A Fit­ting End to the SLP ‘Scam­paign’

The Star (St. Lucia) - - COMMENT - By Lu­cia H. Best

Tak­ing red poi­son pills for four and a half years has cer­tainly given a rude awak­en­ing to the peo­ple. The bit­ter re­al­iza­tion had set in quickly that the Saint Lu­cia Labour Party was sim­ply bad medicine for this coun­try. This was a gov­ern­ment of a select few, like those who en­joyed the top–heavy NICE pro­gramme in po­si­tions as high as Grade 18, a se­nior po­si­tion in the pub­lic ser­vice struc­ture, with­out be­ing in pos­ses­sion of the pre­req­ui­site qual­i­fi­ca­tions, skills or ex­pe­ri­ence. The Labour gov­ern­ment dis­torted the struc­ture of the pub­lic ser­vice in or­der to fa­cil­i­tate bla­tant acts of alleged nepo­tism and favouritism.

Friends of the Saint Lu­cia Labour Party were handed prom­i­nent, cushy jobs with big salaries and perks over­seas that could be traced right back to per­sons with heavy party af­fil­i­a­tions. When the rare va­cancy cropped up in the pub­lic ser­vice, it was still per­sons from NICE who en­joyed pref­er­ence over pub­lic ser­vants who had paid their dues.

Pub­lic ser­vants have been stag­nat­ing with a wage freeze on their backs and the pos­si­bil­ity of Kenny’s five per­cent de­duc­tion from their salaries and wages hov­er­ing over their heads. Never have the peo­ple seen a prime min­is­ter who so lacked com­pas­sion; he only found the cre­ative ways of sub­tract­ing money from their pock­ets.

Un­der Ken­ny­nomics this coun­try down­graded from “sim­ply beau­ti­ful” to “sim­ply strug­gling to sur­vive”. Four and half years proved in­suf­fer­ably long for the poor and dis­en­fran­chised to en­dure. The peo­ple be­gan to see that they had been given a 6 for 9 within the first 90 days of Labour’s re–en­try into of­fice so it was a very long wait to tell them bye, bye. Who could for­get when the for­mer Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter tried to re­de­fine the mean­ing of the word “im­me­di­ately” which he nat­u­rally for­got could be ver­i­fied in ev­ery English dic­tionary. The amount of in­tel­lec­tual in­sults the peo­ple had to bear was de­press­ing.

The Kenny Anthony ad­min­is­tra­tion fed the peo­ple of Saint Lu­cia with men­tal junk food for too long, while their bel­lies and pock­ets went empty. Birth­day par­ties, ro­man­tic dates, wed­ding re­cep­tions or drinks at the bar with friends all came to a painful halt un­der Ken­ny­nomics. Peo­ple could barely take a lime.

All of a sud­den Lu­cians be­gan to hold se­cret their spe­cial oc­ca­sions such as wed­dings, chris­ten­ings and first com­mu­nions for fear that they would not be able to af­ford to en­ter­tain too many guests.

Whereas Saint Lu­cians are hospitable by na­ture, Ken­ny­nomics brought about an aber­ra­tion of cul­ture, This change was par­tic­u­larly acute at Christ­mas when it be­came cus­tom­ary to see neigh­bours shut their doors, hold­ing pri­vate par­ties in­doors while let­ting their “bad dogs” loose in their yards to keep away itin­er­ant well–wishers do­ing the tra­di­tional “house to house”. Lu­cians were econ­o­miz­ing un­der the heav­i­est tax bur­den ever recorded in lo­cal his­tory.

The or­di­nary worker could barely af­ford to so­cial­ize or sup­port a fundrais­ing drive. Even of­fer­ings at mass be­gan to dwin­dle with the plate com­ing back to the al­tar with a few notes and a lot of change. All this mis­ery was lost on the SLP leader. Ken­ny­nomics was tak­ing a sig­nif­i­cant toll on the spend­ing power of the peo­ple.

Ken­ny­omics caused dam­age to the self-es­teem of school chil­dren whose par­ents could not af­ford to pay for “dress–up day” or other school ac­tiv­i­ties. Teach­ers moved by sheer com­pas­sion be­gan pro­vid­ing ba­sic school sup­plies and food for their stu­dents from their own lim­ited pock­ets, know­ing that par­ents were un­em­ployed and send­ing their chil­dren to school hun­gry. At the same time, some preda­tor bus driv­ers took ad­van­tage of many young fe­male stu­dents who often don’t have bus fare to com­mute. There was a per­va­sive de­gen­er­a­tion in the land in all as­pects of life be­cause a hun­gry man is an an­gry man.

Of­fi­cials of the Saint Lu­cia Labour Party ob­vi­ously failed to no­tice, or clearly dis­missed, these painful re­al­i­ties while they fo­cused their en­er­gies on pre­vent­ing Allen Chas­tanet from be­com­ing prime min­is­ter. Thank­fully, their ef­forts and all the venom were in vain.

What a dis­ap­point­ment Labour had be­come. The Op­po­si­tion and the me­dia gave warn­ing in many ar­ti­cles but they were buried in so many lay­ers of ar­ro­gance, so in­tox­i­cated by power, that they ap­par­ently be­lieved their pro­pa­ganda and lis­tened to no one.

Now they are shell-shocked that all their vit­riol, all their big bud­get ad­ver­tise­ments de­mean­ing Chas­tanet and the UWP, their songs, all failed. All their an­tics like plant­ing peo­ple to call the talk shows and on Streets Vibes to praise the SLP gov­ern­ment did not re­dound to their ben­e­fit. Great “PR” did not blind the peo­ple from see­ing through the shiny red wrap­ping of Labour’s scam­paign. It was truly Dr. Kenny Anthony’s fi­nal pub­lic per­for­mance. Labour was en­ter­tain­ing but un­able to con­vince the elec­torate this time. Bye, bye Labour. A new day has come.

The peo­ple weren’t smil­ing as Ken­ny­nomics proved to be too much to en­dure.

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