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.