Wednesday, August 27, 2014

From Calderon To Lorne - Has Choiseul Been Played? Part 1


     The more things change the more they continue to stay the same - this is the talk on the lips of every Choiseul/Saltibus constituenst these days. With VAT eating away at their little and meagre savings it should not be surprising whatever they do next.
That been said, Choiseulians are the biggest enemies of themselves - chicken and rum and a never-to-accomplish-promise, works wonders on their minds during any 'Silly Season.'
   
JMD Bousquet
  Calderon came into politics on the basis of family ties and gave JMD Bousquet, 
a people's person, a licking. JMD never recovered from this shock...he soon died. Calderon's days was rough for Choiseulians because the UWP was in power and Calderon was SLP. That did not seem to bother Calderon one bit. He had that proud notion about him and repeatedly kept saying, "I am not going to beg Compton for anything."........check the mentality? He was never present in the constituency............Lorne may have adopted these genes from him............  the only time Choiseulinans would hear him is in the wee hours of New Year's Day...........for five years.......... when he used to wish the constituents a Happy New year over his mobile PA System.
Next elections Brian defeated Gregor Mason and Gilroy Satney in a three-cornered fight, after Calderon stood down, most likely through shame.  Gregor....SLP.......Gilroy......PLP.........Brian UWP. Brian won handsomely, though many critics thought he only pulled through because it was a three-pronged fight. Whatever, Brian won.
 He started his tenure with much enthusiasm and charisma. He quickly got the Leriche to Lapointe road paved and carried out a number of little projects here and there. (He got your humble servant a job at the Ministry of Sports as a Sports Officer, but I turned it down in favour of a teaching job which was already in the pipeline and I was suppose to start the Monday after the day I was offered the job) He traveled back and forth to Castries daily, during which he must have smashed about two or three vehicles.......sleep they say.
The young Rep began losing popularity with the people when he started, so it is rumoured, to spend more time at the deceased Lawrence St Ange's shop.......Lawrence was SLP....... and not enough time with his own. (The same fate that befell Rufus.......history in the making) Regardless of the warnings, Brian stood his ground. Cauldron got wind of this, came back next election and whooped Brian's but........Cauldron again!......the unpredictable people changing gears.
Cauldron won........UWP in power.......same old bag for Cauldron.......same old representation for the Choiseul people.........enter Rufus. How he got to Choiseul, I don't know......but he came on the scene feeling the people's pulse. People got to know that he is JMD Bousquet's son, and like wild fire his name and intentions spread across the constituency.
 
Henry Giraudy
   A year or two later,at a meeting with Giraudy and some party officials  upstairs Ms Agie's place Rufus was given the nod over Brian to contest the next election. Brian kicked hell, and his grudge against Rufus was evident in his refusal to support him (Rufus) throughout the campaign against Cauldron.
Rufus bousquet
    This was the father of elections, since the SLP supporters had it that Cauldron, nicknamed 'PIE' had never lost to anyone and dat he was going to give the young, handsome and eloquent Rufus a whooping. They were so wrong.......on this 1992 election night almost every constituent had bonfires with straw burning.....an indication that they are burn PIE...Cauldron's nickname and also the patois name for straw.............the phrase......'nous bweelay pie'.
    Rufus was voted out in 1997....not that he did not perform....but rather there was an island-wide move against the UWP government. They only won the Micoud North seat...Enter Ferguson John.
   
Kenny Anthony
 There was a major shake-up in the SLP with Kenny at the helm. Fergy, prior to 1997 had been called down from England...it is rumored that Imogene Mitchel, Compton Francois and company played a bid roll in convincing Fergy to come down to do battle against Rufus.
Critics of Fergy thought that Fergy did not win Rufus but rather Kenny. However Fergy still gave Rufus another licking in the 2001 elections. Fergy because of his mannerisms was
Ferguson John
 losing popularity among his very own supporters. He was never given a ministry and it was being rumored that he is not a fav of Kenny........school days issues they say. One strong supporter from Cafierre said, ' If Fergy were to be drowning and a collection was needed to save him, and if that collection needed one more cent to make the total to save Fergy, and I have  it, you can bet your money Fergy would drown..' This goes to show how much  Fergy was unpopular.
Tennyson Joseph
                 
