We Need To Re­visit Our Laws Where Ob­struc­tion­ists Are Con­cerned!

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

Ifeel both blessed and happy to have been able to at­tend the re­cent clas­sic Greek wed­ding cer­e­mony of my nephew Howard and his beau­ti­ful bride Sophia, in Corfu, Greece. I feel equally for­tu­nate that I was able to stop over for a cou­ple days in Athens—a city I’ve longed to visit— to see and feel first­hand the place and peo­ple that gave democ­racy to the western world, be­gin­ning with the Greek City States. I hope to in­clude some as­pects of my visit to Greece in the au­to­bi­og­ra­phy that Rick Wayne and a few other friends have been en­cour­ag­ing me to write. They in­sist that “Shat­tered Dreams”, my first book, was a mere pré­cis in my po­lit­i­cal jour­ney.

Be­fore leav­ing Saint Lu­cia for this amaz­ing event in Corfu, I closely fol­lowed the story sur­round­ing the death in the USA of the young Saint Lu­cian Botham Jean. Al­though Amer­ica has al­ways been a coun­try that Saint Lu­cians love and re­spect, I think the demise of Botham Jean, and what led to it, has left a sour taste in their mouths, as well as in the mouths of many in our re­gion.

I could not help notic­ing that the forced po­lit­i­cal di­vi­sion which the op­po­si­tion St. Lu­cia Labour Party has been busy fo­ment­ing since its re­jec­tion at the polls in June 2016 was about to hit a new low. I was in­formed that they had planned an­other protest march in Cas­tries, when Botham’s sud­den and vi­o­lent death oc­curred. The mur­der shocked the en­tire is­land into a state of dis­be­lief and anger, and it should have been a ral­ly­ing call for all Saint Lu­cians to put their dif­fer­ences aside and fo­cus on what would hap­pen in Saint Lu­cia if a Trump-like unhappy op­po­si­tion politi­cian that hates to lose was al­lowed to cre­ate more di­vi­sion in the coun­try. Who will stop lo­cal pol­i­tics shoot­ing its op­po­nents dead?

One pos­si­ble so­lu­tion which hit me came when I saw Prime Min­is­ter Allen Chas­tanet try­ing to com­fort Botham Jean’s fam­ily. The prime min­is­ter had been off­is­land, and my in­for­ma­tion is that he was due to re­turn home when Botham’s un­for­tu­nate death took place. The PM im­me­di­ately ad­justed his travel plans, know­ing how well and pro­fes­sion­ally Botham’s mother and un­cle Ig­natius Jean had served Saint Lu­cia in the pub­lic ser­vice and in pol­i­tics, re­spec­tively.

Since I have the en­vi­able rep­u­ta­tion of never minc­ing my words, I will re­peat here what I once said to Ig­natius Jean, which I hope he does not mind me cit­ing here: “The only time I will ever con­sider vot­ing for the SLP ever again, is if Ig­natius Jean were to emerge as its po­lit­i­cal leader.” Yes, I said that!

This takes me to the broader po­lit­i­cal point that I wish to make here. Prime Min­is­ter Allen Chas­tanet, to his credit, and to my great plea­sure, has of­fered me two job op­por­tu­ni­ties, which I feel cer­tain 99.99% of his op­po­nents, as well as his sup­port­ers, would read­ily grab with both hands. I didn’t just say sorry to him. I in­formed him and his clos­est col­leagues that he needs me in Saint Lu­cia, on ra­dio and tele­vi­sion at least three or four times a week, more than he needs me else­where,

Here is a glimpse of agenda item num­ber one, as far as I am con­cerned. I aim to mo­bi­lize the en­tire coun­try to force (or to per­suade, if you pre­fer) the cit­i­zenry to get their MPs to pass a law in the House and Se­nate that would make it il­le­gal, and in­cur dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion, for any mem­ber of par­lia­ment to threaten po­ten­tial in­vestors to the is­land. Words such as “I will write to for­eign in­vestors ask­ing them not to in­vest in Saint Lu­cia,” should dis­qual­ify any politi­cian from ever con­test­ing gen­eral elec­tions or any elec­tions for a pub­lic post in Saint Lu­cia.

The Bri­tish have a habit of frown­ing on post-dated legislation. Per­haps we should do some re­search and see whether any for­mer Bri­tish colony has suc­cess­fully post­dated legislation with no time limit in which to pros­e­cute and pun­ish those who be­tray their coun­try and wish to harm its econ­omy. Call­ing a strike and block­ing roads so ba­nanas and tourists can­not pass should fall un­der such a law.

Fur­ther­more, it’s time for the Allen Chas­tanet-led UWP to es­tab­lish in clear and sim­ple terms in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the Gryn­berg af­fair, the launch­ing of the CIP in Monaco, the rea­son the DSH was kept a se­cret un­til af­ter the 2016 elec­tions, and, cru­cially, the mas­sive cost over-runs in the re­build­ing of the St. Jude Hospi­tal in Vieux Fort.

The prime min­is­ter must also be in­formed that it does not mat­ter how much he re­builds the econ­omy, if the SLP were to be re­turned to of­fice any time soon, they would mis­man­age the econ­omy worse than they did be­fore and Saint Lu­cia would be re­turned to the same de­press­ing beg­ging sta­tus he found it in, in 2016. That is the re­al­ity the UWP gov­ern­ment must never stop drum­ming into the heads of those who pre­tend not to hear.

The UWP must get some strong go­nads and push its MPs to keep re­mind­ing the of­fi­cial op­po­si­tion and its pup­pets in all walks of Saint Lu­cian life that the peo­ple of this na­tion voted the UWP into of­fice for five years; also that the PM has con­sis­tently said it would take three years just to clean up the mess he in­her­ited.

The au­thor of­fers some revo­lu­tion­ary ad­vice to Prime Min­is­ter Allen Chas­tanet, pic­tured (left) with Pres­i­dent Trump (cen­tre) fol­low­ing his most re­cent speech be­fore the U.N. Gen­eral As­sem­bly on Tues­day.

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