IT has long puzzled me that so few persons are passionate about politics. Natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes apart, politics has had the largest and most profound impact on human life. Politics mixed with religion is an even more potent and explosive cocktail. It has been acknowledged that war is merely an extension of politics, unresolved. Wherever one turns politics plays a central and decisive role in national, regional and international affairs.
Given such reality isn’t it reasonable to expect a greater interest by more people in politics? Perhaps personal ambition of a few has too long been mistaken for the discipline of politics. Politics is much more than personal craving for power and fame. It is more than a party symbol, a party song or a politician’s face. Politics is about consulting the popular will and implementing development plans that lead to a better social and economic life. Lies and hate have no place in real politics!
In small politically independent countries as our own, politics is often seen as an opportunity to garner personal favours. Communicating a vision of a more progressive social and economic agenda based on a studied political philosophy is the bone and marrow of politics. There is no place for empty promises. Here, too many people look to politicians to solve personal problems left festering from a poorly managed past. Dynamic engagement between the government and the governed has been rarely forthcoming in this little corner of the globe. Silence, obfuscation and straight out lies have too long dominated the conversation.
It would probably take a more honest and hard working politician such as we have had in the distant past to change the politics of Saint Lucia. Little can be achieved by opportunistic politicians who lack character, morality and ideas for developing the country. This is the painful lesson from new Labour. Pandering to a handful of rich foreign millionaires may help finance political campaigns and party employees but it will not erase poverty, ignorance and disease or, create better days.
Evidence suggests that certain lost political leaders willfully discriminate against those who do not vote their party. Leaders who use the public purse to punish opponents are a curse on the body politics. They deserve severe punishment. An example must be made, a line drawn to stop discrimination this election. People must not turn a blind eye, but instead stand up and vote against abuse, corruption and deceit in government. My prayer is that this election the electorate will re-discover their power to hire and fire politicians. Arrogance and bluff have no place in the new Saint Lucia. It’s criminal to march with workers for higher pay and turn around in office and deduct the same increases and more, from their pay.
John Compton once opined, ‘freeness must stop.’ Some took objection before stopping to think what he meant. Some of us have not learned that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Everything has a price tag, including ‘gifts’ from SLP’s government. It is therefore opportune to remind the people of Saint Lucia of their responsibility to cast a smart vote this election. Allen Chastanet and the UWP deserve an opportunity to return Saint Lucia on the road to progress. It’s time to stop blatant lies and hidden dealings with shady money, cloaked in dark secrecy.
Images of young Nepalese students left stranded in Saint Lucia by failed promises from one of their own, has not been settled as far as this writer can tell. The students lost their investments seeking an education in a far off ‘school’ in Saint Lucia? Where does this matter stand today? Has the police and the government done all they can in the name of justice for the students? Have the people of Saint Lucia been told the truth about that ‘school’? How much money, has been paid to the SLP government by people using the name of Saint Lucia to con others?
Whilst on the issue of foreign input in Saint Lucia, what did the island’s UNESCO ambassador do to warrant re-appointment? The SLP Government set about dismantling John Compton’s legacy including the banana industry, so why didn’t they send the Saudi millionaire at UNESCO packing? What did that man do to deserve the highest award this island has to offer? What was the consideration? How many other Saudis are involved funding the SLP?
There is also the island’s ambassador to the IMO (International Maritime Organization) based in London – another Saudi Arabia citizen. Why have so many questions about the IMO gone unanswered? How much money are these Saudis pouring into the SLP political campaign? Has the re-development of Hewanorra Airport (HIA), been contracted to a foreigner and/or a Saudi? What are the details of the airport deal?
Experienced observers are convinced that nothing is as corrupting as secret deals behind closed doors in the name of politics. Experience also teaches that politicians who speak loosely of openness and democracy are often the most secretive and corrupt. Too much secrecy and too many lies in new Labour is their undoing.
It seems clear to those who would see, that the SLP hates foreigners but loves their money. The behavior stinks of cynicism. Interestingly those foreigners who were helping Saint Lucia maintain law and order were chased off island by the SLP government. Did SLP supporters ask why the British police were pushed out by a bunch of thugs in police uniforms? Where did the Anthony government stand on that issue? Is anyone surprised at the state of criminality in Saint Lucia?
The UWP must continue to demand answers to these and other questions. The UWP must investigate the money connection and ambassadorial appointments. Crooks and criminals must be brought to their knees if Saint Lucia is to get up from her knees and walk. This election campaign must be framed as revelations (of truth) versus the con.