  Kenny was taking no chances and replaced Fergy with Tennyson Joseph...a university graduate and lecturer. Fergy was kicked out through a run-off process. I stand corrected.
Well this hatred of Fergy must have spilled over to Tennyson  since it was clearly shown in 2006 when   Rufus beat him. This election was no joke, as tempers flew on both sides,.....enemies were created,qualifications were challenged, so too was personality, character and snippets of personal lives were on the front burner.....WOW.....after all was said and done, the people spoke. Rufus after ten years in the political wilderness was back in.
  Rufus' whole life in politics has been marred with controversy after controversy, and it appears to me that he never learns anything. Sometimes I wonder whether the man is daft or simply stupid......far from both.
   
Comton Giraudy Mallet
  Even before Rufus got in elective politics there was UN scandal looming over his head. During his first tenure Compton put a gag order on him which he refused to keep...subsequently he was fired and again during his last tenure.
Leaving all this history behind, Rufus proved to be a man for the poor working class. During his last tenure the Taiwanese funds in no small measure found itself into the pockets of Choiseulians......though his critics thought otherwise. A strong supporter of Lorne mentioned to me, 'Rufus is a good person, however it is the people that surrounded him that threw him away.' - strong words.
 Rufus was criticized for building footpaths, drains, walls and all this was coined as 'Ti Canal projects.' However these projects were well received by the people.....Rufus' mark can be seen in each and every community...his true legacy.
 During his last tenure, Rufus saw the arrival of Lorne to challenge him for the seat come next elections. Though Rufus was handing out projects left right and centre, many of his top men were, according to UWP supporters, giving the SLP supporters more work than them. This created much animosity.
   
Lorne Theophilus
The election campaign of 2006 saw a very sick Rufus being managed by a bunch of incompetent men and women, whose only aim was their self-fulfilment. Rufus's campaign was a mockery of what a campaign should be.....nuff halay karsay. The inclusion of Peter Reds Phillip on the campaign team was not well received by many strong supporters of the party.

Lorne gave Rufus a whooping by over 100 votes.

To be continued...............

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Is The Grynberg Matter A Boxing Contest..........How Many More Rounds ?

Grynberg and Current PM
  A press release regarding the ongoing case between RSM Production Corporation, owned by Jack Grynberg, and the Government of Saint Lucia being arbitrated by the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) claiming that the government had won another round in the process is misleading.

It gives the impression that the case is being litigated in stages (rounds) and that the government has won another round. Putting it this way also implies that the Government of Saint Lucia “won” the first round as though this was some boxing match.

What the tribunal did lately is to ask RSM to post a guaranteed sum of 750,000USD to ensure that Grynberg’s company pays Saint Lucia’s legal costs should we prevail and they are asked to pay for the high powered lawyers who are representing us in the case.

Prior to that dictate the tribunal had asked Grynberg’s RSM to pay its entire share (50%) of the administrative costs of the proceedings as presumably we have paid our share.

 
Former PM
The press release went on to briefly explain the basis of Grynberg’s case against Saint Lucia and the government’s position is simply that they have no case as the contract had effectively expired. Grynberg contends that a three year extension of the contract was signed by former PM King it’s just that he never received a copy.

Part of the press release also gives the impression that the tribunal is already prejudiced against Grynberg by mentioning that the tribunal has noted that there's a history of noncompliance on the part of Grynberg where costs were awarded against it.

At any rate any feeling of elation would be way premature but that does not mean that we should abandon or cautious optimism.

No one has won anything at this point. The reality is the substantive issues have yet to be decided upon and the possibility still exists that we could be on the hook for a shit load of money, which needless to say we don’t have, should the tribunal finds in Grynberg’s favor.

In a country that is starved of good news lately we could all do with some, particularly where it relates to this issue, but the overly positive spin on such a procedural matter is really not necessary in my opinion.

We should be thankful for being kept informed about the progress of the case but please just report the facts at this stage. That should suffice.

