A WORD TO THE WISE
Amidst the obstacles which the opposition and their legal advisers are desperately aiming to place in the path of the Chastanet government, there is one small matter that those who wish to govern like John Compton must bear in mind. Compton never allowed naysayers to influence his agenda; neither did he wait until all his ducks were perfectly lined up before he began to implement a project. If, for example, there was a feeder road to be built, he would first cut and widen the path, then roll quarry waste over it before adding loose gravel and a thin layer of asphalt followed by more rolling. Sometimes this would be topped-up with quarter inch metal, and voila—new feeder road.
No one with a modicum of intelligence could have thought that such a road was the best that money could build. The problem was there was no money, but it was the best Compton could have built with limited resources. The result may have been a dry-weather road, as his critics would say, but it was better than a footpath. Over time, farmers pitched in and helped maintain the road surface. In time, these roads were strengthened to handle increased rural traffic.
Such a practical approach made economic sense and demonstrated a pattern of thinking that matched the island’s stage of development. There is no point in thrusting first-world-development-models upon a people that lack the know-how to maintain them. Even in the so-called first world, there are many (including white folk) who still use pit latrines and outhouses. The idea of wise spending also applies to parents who pressure themselves to purchase the latest cellular phone or tablet for a child who can barely spell and write. It seems a new and dangerous mind-set of those who slavishly imitate what they see, that often portrays a false and wealthy life-style.
Bearing in mind the Compton model, the government of Saint Lucia need not wait until a new airport terminal building is opened at Hewanorra before introducing at least a few modern passport readable machines with trained staff to help travellers. Politicians from both parties who travel regularly to Barbados must have seen and used these new machines at Grantley Adams. The difference between here and there is the mentality and thinking of our leaders. John Compton used to think more like a Barbadian leader whereas our local jokers think they must wait until everything is prim and proper (every duck is properly lined up) before they can install these new machines at George FL Charles and Hewanorra Airports.
By the way, if an area has been identified in which to establish a new animal farm to replace Vieux Fort’s Beausejour, why has so little been communicated to the public about this? Is the government afraid that the big, bad, bloated idiot on the opposition benches will use his Dominican and local lawyers to delay the government’s agenda yet again?