Saint Lucia
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Banannegate takes center stage

It has been said that St Lucians hardly err at the polls, but it is said they also acknowledge quite quickly when they have erred. Sunday’s meeting at Soufriere by the United Workers Party certainly confirmed that sentiment. The energy of the leader, his team and the audience spoke a thousand words. It was amazing that one man facing fifteen MPs and a Speaker could have turned the tables in nineteen months after a general elections defeat. Nineteen months may not seem like a long time but in essence, the public has clearly noticed the absence of a vision and direction for St Lucia and cannot wait to make amends for the errors of 2021.

On another note, Philip Pierre repeated over and over, prior to becoming Prime Minister his intention to run a transparent and corruption free government yet all the TV stations and local newspapers keep highlighting the undisclosed reasons for the sale of the Banannes lands as he has failed as finance minister/PM to respond to these concerns, yet he found the time to go to the courts to ensure justice was done for the Rovergate affair. The public remains concerned that the PM has not been forthright enough and are demanding a response on the Banannegate affair. Richard Frederick should be temporarily removed from the housing ministry to permit a free and fair investigation.

It is one thing not having a direction and vision, but it is another to literally destroy what you have and pour millions down the drain within an economy that can ill afford this largesse. I sit back and ask the question what is in Pip’s head? It reminds me of a consistent phrase of a St Mary’s College Master Mr Andrew who would point his finger at certain students and say to them “those whose heads are filled with rocks and sawdust can remain at the back of the class”.

The PM must realize that we are living in a competitive world and petty politics cannot and should not be played at the expense of its citizens. Has he not taken into account that while he enjoys the benefits of a salary for himself and his team, the individuals like the 2,000 construction workers remain on the breadline when they could actually be contributing to the economy.

There are dozens of political gimmicks which can be played without messing up the economy and this is the sadness of the matter. Has Pip visited the HIA site in the south since becoming PM? Has it dawned on him how devastating it has been for the workers and the project? Does he have a soul in his body after 3,000 piles have been driven to accommodate a major asset for the state which can stand on its own? Does he understand how assets can quickly depreciate when left unattended in the preliminary stages? Can his advisors not bring this to his attention? Let us only hope that some miracle can take place both for Pip and St Lucia.