However should we prevail, and I hope that this is the expectation of all good meaning Saint Lucians, we will all breathe a huge sigh of relief and praise our God for dodging a bullet that could have hit us straight between the eyes.

Hopefully our leaders would have learnt a valuable lesson in all this that the country’s business should not be conducted without due diligence and as stealthily as was the case in this matter.

Author:  By  Peter Thomas (Not For Party But For Country)

Adapted from Unitedpac

Editor's note: Headline, editor's own.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Night Radio In St Lucia Changed ....... by Earl S. Huntley

Earl and Sam
    AT 7:30 .p.m on Monday 19 August 1974, St. Lucians heard the theme song of a new programme on Radio Caribbean International; it was "Pint O'Wine" by Joey Lewis and His Orchestra from Trinidad and Tobago and it introduced – "Radioa Se San Nou"- the first magazine programme in St. Lucia Kreyol or St. Lucian Patois as it was more commonly called then.
The presenter was a young man, Sam Flood from Gros Islet, who was later to style himself Jouk Bois, Rapping Rhapsody, Jamadar- but it was the Jouk Bois sobriquet that was to remain with him. The producer and creator of the programme was your humble servant, Earl Stephen Huntley, who had already been producing and presenting a Caribbean news analysis programme - Carib Report- for the station.
    August 19 2014 therefore marks 40 years since that programme hit St. Lucia's airwaves and changed radio in St. Lucia. As I look back at its origins, I realise at the time I was only partially aware of the revolution that I was creating. The programme concept was born out of a workshop I had attended in St. Vincent and the Grenadines a couple of months earlier, organised by the Communications department of the Caribbean Conference Churches (where I was to work a few years later as a radio producer/presenter), on the theme, "Communications for Development".
     From the discussions, I concluded that if radio in St. Lucia had to be the agent for change and development that I had accepted it should be, it needed to communicate in the language of the people of St. Lucia- Kreyol – Patois- Lang MamanNou; the fact that it was known as Lang MamanNou- our Mother tongue, but in the St. Lucia context, I would suggest that the more correct translation is the Language of Our Mothers, underlined that it was indeed the language of the majority of its people; and in the 1970's in St. Lucia, it certainly was, especially in the rural areas of the island.
When I approached the Englishman who was the manger of the then Rediffusion owned Radio Caribbean, David Gardiner, with the idea, he endorsed it because he had previously worked in Mauritius where Kreyol was spoken and he understood the impact that it could have. However there was opposition from some members of the staff of the station who thought that "patois on the radio" would degrade RCI.
That was the historical attitude to Kreyol in St. Lucia - a dialect which was not for the elite and the educated classes. But it was the language of the people and Gardiner saw the commercial potential in it. He agreed to do it.
However, I had been the product of this very same thinking that patois was not to be spoken and as a child of two school principals, I had not been allowed to speak patois, even though I lived in Monchy, one of the most country areas of St. Lucia in the 1950's -1970's; so my Kreyol was just too limited to present the programme myself. That's how Jouk Bois came in to radio.
He had been one of the dynamic Kreyol speakers on the platform of the St. Lucia Labour Party candidate for Gros Islet, Gregor Mason, in the 1974 election campaign and in scouting around for a presenter, he was brought to my attention. He had just exited a job as a meter reader with St. Lucia Electricity Services and agreed to audition for the programme. Peter Ephraim, one of the technicians at RCI who was my technical producer for Carib Report, and who is now a co- owner of RCI, worked with him on the consoles.
The programme was about one month in preparation as we searched for music and I prepared the features I would be presenting. As a former French Caribbean station, RCI had a vast library of French Caribbean Kreyol Music and as fate would have it, two Dominican music groups, Exile One and, Grammacks had just begun their own revolution in Kreyol music with the cadencelypso genre; we had the fuel for the show; we were ready.
Radio Se San Nou hit St. Lucia like a hurricane. Sam "Jouk Bois" Flood was perfect for the programme- dynamic, witty, energetic, speaking the language of the people as they were used to conversing with it daily. To be hearing it on the radio every night for the first time was for them extraordinary. I had felt and known the programme was going to be successful but I had not anticipated the extent.
Commercially, it brought immediate and significant income to RCI, to those who advertised on the programme, to the makers of a St. Lucia manufactured transistor radio, Akay which could not keep up with the demand for it, and for the merchants who sold transistor radios generally. An additional half hour was added to the hour with which the programme was launched (from 7:30 to 8:30p.m).
More importantly, it gave St. Lucian Kreyol its rightful place in the electronic media in St. Luca and brought respectability to the language that it had hitherto lacked. Instead of degrading Radio Caribbean International, it elevated it and turned it into the people's radio station. We also allowed the voices of the ordinary people to be on the radio. I sent Sam Flood around the island's communities with a tape recorder to record their answers to the question: "Ki Sa Ki KaAffecte Ou?"; and they told the nation- of course largely to the discomfort of the then government; so before the talk shows which are a staple of radio in St. Lucia today, Radio Se San Nou" on RCI had pioneered this and really taken radio to the people.
Forty years later, Kreyol broadcasting has not developed as much as I had hoped and thought it would have and as it should have. It is true that other radio stations have taken up Kreyol broadcasting, Sam "Jouk Bois" Flood and I brought morning kreyol radio to Helen FM 100 in the late 1990's; and Kreyol has also crept into television; but Kreyol radio is still too limited in scope and content; sadly Radio Caribbean International, which pioneered Kreoyl broadcasting and gave St. Lucia other notable broadcasters as the late Hilarie Alexander and Marcellus "Man" Miller, has dropped its Kreyol programming; so it is refreshing to see that the latest radio station in St. Lucia, WVent has accorded Kreyol four hours daily in the morning.
    Forty years later Sam "Jouk Bois" Flood is still on radio. He has developed in his own inimitable way and is now one of the most controversial and certainly the most listened to radio announcers in St. Lucia and the most successful. As for me, I have been in and out of the media since then, following a diplomatic career but not forgetting my roots in the media. this year also marks 40 years since I began radio production and broadcasting with an interest in current affairs; and with the diplomatic career almost at an end, it is likely that I will return to what has really been my first love – radio and the desire to use it to inform and educate.
    As I contemplate that move, I cannot help but reminisce about that night on August 19 1974, when Pint O Wine (chosen by Sam Flood and which he still uses as his theme) heralded Radio Se San Nou and we changed radio broadcasting in St. Lucia.
   We had indeed opened a chapter in communicating for development in St. Lucia. Forty years later, it is a night I have not forgotten and will not ever forget.

