Desperate deceivers of the people must go!
Last weekend’s newspapers reported Kenny Anthony’s address at the convention of his St. Lucia Labour Party. Appropriately, they focused on his statement that the next elections will be fought, not between the UWP and his party, but between the SLP and the Chastanet family.
The STAR devoted an entire double-spread to an analysis of Anthony’s speech and of his propensity for diversion and misrepresentation. It is impossible for anyone who read Rick Wayne’s ‘Kenny declares War on Chastanets’ not to discern the kind of mouth that spouted it.
For my part the foolish statement represented Anthony’s last desperate throw of the dice. It was an attempted cover-up for his government’s dismal failure. Nothing he promised has materialized. No ‘Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!’ In fact, more jobs have been lost in the last three years than during any other three-year period since Independence. The promised $100 million ‘for immediate investment,’ we are now told, comes from his punitive VAT and other taxes.
Notwithstanding Rick Wayne’s comprehensive and historical explanation of the deceit and desperation of Anthony and his echoes, it was the editorial of the Voice newspaper of that weekend (Saturday 6, December 2014) which will go down as one of the most scathing attacks by that newspaper on any serving Prime Minister.
The Voice is well over one hundred years old. It has a reputation for working with the government in office and more often than not sings praises even while others heap scorn and ridicule.
In my own weekly piece in the weekend Voice of the above date, I veered clear of Anthony’s desperate moronic statement, preferring to focus on the true and correct cost of the Bois d’Orange Bridge. I even suggested a Truth Commission to get to the bottom of the cost of that bridge. Besides, I saw that attack by Prime Minister Anthony on the Chastanet family as a desperate bid to divert attention from his failed policies which have plunged Saint Lucia deeper into the morass of debt and closer to the hands (and jaws?) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
If there is one other note which may have been added to Wayne’s masterly article on Anthony’s speech it is that if Anthony and Michael Chastanet were to stand side by side and naked, methinks it would be Anthony who would be mistaken for a white man. Ironic, right?
Unfortunately, his last convention was not the first time Kenny Anthony had employed diversionary tactics to suit his shortsighted political agenda. Here are some examples: following the 2011 elections he decided to implement the punitive Value Added Tax (VAT) which he had vehemently criticized, calling it ‘an oppressive and punitive tax which would hurt the poor.’ He cunningly held a public meeting in Dennery at which he attacked Richard Frederick, a former Minister for Housing, fabricating innuendoes and untruths. That was in October. VAT was implemented that December.
Then, when he wanted to remove subsidies on sugar, which he knew would make the product more expensive for all consumers, including his misguided ‘malaway,’ what did he do? He launched a weeklong attack on Guy Joseph, immediate past Minister of Works, accusing him of using government funds to enrich his brothers.
The idea was to take the peoples’ eyes and minds off the increased price of sugar. All of a sudden sugar, which has served us for well over one hundred and fifty years, became our number one enemy.
Guy Joseph, whom he had specially targeted, perhaps because of how he feels about Guy’s ancestry, was again used to divert attention; this time it was at the 65% increase in water rates. The same water which he had taught his supporters to say was from God, therefore should be free. Besides, said the SLP, no foreigner should participate in its procurement, treatment and sale. They damned the dam and even criticized Compton for building it. Poor Guy Joseph was once more the target of their attacks. The repetition was calculated!
The bag of diversion and desperate lies had not been exhausted. Up comes the third anniversary of the elections victory of November 2011. Three of a five-year term ought to be a time to honestly and scientifically assess the policy direction and the performance of the national economy. Instead of a straightforward and truthful address to the nation and to his party convention, all we had from Dr. Anthony, the party leader and prime minister, were more inventions, more deception, more comicality. For once his physiognomy didn’t help. Away from the flattering TV lights he looked old and haggard. His supporting cast at the head table looked equally beat. Perhaps that recent death in the SLP family was on their collective mind. Or perhaps it was just the realization that the old tricks and lies were no longer working. The people had awoken, at last. God bless ‘em! In desperation he pulled out the Chastanet family name. It was not the first time Kenny Anthony had attacked the Chastanets. Many believe his earlier attacks may have contributed to the sale of that family’s supermarket business to the Trinidad firm of Neal and Massey. The earlier attacks came at the time when his government could not explain the ‘gift’ of three million dollars to LIAT or the reason his government did not abolish the ‘nuisance taxes’ which were to be replaced by VAT.
Add to all of this the sale of the Bank of Saint Lucia (BOSL) to Trinidad. Now our major supermarkets are in the hands of Trinidadians. What next? Will we wake up one morning and find the red, black and white flag of Trinidad and Tobago hanging over Government Buildings?
We must rid ourselves of these masters of deception lest their actions inspire more crime and suicides!
SLP Political leader Kenny Anthony: His convention
address continue to draw criticism.
UWP Political leader Allen Chastanet: Is he prepared
for his opponents trained aim.