Des­per­ate de­ceivers of the peo­ple must go!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - COMMENT - By Peter Josie

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.

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