Let’s not forget: “A mind is a terrible thing to waste but a wonderful thing to invest in.” ~ Kiran Aditham. It plays an important role in every aspect of life and should be guarded from evasive species. Stumping on the Castries Market steps, Prime Minister Kenny Anthony emphasized that “health care has to be a top priority. Every playing field in this country must have lights in the next term. The SLP government is introducing young people to the world of technology. The Labour government has created a revolution in education. Saint Lucia is able to provide every child with an opportunity to go to secondary school because this Labour government had the foresight and the courage to do it.”
Also: “The ministry of tourism, heritage and creative industries is to take tourism away from heritage and creative industries and establish a separate ministry of heritage and creative industries to help young people even more.”
Make no mistake these are all important issues and very significant to genuine and rigorous discussion. However, these are not new except to have them re-coupled and having fun with a lamentable history to masquerade an old playbook.
This is particularly disingenuous to conceal a colossal shift in how incompetent the Anthony-led administration has performed over the years. The expectation of great things around the country by a government strapped for cash and economic expansion will not materialize, so the next best trick is to delude by socialist nostalgia.
But so pervasive are the mantras being repeated ad nauseam that the Anthony-led administration is blind to a marked decrease in the lives of Saint Lucians they depend on for a vote. The figures from the Bureau of Statistics bear testament: for education, the economy, tourism arrivals and the fact that almost half of the young people are unemployed.
The comment “Good article” by Vibes on March 30, 2016 to the pathogens of deception prompted Wam There to remind me: “I concur. However, please note that the majority of St Lucians have difficulty at passing English A at CXC level, far less understanding what you have written. I think your comments should be broken down a notch so as to achieve common understanding or you will be regarded as irrelevant.” The implication of this is immense, for a government claiming to have “created a revolution in education.” And so, when the written word and political debates no longer speak to such people, they become unresponsive to facts and arguments that don’t appear relevant to them. No amount of slogans, symbols sensation and government-sponsored employment programmes like NICE and STEP, just enough to buy expensive groceries that hasten diabetes, relates to the lack of integrity, authenticity and charisma on the ground to positively impact lives.
In every significant respect, the Anthony-led administration has not built an economic base for the innovative minds of today and the future. It is time to wake up to that reality. In fact, the practice of Keynesians’ liberal economic days has destroyed the poor and middle class and infected every section of the public sector, in turn, orchestrating dangerous circumstances today, whereby the wider population is distant from political power. And settling to become minorities in the country: far-removed from economic prosperity and forced into dependency syndrome, on a government that is itself, relying on mendicancy and services from proxy offshore clients.
But what more to expect from an administration that is connected to shame and bureaucratic irresponsibility to look ahead to new approaches and a framework that embrace reform with action to help intensify partnerships and economic rebalancing for prosperity?
So far the machinations are more directed to self-pleasures and hyperbole. And when citizens speak to matters of national importance directly or indirectly, there are moves to manipulate the media in ways that resemble proxy socialist dictators. Such behaviours are consistent to conceal impropriety, corruption and safety challenges that are perhaps hurting the economy.
Philosopher George Santayana reminds us: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This is particularly instructive when the outcomes of many government projects are nowhere near completion and capable of supporting economic expansion and sustainable jobs. Not to mention policies that advanced the political elites and were not beneficial to the wider public. That’s why helicopter money is pervasive and spending widely in a pre-election campaign to infiltrate green hornets.
Yes, government is in constant need of money. The political elite need to make deals. And so, they will cry crocodile tears to source funding, camouflage concessions and indebtedness to boost deficit spending in the upcoming election budget.
Besides such, the narrative is divergent to develop a thriving economy where entrepreneurship can take hold and where citizens have the mental and physical skill-set to care for their wants, needs and desires: pay for CXC fees, buy a proper laptop for themselves and their children, not inferior handouts from proxy client governments, and have access to quality health care.
Instead the false model of hope and opportunity preferred by the Anthony-led administration is that of disfranchising a population to rotten and twisted socialist nostalgia of freeness in building a welfare state; inclusive of the mindless narrative to healthcare and education without stating the economic base to sustain such and at what cost.
Further, the sickening fanfare to bewilder the youth with ancient promises and dubious projects that sustain vulnerabilities is pathetic. And who knows what’s next? Perhaps in uniformity with Venezuela every Friday should be a holiday!
That’s why, breaking the cartel structure of bluffers requires level heads to underscore political, fiscal and policy (non)measures that portend a potent disaster in Saint Lucia.
Therefore, it is reasonable to call a bluff a bluff and ask the Anthony-led administration to bring into being improvements and economic rebalancing in the economy.
The delivery of such and to undertake intelligent conversation should be ordinary since the substance of governance is endowed in a plethora of cabinet doctors, although widely perceived to be impotent.
Melanius Alphonse is a management and development consultant, a long-standing senior correspondent and a contributing columnist to Caribbean News Now. His areas of focus include political, economic and global security developments, and on the latest news and opinion.