By Earl Huntley
In conclusion of my three-part series comprising a synopsis of facts, truth and leadership [or lack there-of] in the government of Saint Lucia, it is my expectation that the United Works Party (UWP): their merchants of disinformation and the Allen Chastanet led administration are “ALL- IN ” on Saint Lucia / Grynberg oil exploration agreement: The level of Saint Lucia’s public debt, and St Jude hospital reconstruction project. What has transpired and continues unabated is criminal and a travesty.
July 19, 2019, sod-turning ceremony for the new wing of the St Jude hospital does not negate David Prescod’s [in part three] analysis that, from the moment economic minister Guy Joseph and prime minister Allen Chastanet stopped St Jude hospital reconstruction project (SJHRP)
in fondness to the sod-turning ceremony three years later, with Taiwan president Tsai Ing-Wen, for a Level 4 hospital on the St Jude hospital site, what we have been witnessing is an exercise in the Art of the Con.
It is an exercise in manufacturing truth for political and their merchants of disinformation, beneficial to the ironies and inconsistencies of their actions / and or inactions that have been lost on Joseph, Chastanet, and their supporters.
They continue to hammer the public incorrectly, that the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP), could not finish St Jude in five years; and brag that the construction of the new hospital will be finished in one year. Meanwhile, they stopped construction for three years – within which the hospital would have been completed under any plan.
To date, experienced engineers John Peters and architect Mark Hennecart continue to assert that the replacement for the East wing is completely unnecessary; and that the existing facility could have been finished with the funds available when the Chastanet – led United Workers Party (UWP) assumed office in July 2016.
In summation of the main aspects of the history of St Jude in the last ten years, it is apparent that there is no compelling evidence in support of the UWP government’s actions and plans regarding St Jude hospital.
What has transpired and continues unabated is criminal and a travesty. No government should have allowed these last three years to idle away, leaving persons in substandard conditions at the stadium when this could have been avoided and St Jude hospital completed.
There are persons, in particular, Stephenson King, who says, sheepishly, that both the UWP and the SLP administrations are responsible for not delivering the hospital on time: “We all must take blame for not completing the facility within the ten years,” King said.
This is simply not true and a cop-out. But more practice, when the SLP returns to power it must launch an inquiry into St Jude hospital reconstruction project (SJHRP) so that the truth, as determined by the facts and not by make-believe, merchants of disinformation, can be revealed. The SLP must also learn from this, in that they must develop a communication apparatus to keep the people informed, and to ensure that the people at large understand all its policies, especially major projects, national development and as the political has announced – development of the youth economy, and the blue and green economy.
Therefore, the consequence for our democracy from the Art of the Con which Prescod identifies are real. We have examples from Saint Lucian history, and today’ realty; the UWP template of the Machiavellian distortion of the truth.
Hitler’s deceptions and Nazi propaganda brought Germany and the world into the Second World War in 1939. Misleading information about the reasons and consequences for Britain leaving the European Union have caused the Brexit mess in Britain today; and as fate would have it, one of the leading Brexiteers, Boris Johnson, the new British prime minister, is now caught in the web he spun.
David Cameron, the former conservative prime minister and colleague of Johnson said in his memoirs published recently; that Johnson and Michael Gove “left the truth at home” during the referendum campaign.
In Saint Lucia the UWP, especially under prime minister Chastanet and economic minister Joseph, not only confined the truth to its torches [the flambeau] but produces its truth which is invariably aimed at discrediting the SLP.
Witness the Soufriere Town Square project and there will be more, but sometimes they make their truth to promote themselves and sometimes they are caught – embarrassingly.
Leadership in government cannot be successful if government leaders are oblivious to facts and consistently and conveniently act on abandoned truth. If we are to save our democracy, then we must remove from the government and from our parliament, the UWP and its leaders who epitomize this type of leadership.
Therefore, at Saint Lucia’s next elections, the people of Vieux Fort South must return Dr Kenny Anthony as their representative, he has been tried, tested and proven.
In so doing, we must also invest in our next prime minister Philip J Pierre, who understands and operate with facts. Pierre has out respect and that of others, locally and internationally. He promotes the truth and will, therefore, provide great leadership in government.
And finally – Not a damn seat for them UWP’s to quote from Lord Kitchener’s 1981 calypso immortalizing George Chambers prediction of a Peoples National Movement (PNM) victory in Trinidad and Tobago elections.