Source: The Voice newspaper - http://www.thevoiceslu.com/features/2014/august/21_08_14/The.htm

Friday, August 22, 2014

Who can bring it home - Allen or Stephenson?

A message to both sides
The political atmosphere within the UWP these days is not what I am sure its supporters would have like it to be. The Frederick's issue, though in the air for sometime now, this time around, after news broke out that he (Frederick) has officially been expelled from the party, must have shifted supporters of either faction (King and Chastanet) further apart.
    UWP claims that Frederick has missed three consecutive executive meetings.....according to the constitution a matter for disciplinary action, and that he has used insulting words at the GS of the Party as well as a form of "halaykarsy" between him and the PL.
Richard Frederick
From the time Chastanet threw in his hat to become PL, plus his method of campaign prior to the Annual Convention of the Party, there has been this King faction, totally opposed to. In King's corner, the major players being Frederick himself, Rufus, Angel, Buffalo and other stalwarts. in Chastanet's corner, Ezekiel, Lenard, Gale, Catherine and other new political faces. Seemingly, a contest between new and old UWP.
   
Stephenson King
   King is being blamed for the Party losing the last GE through having Frederick on the team. Other reasons include, his inability to deal with Rufus and Richard, his fallout of favour with the Compton family, his indecisiveness and his overall incompetence when it comes to managing his Cabinet.
    Chastanet's horrors starts with his critics crucifying him for using his wealth to buy his way to the top position. He is further criticized for his limited grasp of the local language as well as his authoritarian style politics. Still others mischievously bring in the race issue while another section in the debate denounces him for wanting this kind of power when his is already so wealthy.

