Editorial

COVID and the need to speak with one voice

Shame on some of us, particularly some ministers of the previous administration and their disciples, for trying to de-stabilise the democracy that took place on 26 July, 2021.

The current government hardly had a month under its belt and already the false accusations were being sprouted from the mouths of those who should know better.

The $24 million, falsely claimed, that this government paid to Virgin Atlantic to resume flights into Saint Lucia has been debunked, so too  were other falsehoods, such as consultancies given to certain people worth millions of dollars, including former government minister Ubaldus Raymond.

What is it about being in government that those who are out will do and say anything to get back in? Not to forget that those who are in will do and say anything to stay in.

Clearly, being in government has less to do with having compassion for the weak, needy, poor, helpless and under privileged among us and more to do with power and avarice.

Now is not the time for politicians and their acolytes to be snapping at the government of the day over things they know to be false, things that are petty and things that are of no value to the ongoing debate on how to defeat the coronavirus and improve the economic situation in the country.

The economic situation in Saint Lucia is grim, it is dicey, meaning it is unpredictable and potentially dangerous. Jobs have been lost, businesses shut down and the businesses which are operable are doing so with less manpower than before.

Goods and services are becoming more expensive, government income today is not as it was pre-COVID 19, crime is on the rise, more and more Saint Lucians are sliding into poverty and our health services are under siege.

These facts should be enough to get the politicians in opposition – whom, if asked, will all claim they care for the people – to work with those who hold the reins of power.

Too many politicians today appear to be unperturbed of the plight of some of the very people they claimed gave them a voice in the parliament of the country.

We call on the opposition to desist from making false accusations against the government, and instead focus on the enormous economic and social disruptions that are caused by the coronavirus in Saint Lucia and the need to search for solutions.

There is no gain in your persistent efforts at spreading falsehoods. Criticise but do so constructively and with truth on your side showing a better alternative, that is what being the voice of opposition is all about.

The economic and social disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic might very well have lasting effects on employment, income and working conditions right here in Saint Lucia. One sure way of lessening these effects is for politicians from all political spectrums to put aside their differences and come together to work on undoing any lasting effects the pandemic might have on the aforementioned.

What we need right now are social policy responses that are deployed to help mitigate the imminent crisis effects of COVID-19.

What we do not need are politicians and their sidekicks spreading untruths and doling out sarcasm all for the purpose of upsetting the stability of government, creating unrest amongst the people and playing with the minds of those they feel they can control.

Coming up with responses to lessen the severity of the depression that will result from the COVID-19 pandemic is what all heads should be put to. If not, we could very well find ourselves swimming in doo – doo as unemployment increases and income opportunities deteriorate.

Remembering that we do not have a blueprint on how best to deal with this situation, we, therefore, must ensure that our responses to the pandemic are effective so that its consequences can be quickly overcome in a sustainable manner.

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