Labour: The country is on course!

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Labour: The country is on course!
Crowd from last night's SLP meeting in Castries. * Photo credit: OLT Digital
Crowd from last night’s SLP meeting in Castries. * Photo credit: OLT Digital

Following a rather perplexing brouhaha over what the St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP) should and should not discuss at its public meeting on the Castries market steps,  the SLP’s self-styled  political university of the people – a sizeable crowd, perhaps more curious about what the Opposition United Workers Party (UWP) did not want them to hear, turned out to listen to what all the fuss was about.

“Your government is working and the country is on course!” seemed to have been the night’s theme as each speaker presented more fact than the customary political platform oratory.

The dominating topic however, was the ALBA agreement to which St. Lucia is a signatory and has somehow managed to become a political football with Labour defending St. Lucia’s economic goal, while the Opposition seems hell bent on calling foul.

The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas  (Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América, or ALBA) is an international cooperation organization based on the idea of the social, political and economic integration of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The name “Bolivarian” refers to the ideology of Simón Bolívar, the 19th century South American independence leader born in Caracas who wanted the continent to unite as a single “Great Nation.” Founded initially by Cuba and Venezuela in 2004, it is associated with governments wishing to consolidate regional economic integration based on a vision of social welfare, bartering and mutual economic aid.

The Opposition UWP has attempted to malign the agreement, using it as the ‘real’ reason for the US State Department’s withdrawal of support for the island’s police force while distancing their administration from its ill-fated “Operation Restore Confidence” which the State Department has clearly indicated is the actual source of their dismay – characterizing the deaths associated with the law enforcement crime-reduction strategy as “extra-judicial killings.”

“If you apply for a US visa and for some reason you don’t get it, they want you to say that is because St. Lucia is a member of ALBA; that the United States is punishing us for associating with this group of countries. Why are the flambeaus against this country receiving economic aid from countries who can and are willing to help us?” enquired Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony.

The Opposition appears to have missed the lessons on south-south geopolitics.

Thursday night’s public meeting also heard from Deputy Prime Minister, Philip J. Pierre; Soufriere/Fond St. Jacques Parliamentary Representative Harold Dalson; Laborie MP Alva Baptiste and Education Minister Dr. Robert Lewis.

The speakers mostly steered clear of platform mudslinging, opting to update their audience on progress within their respective ministries – infrastructural projects including several bridges destroyed by hurricane Tomas, laptops for children attending secondary schools and annual bursaries for students to assist in purchasing school supplies amongst other issues of national interest.

If as DR. Robert Lewis put it, “when you are educated, then you will seek the truth”, then the meeting at the Castries market steps university did much to enlighten the masses on issues which others have sought to mire in the mud of intellectual dishonesty.

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22 COMMENTS

  1. Flambeaus are desperate for power,You all had five years and what accountability did they bring, NADIR, Regionally and internationally we were backward. With all the Economic crisis this government is trying to bring good governance to St lucia, and here it is Flambeaus are finding fault on everything. Why don't we ask about all the moneys and aide that was given to st lucia and where did they spend it.

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  2. Show me a better man than Robert Lewis to speak on educational issues in st Lucia. No! no! I know what you'll say some academic occupying some university chair somewhere in the US or UK. Well 2 cheers to our own home grown expert who has served all his life at all levels of the local educational system. a consummate professional, knowledgeable but humble and not to mention a man of character.

    Criticise the policy not the man. If Robert had been lecturing at some foreign university, which he can easily do, you would all be singing his praises. 'How a son of the soil is making waves'. Well, he chose to serve at home so we ought to be just as proud of him.

    We need more Roberts in politics not the money spinners we often exalt.

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  3. Pretty much all these rubbish are coming from Flambeaus who still cannot get it together after 5 years of their government and are portaying this government in a bad light. Regionally and Internationally we were in a deep hole, plus after an inherent mess they re trying to bring back respect and dignity back and instead of this we just write and talk trash.
    How many who have travel to order islands as well as other countries to see what this global economic crisis is doing, we should be proud of our government, You think we have problems with unemployment, Go to nearby Dominica,st Vincent,Barbados, Antigua, St marten, Anguilla, Tortola, the us virgin Islands,Grenada, Trinidad, as well as European countries, and see if we aren't still doing better, Let us not be an ungrateful set of people and believe The opposition has the Answer, Its like we are selling our birthright, We know what we have, but don't know what we will get.
    No time to send little boys to the street to do Adult errand

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  4. SLP ministers giving themselves an A+ wow! There goes the arrogance again. Allow your masters (citizens of the country) to rate you. I can guarantee you the result will be the honest truth. An F in all areas sounds like what they deserve. Don't forget that Robert Lewis has a PhD in Mathematics, that in no way qualifies him to be an expert on Educational Issues so i urge you to pardon his ignorance. The Classroom at the secondary school may be the best fit for him. Our CXC math scores may change if he assists there.

