By Denys Springer
Mahatma Gandhi once said that “the earth has enough for every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.” That being said, if we don’t make changes in our sense of morals and values and that our meaning and understanding of life’s purpose, then we had best start getting used to going thirsty and hungry, sick and decay, our poor, poorer while the very few have all and more than they need. However, they will never be able to take to the grave the millions they have made by depriving the poor.
I selected the above because it depicts the philosophy of the past United Workers Party (UWP) in which those at the helm of the party realized that part of being a leader is being honest, enthusiastic, able to make decisions, having integrity and above all, the ability to lead. We saw that semblance of honesty and integrity in two former UWP leaders the late Sir John Compton and Stephenson King
However, we now have a leader at the helm of the UWP government that has betrayed their former leaders. From the time he took office, the party’s promises have been based on lies, for weeks, months and years. He has brought about divisiveness and has been the architect of disinformation. Much of his modus operandi has been a challenge to our democracy and our constitution.
Many in the UWP have become the enemy within because they perpetuate anger, hate, selfishness and animosity. That selfishness can easily be traced to the so-called COVID-19 wardens. It is alleged that 99.99 percent are followers of the party. Therefore, what has been inculcated in the minds of many is that this government is very divisive and dishonest (DD).
The spirit of reconciliation that we saw after the 1982 elections and the 2006 elections seem to have evaporated into thin air.
This UWP government led by Allen Chastanet came into power in 2016 base on a lie that was engineered and designed by outsiders. The clarion call was based on a slogan that was manufactured by con-merchants and liars “five to stay alive”, with the help of conniving outside experts.
Heading into the 2021 general elections, Saint Lucia’s “five to stay alive” requires re-engineered:
- A national health system for all and not one controlled by a private consortium;
- A better education system that caters for a technology and engineering college to give our youngsters the skills they need; and to attract foreign direct investments;
- We need an agricultural system whereby crowned lands will be either leased or sold at a reasonable price to potential hybrid farmers and, enact land reform:
- Saint Lucian needs an agricultural and fisheries policy that will help food security, the balance of payments and thereby reduce the debt burden;
- A housing policy and infrastructure development.
The UWP 1982 manifesto which was named “Rebuilding St Lucia” attempted to do just that; which brought some unity to the country. That UWP manifesto made it clear that Saint Lucians cannot allow greed, violence, disunity and all such vices to again have control over the affairs of this county. The late Sir John had envisaged that his vision would give people a sense of direction, unlike this present leader whose policy has now become a noose around the majority of people’s neck.
Sir John made it clear that “low-cost housing for the workers will be an immediate priority of an elected UWP government”. He was convinced that this programme should be pursued with vigour to alleviate the hardship being experienced especially by young married families, or young unmarried persons desirous of securing their own homes on easy credit terms.
Saint Lucia had already experienced this before 1979 by acquiring first the Sans Souci Estate and later the Entrepot Estate to establish a housing scheme for middle and low incomes housing projects. He later added the Ravine Chabot and La Pansee housing schemes. At least the government kept its promises. However, this “ five to stay alive” government never materialized for the advance of the majority of the people. Yet, some brainless supporters of the white colour master believe that the slogan that they injected to poisoned the common sense and the ability of the people was worthwhile.
Re-assessing the 2011 manifesto left an indelible print on my mind. The then party chairman (2011) Clem Bob, concluded that: “Our leader, his love, understanding and compassion, his people-oriented and participatory approach to governance, his unruffled and calm disposition in time of crisis are ‘hallmarks of a great leader’. All these qualities saw us through those challenging times. Yes! We united our people, we created jobs for all Saint Lucians and surely it was only in so doing that the progress of the nation could be guaranteed”.
Having read this piece I was completely dumbfounded. This is the same individual who is now the chairman of Development Control Authority (DCA) who shamelessly threw that “great leader” he wrote about under the bus to bring in the “great white hope” of incompetence.
The Chastanet-led government has been deemed dishonest throughout their term with the attributes of misinforming, misleading and mismanagement (MMM). Their election slogan “five to stay alive” was a misnomer, because of its dishonest approach and idiocy that was embedded with blatant lies; and an illusion of the highest magnitude knowing all along that their slogan was improbable and improper.
The comparisons made of the UWP 1982 and 2011 Manifesto of the UWP, with the 2016 Manifesto are kleptomaniacs in their dealings with the people of Saint Lucia. And they are at it in this coming general election.
They are again pretending many jobs abound, such as road construction, COVID-19 wardens, OJO Labs, DSH, etc., all indicative of a misconception, begging at every opportunity from a deceptive government that says “the country is broke”.
In concluding, I return to what then chairman Bob of the UWP (2011) had to say about the then leader King. “A man of quiet resolve with commitment and dedication to country, assumed the reins of government, under his astute leadership our nation was guided successfully through one of the most turbulent periods in our nation’s history marked by the global financial crisis and natural disasters such as floods, droughts, earthquakes and hurricanes. Our success in government has come from the hard work of the party and that of its committed leader”.
There is no doubt in my mind that Chastanet’s prime ministership is a failed dream, to understand, part of being a leader is to level with the people. He has caused divisions through DD and MMM.
And finally, knowledge without goodness is dangerous. Likewise, a fancy education (a mix and /or double degree) is not a guard rail for inadequacy and ineptitude. Together, these are attributes and challenges that are off-putting to an ill-defined administration.