THE expected policy or approach of a newly elected government, is that it needs to bring the country together in the aftermath of a general election, in order to advance the economic policies and agenda of the new administration. But what is evident today is a fractured society, in which some of the major sectors of our country have been marked by controversy which has created major fissures and divisiveness in the country.
From the very beginning this government has allowed foreign entities to determine the course that our country should take. St. Lucians were surprised and disturbed when it was announced that a foreign accounting firm would be responsible for the preparation of our National Budget. This is a task which has been prepared by our competent technocrats for generations.
In addition there has been the reprehensible insults by Ministers and lackeys of the government, directed at highly qualified and respected engineers, doctors, and architects that require rigorous knowledge and competence in those difficult fields in the highest levels of Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry. This state of affairs is unprecedented in the history of the administration of our country.
On the basis of democratic principles the historical tradition is that the newly elected administration is allowed to pursue its economic agenda without disruption within an acceptable time frame. But what persists in St. Lucia today is that operatives and Ministers of the government are engaged in salaciousness and invective against prominent professionals in the country. This behavior has nothing to do with the management of our economy or the advancement of our normally harmonious society.
There is transparent evidence that this administration is fracturing our society by its authoritarian measures without consultation or discussion with the relevant interest groups that form a plural society.
This approach to the governance of our country by the Prime Minister and his colleagues, will only fracture and destabilize our country.
As a successor to St. Lucia’s greatest leader in our country’s economic development, it was anticipated that an inexperienced leader like Allen Chastanet would embrace the political and development policies of Sir John , who depended on our national professionals, regardless of their perceived political leanings, because consummate professionals would not undermine their professionalism, by adopting a political bias in the performance of assignments or duties that would benefit the national interest of the country.
Sir John therefore recruited many exceptional engineers and the required diversity of skilled professionals in all areas relevant to St. Lucia’s economic and infrastructural development, which transformed St.Lucia from a rural country to a modern mecca, as the most developed country of the O.E.C.S.
Among the St. Lucians who Sir John recruited for our country’s major infrastructural development were figures such as Pat Brown (purported to be a strong Labour Party supporter) Maurice St. Rose and Lennard Augier. Those St. Lucians were the brilliant minds who transformed Sir John’s ideas and vision into reality, by the implementation of his vision to turn the sleepy north of our island into a Caribbean Mecca.
From this vision emerged the creation of the Rodney Bay Marina from a mosquito and sand-fly invested swamp, into one of the most popular and picturesque yachting marinas in the region.
In addition a number of lower and middle-income housing projects, i.e. Reduit Park and Reduit Orchard, were created by the draining of the mangroves on which these much desired houses are currently in big demand, now being resold at astronomical prices. This precipitated the expansion of surrounding lands for luxury homes with the development of Rodney Heights, Bonne Terre and the surrounding areas.
These projects were just a small fraction of the outstanding infrastructural projects undertaken by Sir John, planned and implemented by St. Lucian Engineers. External agencies are now the preferred option for implementing St. Lucian projects.
We should compare the limited education of our current Prime Minister to that of Sir John, who attended the prestigious London School of Economics, an extraordinary achievement at the time, and still today one of the most prestigious Universities for the study of Economics in the world.
In contrast today, questionable individuals and foreign entities are given precedence over our well qualified local professionals, to undertake development projects in our country. The absurdities are manifested in the approach to foreign entities to manage our hospitals, the preparation of our annual budget as aforementioned, and laughably the management of rural playing fields.
St. Lucia which was once the most envied country in the O.E.C.S., has become the laughing stock of our region, with the unprecedented disparaging remarks made about our Prime Minister by other Prime Ministers of our region.
We in St.Lucia are today paying dearly for voting Allen Chastanet as Prime Minister of our country, under the mistaken premise that (1) Allen Chastanet would follow the vision of Sir John to take St.Lucia to higher levels of development and (2) the prudence of his father Michael Chastanet, well known for his conservative and incisive management of financial resources.
Allen Chastanet does not have the ability to take St.Lucia on a path of positive development. The incompetence of our Prime Minister, and the squandering of our vital financial resources and our patrimony, will inevitably lead to monumental failures and hard times ahead for our country.