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  5. Jenna was there a question and answer session? Let me answer: HELL NO! If I attended the meeting my question would not have an answer.

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  6. Oh yes this once beautiful country of ours is on course to damnation as young Lives and potential leaders are being snuffed weekly while the incumbent political leaders hide behind a pack of lives and verbal diaharra. Even those who professed to be Christian cannot be trusted with the truth....

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  7. That's the weirdest report I have ever read of a political meeting. Did they say anything about the details of the ALBA agreement? Isn't that not what the people want to hear? Isn't Kirby Alain aware of this?

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  8. Robert lewis said the following,"when you are educated then you will seek the truth".What a
    strange thing for a former educator to say.
    Is he implying that only the educated seek and can identify truth? Isn't he aware that there is an interesting and remarkable phenomenon called intelligence?
    Intelligent people can also identify truth.There is also a difference between education and intelligence.(check their meanings)However,the two,when combined can result in someone being called an intellectual.
    Given what he said,he goes on to accuse others of intellectual dishonesty,when he(and the SLP cabinet)used their intellect to deceive st.lucians one more time.They significantly,and in some cases removed the government subsidised transportation that students previously enjoyed under the guise of partial zoning.Then to divert attention from that cruelty they created a smoke screen of $500 for five years which actually translates to $9 and a few cents a month.
    They did this hoping only the educated would figure it out,(according to Robert lewis's reasoning)but,since very few are educated,much less intelluctuals,very little objection if any will be raised.If they do,we will promise to review,knowing full well this is the end of the matter.
    What deceit.Taking away $175 per month and replacing it with $9 and boldly claim that the country is on course.
    The question is;on course for whom?
    I have not heard the reasons for introducing partial zoning,and the reasons for leaving out some schools.If anyone has heard them,please,let me know.
    while I am talking about education,what is the status of universal pre-school education?
    This was boasted about continuously before the elections.Incidently,no mention was made of introducing severe cuts to the transportation program.Is it because they knew they would have lost votes as this measure would make it very hard for students to attend schools where they have the best chance of maximizing their potential?
    Intellectual dishonesty driven by the desire to be wicked to your own people.

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  9. Concern Lucian, at this present time i am strongly giving independence of our country second thoughts, independence is a success providing there are good leaders to lead the country, when u have jokers from the mid 90's we had an alcoholic(good brain but he is what he is), leftis (good leadership but is where he leading people too) and the other was to much of peoples person but he wasn't a leader (so his party was able riding him like Wyclef). i also ask the question, "Where do we go from here?"

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  10. Did they discuss Crime, Grynberg, Unemployment, CCJ, The Constitution, The ECONOMY, The Registries, Lack of Photcopying & Photographic Equipment at Ministries, Poor State of Agriculture, Political Misbehavior etc........

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  11. While the SLP was posturing another nail was lodged deep into our nations coffin. Another young life was snatched by the problems plaguing our society. The very problems we elect governments to solve(yellow, red, blue, green). According to all the speakers their report cards (assessed by themselves of course) got an A+, the citizens again are struck with the sad, painful and grim reality that we are on a fast track to a dark place. And our elected officials are caught up in an alternate reality busy patting themselves on the back for their good work. Where do we go from here.

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  12. ITS ABOUT TIME THE LABOUR PARTY ACCEPTS THE FACT THAT THEY ARE NOW IN POWER BUT NOT FOR TOO MUCH LONGER.

    MOTTOR FOR LABOUR PARTY...
    LABOUR IN POWER; CRIMINALS IN POWER; CRIME ON THE INCREASE

    RATHER THAN KEEPING THEMSELVES BUSY BACKBITING EVERYONE IN OPPOSITION, PUT PEACE IN OUR SWEET COUNTRY INSTEAD OF SEGREGATION!1...CHOOPS

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  13. FAO Merrick - please can you have someone impartial writing your news. The author is clearly partisan and the tone of the entire piece is misplaced.

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    • YOU ALL PEOPLE DO NOT DESERVE AN ANSWER WITH ALL YOUR RUBBISH TALK. ROBERT LEWIS KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT HE WAS SAYING SO IF YOU PEOPLE FIND A PROBLEM WITH THAT, PUT IT IN YOUR PIPES AND SMOKE IT.

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