty and inequality expand, this nightmare will only grow.

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