Allen chastanet
But are the reasons given by UWP really the fuse to kick Frederick out of the Party? Kenny and his boys had already started a campaign against him during the elections which many Lucians bought. The revocation of his US passport did more harm to him than good. His popularity also took a battering when Slick Boy Stan lost to him by a mere 60+ votes at last GE. The Castries Central spoke to him clearly. There is more in the mortar than the pestle.
     As for King he is riding on the wave which Frederick is presently creating. King in his tenure as LOTPO after the Annual convention, made many rash statements, especially the one he made in Florida, which seem to imply his non-regard for the new PL. Since his firing, King has foolishly become a Richard follower with no clear direction.
With the upcoming annual convention it will be very interesting to see what happens. Will King be returned as PL? If King is returned, will Frederick be reinstated? Will the whole present executive be changed? Will Chastanet be retained?

Gale Rigobert
 Whichever way it goes....King or Chastanet...... its a lose, lose situation for Flambeaus. The division will continue to persist.
Will a solution to bring both sides together before the next GE rest with Gale Rigobert? Quite a viable choice!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Borrowing Charade Continues



Minister of finance
In this blog's limited understanding of government business, it still is at a loss to understand the thinking behind all this borrowing when according to this administration our economy is in shambles. The following is an article penned by the "st lucia times.
    "A Sitting of the House of Assembly is scheduled for Tuesday, August 19, 2014 with Papers to be laid and Bills to be presented by the Honourable Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs, Planning and Social Security, Honourable Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Port Services and Transport and Honourable Minister for Commerce, Business Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs.
The following Motions are down for consideration:
BE IT RESOLVED that Parliament authorizes the Minister for Finance to borrow US$750,000.00 from the Caribbean Development Bank for the purpose of financing the clearing and cleaning of affected areas and the emergency restoration of services in affected areas of Saint Lucia following the damage caused by torrential rainfall on the 24th and 25th days of December, 2013;
  BE IT RESOLVED that Parliament authorizes the Minister for Finance to guarantee the amount of EC$5,814,758.70 for the purpose of financing the Bocage to Sunbuilt and Entrepot to Independence City Roads Rehabilitation Works;
BE IT RESOLVED that Parliament authorizes the Minister for Finance to guarantee the amount of EC$12,240,104.80 for the purpose of financing the Resurfacing of the Alan Bousquet Highway (Union to Babonneau) Project;
   that Parliament authorizes the Minister for Finance to guarantee the amount of EC$10,549,804.10 for the purpose of financing the Anse Ger Desruisseaux Road Rehabilitation Works;
Minister of Infrastructure
BE IT RESOLVED
BE IT RESOLVED that Parliament authorizes the Minister for Finance to guarantee the amount of EC$4,818,892.73 for the purpose of the completion of the La Dig (Mocha) and Deville Bridge Reconstruction Project;
BE IT RESOLVED that Parliament authorizes the Minister for Finance to guarantee the amount of EC$4,361,486.96 for the purpose of financing the completion of the Park Estate Drainage Project;
 BE IT RESOLVED that Parliament authorizes the Minister for Finance to guarantee the amount of EC$32,224,598.45 for the purpose of financing the East Coast Road Rehabilitation Project.
 That that Parliament authorizes the Minister of Finance to borrow US$20,000,000.00 from the Export-Import Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan) for the purpose of financing the St. Jude Hospital Reconstruction Project to restore the capacity and facilitate the healthcare needs of the southern region of Saint Lucia;
Bills down for consideration are:
 Money Services Business (Amendment)
Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic (Amendment)                                                        
Immigration (Amendment)        
Tuesday’s Sitting is scheduled to commence at 10:00 a.m.
The Sitting of the Senate is scheduled for Wednesday, August, 20, 2014 at 10:00 a.m."

