When the SLP is in Opposition it opposes; it’s what it does
The Saint Lucia Labour Party vehemently opposed Independence so much that the march to Independence was almost crippled and seriously set back by nearly a year because of the persistent rumblings, wild actions and reckless incitements of the party. Saint Lucia could have claimed Independence in 1978 if the SLP had been more levelheaded. There was violence in Saint Lucia as a result of this party’s incitements against Independence. There were rock-throwing incidents, nasty episodes of faecal matter and eggs being pelted on the UWP stage at their boulevard meetings. There was destruction of stores and looting in the city and the infamous tear gas incident. There was the march on the prime minister’s residence; there was the march to and stoning of Malabar Beach Resort at Vigie when the British representatives came to Saint Lucia. There was even the march to Government House one evening in 1979 as the SLP remained persistently against Independence; not wishing to see Saint Lucia move in the direction of progress and selfdetermination.
All the upheaval and lawlessness that the SLP perpetrated through the actions of the unions, Labour pundits, loyalists and minions during that period, necessitated a warship being dispatched from England to keep the peace in Fair Helen. Despite the fierce opposition mounted by the SLP, Premier John Compton proved himself a leader of guts and grit and toughed it out with Labour until at last the Union Jack was finally lowered and the Saint Lucia flag hoisted at midnight of February 22, 1979.
This episode of history is being revisited to illustrate that Labour’s opposition of Saint Lucia’s advancement and progress is nothing new. This is its signature style at work. This is revealing information about Labour that young people of this country must be enlightened about as they seek to understand why the opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party always proceeds to absurdly oppose everything that is good for the country. The SLP’s opposition of the proposed Desert Star Holdings Investment is no isolated case.
The Saint Lucia Labour Party opposed the development of the Rodney Bay Marina project calling Prime Minister Compton disparaging names at the time. The Rodney Bay area is now the tourism mecca of Saint Lucia. The SLP opposed vehemently the joining of Gros Islet and Pigeon Island - the home of our famed jazz festival, weddings, tours, hikes and so many other splendours for locals and visitors. It opposed the introduction of traffic lights, as laughable as that one may seem now; it went on a tirade against it. One Labour Party stalwart at the time, who is a former minister of education and now a legal luminary, is recalled as saying that Saint Lucia did not need traffic lights, and could not afford traffic lights, therefore Prime Minister John Compton was wasting the country’s money. That is not all by a long shot.
The Saint Labour Party opposed the Hess Oil Project coming into Saint Lucia. It peddled lies that Compton was selling Saint Lucia to Hess; however the public was not on the SLP’s side. The same Hess investor blessed the island’s education system with many primary schools plus the Leon Hess Comprehensive Secondary School, among other outstanding forms of contributions to national development.
The SLP threw a major tantrum about the construction of the Millennium Highway. It called the route ludicrous and impossible. Again it berated Sir John for his vision but he was used to the SLP’s ways and was not discouraged. So deep-seated was the bitterness of the SLP that we are told some workers on this road project were swayed into doing a less than professional job on a certain rather unstable section of the road. The SLP administration formally opened the road when it came back into power and had the heart to not invite Sir John to the ceremony.
The Saint Lucia Labour Party stridently opposed the Waterfront Project known as the waterfront Business Centre. When those buildings were being constructed SLP members pretended to lament that the Conway people were being displaced and of course they reiterated that this was an example of Compton’s pie in the sky thinking. Saint Lucia did not need such an exorbitant project the Labour party maintained.
It opposed the construction of the Roseau Dam, stating that Saint Lucia could not afford it and that it was one of the things that would push the country into the hands of the IMF. Does this line ring familiar? The Saint Lucia Labour Party ought to be paying royalties to the IMF for conveniently using its name over a number of years for the purpose of political expediency.
There is nothing under the sun that the UWP will initiate that the SLP is not expected to oppose. This article shares a few examples for the sake of the youth and the unenlightened but the history of Fair Helen is replete with many more similar situations.
One thing is for sure - when the SLP opposes a project it serves as a good prediction that the project will redound to the benefit of the country over many years to come.
Dr Kenny Anthony doing what he does best - protest