By Denys Springer
On September 29, 2020, sitting in my living room trying to comprehend what is happening in this country and how long the blatant disrespect that is taking place will carry on, I shudder to think that we may very well witness a revolution for the first time in this country.
Anthony Quinton in his book Political Philosophy maintained that “the first duty of a state is to produce and maintain law. A satisfactory account of the nature of law must trace its complicated relations to morality which serves both to supply law with content and to be a standard for criticism of it”. Well, given priority to the COVID 19 Bill we saw being debated and passed in the House of Assembly seem the order of the day for the government. There was haste and one has to ask why.
The Bar Association sent a letter to the prime minister asking for consultation before proceeding. This was long in coming but they did get off their Ivory Tower to act because what was taking place is wrong as it infringes civil liberties, the rule of law and the constitution. More astonishing was the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) who made a plea for consultation and this Bill being rubbished in parliament. Their chairperson was being made to look as if she was from out of space. What a slap in the face for a lady who truly believes in Saint Lucia, one of the best tourism destinations in the Caribbean and the World.
The Bar Association is of the view that “the prime minister comments would suggest a lack of understanding of the meaning of consultation and the purpose and function of the Bar Association”.
What this dictatorial individual we call a prime minister fails to realize is that the essence of democratic politics is a process of bargaining and of finding adjustments that will be more or less temporary and shifting as condition change within and without society especially on the topic of COVID-19 pandemic.
What we are seeing now in this government is a general-purpose committee called a Cabinet possibly with a scapegoat at its head a so-called prime minister. Many of those sitting in cabinet know full well that what they are supporting is wrong and dishonest to the electorate. However, the prime minister having bought and sold them many times over, knows too well that only mediocrities can be counted on for loyalty and therefore he has those in his little click.
Disraeli showed that unlike our present prime minister who does not have one percent of Disraeli’s brains or common sense. I am therefore of the view that this prime minister suffers from a disease called “superiority complex disorder” that “colonialism had a conscience” adopted by him.
He simply wants to rule by fear as all dictators do but what he fails to realize is that at every dictatorial decision he makes he will be cooking his goose. This is not the 1920s,30s, 40s or 50s. Frantz Fanon in “Studies of a Dying Colonialism” was emphatic when he writes that “colonial domination, as we have seen, gives rise to and continues to dictate a whole complex of resentful behaviour and of refusal on the part of the colonized”. He goes on to write “that colonialism obviously throws all the elements of native society into confusion”.
This is exactly what we are seeing with this COVID-19 bill which was not discussed with the bar association, the SLHTA, SLMDA, the trade union federation and even the Chamber of Commerce. Come to think of it where is the Chamber of Commerce? What a bunch of pathetic creatures.
What we have witnessed according to Frantz is “the dominant group arrives with its values and imposes them with such violence that the very life of the colonized can manifest itself only defensively, in a more or less clandestine way”.
This government has shown in its attitude that it is prepared to provoke as many stakeholders to get their way and therefore any form of consultation with these stakeholders is unacceptable to them because of their colonized minds. What we are seeing is a form of political abuse at the highest level. Abuse the Oxford English Dictionary tells us is “injurious speech reviling, execration” as we saw by the prime minister.
It suggests a loud, screaming manner, whether in speaking or in writing and a person driven on by hatred. In this case, he is angry to the hilt that those agencies had the gall to ask him not to proceed with his Bill. Therefore, we did not see a pleasant or pretty activity in the house because it was not meant to be. Its purpose was twofold, to provide an outlet for hostile feelings which can no longer be contained and expose the object of one’s hate to the world as someone deserving scorn, loathing and annihilation.
This prime minister in his callous and treachery manner aided and abetted by remnants of Cambridge Analytica and others in his government and the hangers-on have foolishly taken a road to self-destruction because he always believed that he was far superior to Saint Lucian’s.
This is the same prime minister that reminded the whole world that he is a product of Canada, not Saint Lucia. What a callous mindset.
Of what though I ask; because we are the product of this country. I spent over three decades in Europe but still don’t believe that I am a product of these countries who afforded me numerous qualifications. I have always been proud to be born in Saint Lucia and to be a product of the schools that gave me the initial edge in academia.
What amazes me is that this prime minister has the gall to ignore the stakeholders who were asking for some consultation before he embarked on the “River of No Return” with his COVID-19 Bill. He treated them with disdain and finally made a rod for his own back.
At present there is nothing in COVID-19 to make that bill necessary. We are simply not on a war footing situation or war zone or people are dying because of the pandemic. He himself said so. It is therefore a callous attempt to restrict people’s movement. What he may not have realized is that he was beginning to alienate his own supporters except for the hacks and those who would sing for their supper. Saint Lucia will become a battle zone of his own making and no tourist will want to come to our pristine land because of the situation that is emanating.
Relations between people and their government are at the lowest ebb ever. We can recover and there is Philip J Pierre; a humble man who believes in consulting and listening to others point of view. At this juncture, he is the only one I can see on the horizon who will bring us back on course and navigate a steady ship away from the dangerous rocks that lie ahead.
The present government is in the “River of No Return”. However, Pierre can shake up the cobwebs.