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St. Lucia: Burning a House to Kill a Rat?

Castries (The Voice) Prime Minister and Political Leader of the Saint Lucia Labor Party (SLP) Philip J. Pierre has described current tactics of the Opposition as akin to “burning a house to kill a rat…”

By Earl Bousquet

   Not all will agree, but anyone who’s followed the behavior and public statements of the main opposition party and its leadership today, will agree that since its humiliating rejection at the polls on July 26, 2021, it’s propagandists have been grabbing at real (not proverbial) straws to save it from drowning in an ocean of political irrelevancy, engaging pure lies and calumny, creating Fake News and spreading targeted misinformation at home and abroad.

   For example, to try to make this Government of Saint Lucia (GOSL) look and sound bad, His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition has been disloyally presenting the island’s Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP) abroad as being badly-mishandled at home, when the government can show the opposite: a third-best place, designated by the latest verified published annual global count.

   The opposition’s online propagandists have been overly-active on the Fake News front.

   The wacky bunch published a false advertisement inviting local youth and students to apply for scholarships that don’t exist; and more recently, they circulated another Fake News item -an online voice recording of someone claiming (in Kweyol) to have “seen” the island’s Prime Minister kidnapped by special American forces and flown to the US on a waiting aircraft, in the dark of night, to force him to account for CIP misdemeanors affecting US national security.

   The Opposition id also moving Hell and High Water to boycott proceedings of the new Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) appointed by the GOSL, with no members showing-up for its third meeting last week, after one earlier resigned.

   And then there’s All That Jazz…

   This year’s was one of the best Jazz & Arts Festivals to date, but the preachers of eternal Doom and Gloom are now claiming “too much money” was spent paying international artistes – and that, from a party that ensures that whenever it’s in office, the opening ceremony for the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival never takes place at Mindo Philip Park.

   Forever stuck in opposition-mode, invisible online scribblers actually invent stories to pour any type of water -hot or cold- over every positive accomplishment of this GOSL.

   Like robotic humanoids in unguided overdrive, they automatically attack everything: from government increasing pensioners monthly payments, to provision of a legal a liveable minimum wage for workers; from collection of a Health and Security tax, to even claiming this government isn’t spending, or doing enough, to support the police to fight crime -and this about a government that’s poured almost 200 million dollars into the crime fight since taking office in 2021.

   And now the failed Opposition has floated a flailing sweetie-pie song about Saint Lucians ‘missing’ a leader they overwhelmingly rejected in 2021.

   Frankly, we’ve heard of proverbial threats to ‘Blow the house down’, to ‘Bring everyone down with me’, and ‘I’m not going down alone…’, but to ‘Burn a house to kill a rat’ is undoubtedly a good description of the illogicality of the opposition’s senseless approach of willfully damaging Saint Lucia’s reputation to score cheap partisan points against the GOSL.

   Like crabs in a barrel, some acerbic former government ministers -the usual suspects- climb over-each-other to invent elastic and acrobatic claims, to explain inexplicable senselessness that always sounds or seems like turning truth on its head.

   But it doesn’t always have to be like this, as governments and opposition parties can always choose to engage in bipartisanship in the national interest in parliament -and as has been done and shown here before.

   In similar circumstances between 1997 and 2003, the Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition had only one seat in the 17-member House of Assembly (the then Micoud North MP Louis George, now deceased), who was treated with the dignity and respect his position deserved, as the sole representative of his party and all who voted for it in all 17 constituencies. 

   Like a patriotic Lone Ranger, the Micoud North MP attended all sessions of parliament; and the then Prime Minister ensured opposition constituencies were not neglected.

   In that atmosphere, Government and Opposition enjoyed a basically harmonious relationship in parliament, in the national interest, also setting an early example for future bipartisanship.

   Today -21 years later and with two MPs out of 17- the opposition is no-better-off, having more appointed senators (by constitutional default) than elected members and now sounding like appealing for Proportional Representation in a First-Past-The-Post electoral system.

   Employing outmoded thinking anchored in a distant past, the creators of Fake Political News hope to convince the same people who rejected their party to turn their backs on the best government they’ve had since 2016.

   However, politics has never, never-ever, worked well like that.

   ‘Opposing for Opposing Sake’ is the easiest escape route for defeated politicians who refuse to accept having been beaten Fair-and-Square – as with Donald Trump, who’s insisted on peddling the lie that he was ‘cheated out of office’ long-enough to have convinced tens of millions of American voters that he’s not lying.

   Saint Lucia’s ‘Tropical Trump’ preceded and outlasted ‘The Donald’ in office (thanks to the US having a shorter four-year presidential term), but he still hasn’t accepted he’s no-longer Prime Minister, still today preaching-down from on-high and dictating that this GOSL, should do what his government failed-to in over five years.  

   The way the Opposition talks and acts since 2021, you’d swear it won the last General Elections, or was also cheated out of office, and therefore has reason to pontificate about how this freely-and-fairly elected GOSL should go-about continuing to deliver on its 2021 election campaign promises.

   The way they Opposition talks, the way they find everything-wrong with everything this administration does right, the Prime Minister may very-well have very-good reasons to accuse them of ‘Trying to make the tail wag the dog!’.

Identificador Sitio web Ecos del Sur
The Voice

The Voice

Periódico nacional de Santa Lucía desde 1885. Con sede en Castries, trata temas políticos, económicos, culturales y deportivos. También aborda asuntos del Caribe y el mundo, en sentido general.
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