Letters & Opinion

The Political Times are Changing

By Anthony Serieux

Allen Chastanet and the United Workers Party scored an important victory over the Labour Party in the Courts this week. In terms of the political situation in the country at this time, this victory was huge.

It may not have overshadowed the rampant crime and violence of the past week, the murders, the holdups, the robberies and so on, but the Privileges Committee decision was of tremendous importance because it stopped in its tracks the ongoing attempt by the Labour Party government to ride roughshod over its opponents, especially Allen Chastanet, and by extension a substantial proportion of the people of St Lucia.

The decision by the Court to stop the process initiated by the Speaker to “try” Chastanet in its “kangaroo” privileges Committee had another telling effect: it began to galvanize public opinion against the government that would certainly have resulted in hundreds of protesters descending on Castries on Tuesday had Speaker Francis attempted to go ahead with the hearing.

Francis, in his usual show of arrogance and bravado, attempted to portray himself as being unfazed by the Court action, but he must surely have realized by now that he will have a fight on his hands pursuing his agenda of trying to punish Chastanet.

Could you imagine the gall of these people? Not being satisfied with harassing Chastanet at every meeting of the House since July 2021 with a gang of miscreants forever at his throat in a vendetta reminiscent of the Mafia mob, they now want to try him with a biased Speaker in the chair and two notorious antagonists prosecuting, How on earth could this be considered fair?

But listening to the Speaker one forms the distinct impression that he believes he can defy the Court although in fact that is an exercise in futility.

What annoys many St Lucians however is the fact that while the Speaker and his henchmen in parliament are pursuing Allen Chastanet, crime is raging in the country at a most alarming rate. The business sector has become a sitting duck for gun-toting bandits, gang rivalry continues unabated and the people are being traumatized like never before, not knowing what the next attack will bring. In fact, unless I miss my guess, with the Christmas season upon us, St Lucians can look to a reign of terror from criminals.

Adding fuel to the fire is the escalating prices of foodstuffs and other necessities, the failure of the government to provide any kind of relief to the people and the increasing climate of hopelessness that is now in evidence all over the island. In the midst of all of this, the Prime Minister decides that he needs a vacation, so he goes off to wherever leaving St. Lucia in the hands of a deputy whose integrity is still in question over the Rovergate affair.

The platform for all what is currently taking place was laid months ago. It started with the St Lucia Labour Party presenting us with a slate of candidates for the general election that was studded with people who had ran foul with or had been involved with the law. That move simply emboldened every young criminal that crime pays and set the stage for what is going on.

What about the hundreds of jobs that were lost through the recklessness of the SLP in stopping vital projects with economic impact: the airport, the St Jude Hospital, the roads including the Rodney Bay project, the housing projects. On top of all this were the lies told by the SLP to get into power, the wild promises to put money in peoples ’pockets that were all dishonoured and in reality only left them penniless. For the first time in this country we saw a government engaged in institutionalized dishonesty and showing no remorse about it,

The SLP has not created a single new job since coming into office except those it gave to its supporters. It has not brought in a single new investment, only piggy backing on those left behind by the same Allen Chastanet. Its main contribution to St Lucia the past 15 months has been in continuing to spew the same quality of garbage that brought it into power. The only problems is that the narrative is no longer working. Still, it keeps preaching the racism, hatred and division that worked before,

But then people are seeing all your Ministers travelling the globe and bringing back nothing; they see the children and wives and friends of Ministers and former stalwarts living high off the land with jobs and positions and trips abroad that many are not qualified for. They see criminals in positions of power and authority.

Labour does not understand that peoples’ eyes are now wide open, and they are beginning to rebel. In just 15 months, the party with a15-2 mandate in the House of Assembly has been a dismal failure, unashamedly taking money from the Taiwanese they once harassed for a so called youth economy that is still to be clearly defined. It takes decisions to put vital national infrastructure under the control of foreign entities for decades rather than continue plans it found on assuming office, just because they were initiated by Allen Chastanet and his government.

When one considers that the Labour Party has no record of having advanced St Lucia’s development during 15 years in office since 1997, when one realizes that it has precious little to show for its massive spending and the unconscionable taxes it imposes on the people, that the followers of its cultist clique are always the main beneficiaries of its tenure, it shows how useless Labour really is, despite all of its chest-beating.

And all the while the country is hurting and bleeding, those who should be taking a stand at least to express concern about our rapidly deteriorating circumstances—stay on the sidelines, neither seeing nor hearing the evil. The Chamber of Commerce, the trade Unions, the Churches, the professional organizations all of whom should be concerned about the economic, political and social conditions in the country remain intimidated by the power of Labour’s House of Assembly majority. But time is the catcher.

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