COMMENTARY: SLP hypocrisy on gambling continues

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COMMENTARY: SLP hypocrisy on gambling continues
Melanius Alphonse
Melanius Alphonse

Apparently, the failure to remember the positions taken while in opposition is becoming the new norm in Saint Lucian politics.

I have specifically decided to address the matter, not only to highlight the hypocrisy of the St Lucia Labour Party (SLP), but to also point to the destabilizing effects that gambling is having on the social fabric of the community.

Many will remember the first national discussion on the introduction of gambling during the late 1980’s and early 90’s. Many will remember too, how vehemently the SLP opposed the introduction of gambling back then, and in effect, casting itself as the party of “Moral Conscience”.

The hypocrisy and inconsistencies would surface once again in most recent years (2009-2011), just about the time when the United Workers Party (UWP) seems dead set on introducing casino gambling and slot machines to a number of pristine communities throughout the nation.

But as fate would have it, the gods who control the electoral process in Saint Lucia, would deal a deadly electoral blow to the UWP, thus allowing the SLP to once again prove its worth on the issue of gambling.

Of course, just as they did during their tenure in office from 1997-2006, and again in 2011 till present, the issue of gambling and its negative effects on the social fabric of the nation has once again been swept under the rug.

Today, all of the red chest beating and the clinch fist of resistance which once punctuated the Saint Lucian skies have all gone silent. The hypocrites, like their predecessors, seem to place greater value on the perceived revenues that gambling is generating, than on the social implications that it is presently having on the nation.

Now in office, and seating comfortable on a hefty monthly salary with perks too numerous to mention, it is no longer problematic for the SLP to view how gaming facilities and slot machines are spinning the lives of many throughout Saint Lucian communities, out of control.

Sadly, the poor have always been the ones to get trapped in the vice of gambling. The menial wages which they earn, and which no doubt is insufficient to support their families, have driven them to the slot machines in hopes of striking it rich under the supervision of the state.

So, why is it that these much talked about slot machines are still fully functional and accessible to the public under a St Lucia Labour government?

The LPM is in the minority for thinking that an unregulated gaming system in the country, has contributed to a breakdown in social order, and thereby pose a national predicament?

In fact, this vice of gambling is contributing to greater poverty and inequality. This addiction and its related social ills are a burden to the public and private system, and also, present a greater challenge to the law enforcement community. Is it worth it?

There seems to be a deafening silence in the hallway of this Khmer Rouge government. I am not referring to Cambodia, but to the imitation Khmer Rouge government of Saint Lucia, which seems to have all together dismantled and buried its “En Rouge” position on gambling.

Meanwhile, as the people continue to be gamed, the government has its game face on – collecting a rapid source of gambling revenue, quietly.

Where’s the outcry? It’s a shame!

Melanius Alphonse is a management and development consultant. He is an advocate for community development, social justice, economic freedom and equality; the Lucian People’s Movement (LPM) www.lpmstlucia.com critic on youth initiative, infrastructure, economic and business development. He can be reached at [email protected]

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18 COMMENTS

  1. A government SHOULD legislate to protect the vulnerable, and the introduction of fixed odds machines make a lot of people vulnerable. It introduces risk into all facets of St Lucian life. Lots of children are suffering because their parents are sucked in by those machines. The effect on the brain is not far dissimilar to what drugs do and are just as addictive. It erodes the hopefulness of our people and destroys the sense of purpose. No right thinking government will Blight its people with that scourge, especially in a vulnerable small economy like ours. Government must set the tone and tenor and create the climate where people can thrive not destroy hope.

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  2. Kenny lead people to believe the Air Port Tax is illegal, that Vieux Fort did not need a new hospital, ect,ect. Now he says that Vieux Fort needs a new hospital. By the way could anybody confirm what was done with the 41 million that was already collected illegally for the Airport development? Loans were also granted to the country under the Hurricane Tomas reconstruction. Can anybody tell me where are those funds? For i still see alot of work left undone in the Bar d'lis, Fond St Jacques, Bexon Odsan etc. Lucians Stop Spitting in the sky and saying it drizzling

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    • Good questions! The SLP government is trying to distract us by causing all other controversies. All they do nowadays to distract us is ask UWP for the Taiwanese money. While other more important issues fall through the cracks.

