WE used to say here not too long ago that ‘When America sneezes, we catch the cold.’ The Africans also used to say: ‘When elephants fight, the grass suffers.’ Both sayings apply to us in Saint Lucia and the Caribbean today, however.
This year 2020 will be interesting, considering that if there is war on the horizon, especially against oil-producing countries, prices at the pumps are likely to go up everywhere, including here.
At the same time, in St Lucia, this would be the year that Development would be the focus of the government and ruling party, to retain their governance. No doubt there will be more borrowing, more deals made — especially with foreign investors — and the debt burden can worsen.
This means that the government is between a rock and a hard place and they need to be careful with their borrowing. Yet, to impress the voting public, they must also deliver. That’s the dilemma.
No man is an island and we cannot afford anymore not to take notice of world affairs. We need to grow, we need to build, to finish crucial projects and still find job opportunities for as many as possible. This now becomes a balancing act and priority has to be the order of the day.
If gas prices go up because of what is happening today in Iran and Iraq, so will a lot of other commodities and the possible hardship can become the order of the day everywhere that does not have oil, like here in our Sweet Saint Lucia. The destitute will turn to crime, the needy will get more demanding and the uncertainty of tomorrow can become a problem bordering on national crisis.
So, both political parties and all governments must always take world affairs seriously because the wrong move, or bad management, or continued bluff, can land us in hot water, or deeper doo-doo.
I know there are some people who are not worried because maybe they have large bank accounts, or amassed wealth. But unrest and dissatisfaction among the masses can make their comfort zone disappear overnight, as we see so often in the international news on TV.
But despite all that, let’s hope that common sense prevails among some world leaders on the other side of the globe at this moment, so that we at this end will not be caught holding the shitty end of the stick.
There is a lot to be done, but time has to be the yardstick to measure growth. We can’t try to impress, or show-off how great we are overnight. Some things take time and if a building is done in a hurry, it can crumble.
Man appoints, but God disappoints. The Climate is under threat. Check Australia where bush fires have burned land the size of entire countries, taking people, homes and animals with them – and with not enough water to out the fires. Look too at the recent hurricanes in the region — all these are warning signs that need to be observed.
So, as we start 2020 at the end of the first two decades in the 21st Century, we have to start to take more and better note, as a people and as a country; and we also need to be careful and observant — and most of all, we must all pay more attention to world affairs.
The world is getting smaller, and is now even being called ‘a Global Village’, so more of what is happening out there that used to be far away is now in our back yard and on our front step.
So, for the rest of 2020 and forever after, let’s decide, in our own interests, to watch the news more, to better our views about what is happening out there that matters to us.
That’s one of my wishes for 2020!