Saint Lucia’s leading newspaper is calling on Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre to be more decisive and to take the necessary actions to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, instead of pleading with citizens to be more responsible in taking care of themselves.
The Voice of Saint Lucia, the island’s oldest newspaper, says the current challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic are so dire that the Prime Minister needs to revisit his confidence placed in Saint Lucians to do what’s right for themselves and that his government should face the COVID music — and lead more and plead less.
In its editorial of its first issue for 2022 (The Weekend Voice of January 1) entitled Lead, Don’t Plead and directly addressing him, the newspaper told Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre: “…Your faith that self-interest would lead our population as a whole to act responsibly and follow the protocols was misplaced.”
Pointing out that “Social media is replete with evidence of Bacchanalia in full swing,” The Voice made it clear it felt the government’s decision to plead more than lead is just not working.
As such, the newspaper tells the Prime Minister, “The time has surely come to apply strong measures of discipline in the interests of the people.”
Referring to the resounding 13-4 mandate the ruling Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) won in the July 26, 2021 General Elections, The Voice says: “Earlier this year, the people of this country gave you a resounding mandate.”
But, the editorial notes, “That mandate was not to seek further popularity, but rather to govern in the best interests of all of the people.”
Offering four different reasons why it’s advocating more action and less talk, The Voice editorial concluded with a definite message to PM Pierre, saying: “Mr. Prime Minister, the time for pleading is over. The time for leading is now.
The Voice Newspaper in its editorial, however, remained vague as to what exactly the Philip J Pierre government should be doing differently. Did the nation’s main newspaper mean stronger measures to include: compulsory vaccination, a lock-down of the country, or shorter hours for businesses to operate?
In the spirit of inclusiveness, a value embraced by the new government, perhaps The Voice would have provided a greater contribution to the Covid-19 battle by suggesting some new winning initiatives rather than negating the role of responsible citizenship. Perhaps, It was the attitude of a bullying and autocratic government that Saint Lucians had enough of that they voted the last UWP government out of office.