 Source: http://stluciatimes.com/article/house-assembly-meet-tomorrow

Editor's note: NB: A total of EC $2,032,500.00 + $70,009,642.00 + $54,200,000.00 = EC$113,242,142 to be borrowed. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

United Nations Secretary- General’s message for International Youth Day (12 August 2014)

A new publication from the United
Nations shows that 20 per cent of the
world's young people experience a
mental health condition each year. The
risks are especially great as they
transition from childhood to adulthood. Stigma and shame often compound the
problem, preventing them from seeking
the support they need. For this year's
observance of International Youth Day,
the United Nations wants to help lift the
veil that keeps young people locked in a chamber of isolation and silence. The barriers can be overwhelming,
particularly in countries where the issue
of mental health is ignored and there is a
lack of investment in mental health
services. Too often, owing to neglect and
irrational fear, persons with mental health conditions are marginalized not only from
having a role in the design and
implementation of development policies
and programmes but even from basic
care. This leaves them more vulnerable to
poverty, violence and social exclusion, and has a negative impact on society as a
whole. Young people who are already
considered vulnerable, such as homeless
youth, those involved in the juvenile
justice system, orphaned youth and those
having experienced conflict situations,
are often more susceptible to stigma and other barriers, leaving them even more
adrift when they are most in need of
support. Let us remember that with
understanding and assistance, these
young people can flourish, making
valuable contributions to our collective future. We have just about 500 days to reach the
Millennium Development Goals. We must
support all young people, especially
those who are vulnerable, to succeed in
this historic campaign. Wide-ranging efforts at all levels are
needed to raise awareness about the
importance of investing in and
supporting young people with mental
health conditions. Increased education is
crucial in reducing stigma and in changing how we talk about and
perceive mental health. Mental health is how we feel; it is our
emotions and well-being. We all need to
take care of our mental health so that we
lead satisfying lives. Let us begin to talk
about our mental-health in the same way
we talk about our overall health. As we mark International Youth Day
2014, let us enable youth with mental
health conditions to realize their full
potential, and let us show that mental
health matters to us all.
Source: UN website

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Building A Nation On Prosperity In St Lucia by Melanius Alphonse

The following is an extract taken from an article by Leader of the LPM.
The Political Facts:
 
EN ROUGE
  Two-and-half-years of labour shock and misery is a far cry from the high expectations of en rouge, better days and socialism dependency, having sold to voters what they wanted to hear, rather than what they need to hear. The fiscal deterioration that citizens are experiencing today was not expected and, as such, something they were not prepared for.
 Recently, in keeping with the hollow shell of Dr Kenny Anthony’s socialist government, he activated a delaying tactic to appoint commissions. This is a strategy used by governments when in doubt and need help. However, voters understand such and reward in kind with the power of the vote.

 Of late, the conservative ideology of change is coming is equally unbelievable. It is simply stubborn ideology that is in search of a policy of restoration and rehabilitation. Such dreamland thinking is also indefensible, since it is made up of a make-believe fabric that is worn out and more suitable for biodegradable use. Thinking and believing that change can happen without collective responsibility and a leader with nothing in common with Saint Lucian people
. The story line is that of two ideological parties are stuck in a generational style of pure old politics that is not authentic and does not rise to the current challenge to change the dynamics from a socialist government that is too fat, to a leaner government, and from decades of wasteful spending and corruption.
 Unfortunately, Peter pays for Paul, as both governments have developed annual budgets that are unable to signal fiscal management plans, set medium to long term goals and a road map for future reforms.
 Now that the rubber meets the road, water bills have increase by 66 percent, VAT is 15 percent, an even on ground provisions. We are paying more for electricity and public transportation. And fewer subsidies that unfairly hurt the working poor and create adverse effects on fixed incomes and the middle class’s ability to invest and grow.
 This is a government that does not have its priorities in order and is ill-advised, such as the Dr Kenny Anthony’s socialist government’s decision to stop abruptly all ongoing projects upon coming into office in 2011. Rather than completing them through tighter controls, closer monitoring and reporting, while taking the tough call and making the hard choices.
Instead, mindless populism and unguarded expectations gave way to irrational exuberance.
This hurts even more, now that not one major project is capable of creating an impact on job creation, and unemployment of 24.9 percent and climbing, or to improve revenue generation. The best gig government can muster is the routine maintenance and reconstruction of roads, sidewalks, (ti-canal construction) and bridges more comparable with local government operations of old time politics. And a heartless Dr Kenny Anthony’s socialist government that takes away 5% from the wages and salaries of the poor and vulnerable under false pretence of fiscal deficit reduction for political propaganda.