By Peter Lansiquot
They came in wolves’ clothing, muttering ” Five to Stay Alive.” What an empty, pitiful slogan, a clear signal that it had been produced and agreed upon by non-thinkers and cheap political pundits and hollow actors, led by a con-man who spoke pre-kindergarten English, a pretender, a liar, an exaggerator, a bluffer, a trickster, playing political games with both the Churches and Witches at the same time, with a special penchant for the road sweeper with her large broom, the Witch of Balka.
The slogan was a clear indication that no deep thought had gone into its creation, and that the United Workers Party (UWP) was already shamelessly admitting that all they were promising the people of Saint Lucia was to just “Stay Alive.” Yet some of the people of Saint Lucia, specifically tens of thousands of die-hard Flambeaus, bought into this empty scarecrow of a slogan, and danced their way to the polling stations in June 2016, to put into the prime minister’s chair, a simpleton, a nitwit, a plausible ‘Downes Syndrome clueless fool’, by any measure, a joker who in effect eventually admitted that he did not have his officially touted university degree in economics, by telling the people of Saint Lucia that he had “a mixed degree.” But there is no such thing as a “mixed degree,” so he was quickly exposed, just as the Mighty Sparrow’s famous character had left his “arse exposed” many moons before.
Then in a debate in parliament, presenting the National Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure (the National Budget), in his capacity as prime minister and minister of finance, this “dumbo minister of finance” (a truly valuable and unforgettable description I heard from Comrade Nestor at the Vigie Sab), said at least 11 times in the parliament, “exercise tax” in vain and mind-boggling attempts to say “excise tax.” Yes, my people, this is a man who appears on the government of Saint Lucia website as having a degree in economics and a master’s degree in development banking. What a bloody lie! Shouldn’t these GUYS go to jail for these lies to an entire country, not to mention the rest of the international community? A man with a master’s degree in development banking, whatever that is, doesn’t know that there is no such thing as “exercise tax” and that the proper term is “excise tax?”
There were hundreds of diplomats and other distinguished officials from all over the world that day, in the parliament of Saint Lucia (online and physically present), listening to a prime minister and minister of finance, in the land of the Caribbean Laureates, showing his utter lack of knowledge and downright ignorance of that vital category of taxation in the Customs revenue portfolio that every secondary school student knows in their studies of “Commerce” as “excise tax.” And this is only a tiny smattering of the shame that ” Five to Stay Alive ” has spat into the faces of tens of thousands of Saint Lucians, including the now strangely silent, Rick Wayne, an author of three fine books on Saint Lucian political history, who lost his penchant for “investigative journalism” when the gravy and goodies gushed from the table of the notorious pretender.
I have said before that “Allen Chastanet is an Impostor” (https://www.facebook.com/100000909135811/posts/5136734789700108/) but I apparently have not been heard by too many thousands of Saint Lucians who believe that a 2-page letter is a “long” letter.
Too many of us refuse to read, and so fools and CON-MEN like Allen Chastanet continue to pull the wool over our eyes. When he said that Saint Lucians were “jackasses,” “niggas” and “mendicants” he felt safe knowing that we are not a reading population. He was convinced that a majority of Saint Lucians would never have heard of those insults to a nation that accepted him to our shores, fed him, nurtured him, and protected him. But, alas, daddy refused him a Saint Lucian education – the same education that had nurtured our Nobel Laureates, and Dr Winston Parris, and Dr Emsco Remy, and Dr Pearlette Louisy, and “Brother” George Odlum, and Hunter Francois, and the St Omer brothers, and Robert Lee, and Kendall Hippolyte, and Dr Alphonsus St Rose, and Dr Janice Stanley, etc., etc., etc.
Chastanet was sent to Canada, where he got a “Special Education” and became “a product of Canada.” Today, that Special Education graduate, prime minister Chastanet, convinced that “colonialism had a conscience” and that “Saint Lucia’s patrimony is its credit card rating, “has taken Saint Lucia” to the dogs.”
Yes, my friends, a number of politicians who ruled our country for several decades from the 1960s onwards, did not prioritize the education of our youth, and so today, in 2021, in the bosom of the 21st century, we still have thousands of Saint Lucians who tell you that a 2-page letter or article on national development issues, is a “long” article. And the sorry spectacle of the criminal disregard for our education sector continues to be perpetuated decades later by the same United Workers Party. Was anyone surprised therefore when that “Special Education” prime minister and his useless education minister, our first Martian in Cabinet, bungled the historically unprecedented opportunity for Saint Lucia to become the fourth University of the West Indies Campus?
All Saint Lucians who love reading, and writing, and deciphering the wisdom and the beauty of good literature, including artful sloganeering, a literary artform in and of itself, just as ex-tempo is today, a beautiful form of linguistic and musical expression, would have balked and would have been disgusted, just as I was five years ago with “Five to Stay Alive” when the con-man minister in chief, unleashed it upon an unsuspecting, undeciphering population.
But the many decades of illiteracy that were deliberately imposed upon Fair Helen by selfish and myopic politicians are definitely coming to an end. The Saint Lucia Labour Party has the clear legacy of being responsible for procuring the incomparable majority of educational opportunities made available to the people of Saint Lucia to date, in the entire history of Saint Lucia, and our people will see the progressive and systematic continuation and further deepening of that legacy, in the months and years ahead, as we educate and liberate many more thousands of our youth, in many areas of scholarship, as never before in our country.
Empty, miserable slogans like “Five to Stay Alive” will have taken their final dive, and will be laughed at by even our primary school children. Con-men and charlatans, wearing priestly robes and accompanied by witches, sweeping the streets, will be a thing of the past.
Forward ever, Backward never, Saint Lucia!