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  3. In this case i don't support party i support self. If i as a grown person want to gamble with my money thats my perogative not a politician's so it doesnt matter to me which party says it. I also dont agree with politicans who say one thing and do the other. Kenny has already acquired a name for himself in that regard Kenny & Tony. A leader like that cannot be trusted this is why he is synonymous with secret dealing such as Rochamel, Grynberg & Helenites Building etc. We have tacitly endorsed his election over and over by voting Red. The first time i realized his lying tendencies was at the time of the construction of the double lane highway. Every St. Lucian knew that the lanes could not accomodate 2 trucks side by side but yet they were made to believe it by tacit endorsement. The same way people were made to believe in Better Days, 100 million, a computer for every child, VAT is an evil Tax, Less Bureaucracy, Richard Frederick will be arrested,

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  4. I like this article for two reasons.
    1 - It speaks the truth about the gambling proglem in St Lucia and

    2) It was able to show us how shallow some people who read things can be.

    Typical SLP supporters and cowards. They make excuse for everthing that's not good. How the hell you are going to knock someone for being very frank about a problem in the country.

    In life is not where you start but where you end. SLP is out but SLP must come back down.

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  5. The problem are not the Politicians, it is the electorates who allow themselves to be fooled over and over again.

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  6. Bloggers,
    Either through illiteracy or party hacking(i suspect both)the point being made by Alphonse is that the SLP takes one position on an issue while in opposition,and when in government adopts the opposite position on that same issue.THE QUESTION IS WHY?
    IS it right for the SLP to behave in this manner?Such behavior is described as DECEITFUL.This also implies that a deliberate decision was taken to lie to ST.LUCIANS.
    kenny ANthony while in opposition described VAT as evil and wicked,yet,as soon as he won the elections,he imposed this same wicked and evil tax on the people.
    The slp and in particular Emma Hippolyte continuouly opposed the introduction of slot machines around St.lucia and promised to eradicate them upon assuming office.It is almost two years since the SLP won and not only have the machines continued to be in operation,more have been added.
    While in opposition the SLP promised to keep the school tranportation subdidy program as it was being done.What happened.Well,through another deception called PARTIAL ZONING The SLP has very, very,significantly cut the program (the assistance provided in the form of paying the buses for the children)By 90%.
    There are many more instances of "changing positions" by KENNY ANTHONY.
    With regards with the moral position taken by Alphonse he is entitled to it.
    Anyway,how comfortable is ROBERT LEWIS with gambling being promoted by his government,considering his religious beliefs?
    IS it that the salary plus purks are too much to give up for his religious beliefs?

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    • Wow so nowadays when you give your opinion on something is either you are illiterate or a party hack. I understood clearly what he was saying, however i choose to ignore it and got straight to the point. He is no different from any other person trying and win a sit, they come and full our heads with all this nonsense and change up when in power. So basically whatever he is saying doesnt phase me because his just like Kenny and all these political hypocrites. Say one thing now and other when in power.

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  7. ok. St. Lucians are grown folks, what they choose to do with their money is their problem. If they dont have the sense to stay away from "Gambling" its their prob. Before "Gambling" they wasted their money on alot of other things such as alcohol. N Grambling is not new to St. Lucia, before these machines there was cock fighting (still prevalent), ppl also gamble in their communities. Stop talking as if you care, u'd do the same thing SLP is doing if your party won.

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  8. Mr Alphonse i dont think it is right to legislate as to what an individual should do with his hard earned money. The moral question would be whether the government is doing a good job with the economy or the education system. Faliure in that regard would lead to the public making wrong choices. On a moral standpoint i find it appaulling that we are promoting the gay behavior or even using taxpayers monies to further their agendas. To add insult the practice is illegal. We would like to hear your feedback on this as an astute individual. Futher, don't you find it morally wrong irresponsible statements made by our politicians these days. As if we didnt have enough violence in our 238! The youth NEED A RESPONSE.

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    • so why not legalize marijuana. crack and prostitution, where will it end?, its my lungs i choose to fill with smoke or crack, its my bed i choose to share with a woman i paid 300 dollars too. according to your comments its my hard earned money. there has to be a line drawn somewhere we are suppose to be a predominantly christian population, how can the government legalizes these things monday to friday and go to church holding hands, saturday or sunday singing praises to the most high

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    • Mate is that mad guy who went up for Soufriere last election and got Zero Votes. Nonsense alone miseur writes.

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      • So what he did not win???? Is that a crime on something to be ashamed for. He is proving that he is bigger than that.

        Before you write junk, why don't you focus on the point that he is making. In a nutshell the gent is saying that the SLP is a hypocrite on gambling.

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        • Rita they are all hypocrites! They campaign and promise to do things, then they come in power and do the opposite. They always have alot to say when they are not in power. Same way Kenny lobbied when UWP was in power to give civil servants a pay raise. Then wen it was his turn he was unbending. Thats all politics.

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          • WOMAN YOU WILL NOT TELL ME WHAT TO WRITE SARKWA ENDISQUET. YOU ARE THE ONE WHO WROTE THE JUNK. I AM FREE TO WRITE WHAT I DAM WELL FEEL LIKE WRITING.

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