Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Plight of Roblot's Single Mothers

STEP workers
This present administration or to be more specific the co coordinators of STEP of the Choiseul/Saltibus Constituency, continuue to marginalize t a few single mothers in the Roblot, Debreuil and La Maze communities. It is not surprising to witness the recycling of workers for the  benefit  of those in charge.
     A statement from the  government clearly states ," Another cycle of the Short Term Employment Programme (STEP) commenced on Monday, July, 2013, in all seventeen constituencies in Saint Lucia. For one week, two thousand, three hundred and twenty five (2,325) persons will engage in beautification and de-bushing works in communities around the island.
It is expected that this cycle will provide much needed assistance to poor households who are currently struggling to meet monthly expenses and are preparing their children for the September 2013 school year.
A deliberate effort was made to engage single parents, who have never been employed under the programme before."
     What about these underlined sentences that the Choiseul coordinators don't understand when it comes to the needy and single parents of these three communities mention above. Is Lorne a part of this?
 Three single parent families from Roblot, four from La maze and two from Debreuil can be named off the bat who have never been employed under the program from its inception. These female single parents have at max two children on average who need school supplies and uniforms to attend school come September. Where is the  sensitivity towards the plight of these women? Must they be marginalized because they are flambeaus? Must they be marginalized because they do not sync with the "Zeleves" of Labour?
What needs noting here is that the persons who have been selected for this round have already worked in more than one cycle and that these same person can do otherwise.
 This practice must stop and if its  done through the authority of the District Rep, guaranteed, he will pay dearly for this come next election.
   The community of Roblot continues to get shafted by our Rep. The roads are in a deplorable state - tou pa esee, tou pa la, getaway pa la.  The Library service is no more. The Human Resource center is in a deplorable state and worst of all its been over five hundred days (500) since our rep has not had a face to face meeting with constituents of this polling division. Do you call this representation/
 Lorne in his opening statement during this year's Budget debate on the Estimates of Expenditure for 2013 - 2014, apologized to the people of Choiseul for his continued absense in the Constituency and vowed that this will never happen again. Roblot, and Lamaze  for sure have not seen any change.
    It is this blog's guess that come 2016 we will be seeing too much of him. The blog thinks that there must be greater equity in the distribution of jobs to sinle mothers in the communities. we are not sure if the same exists in the other communities, but it wouldn't come as a surprise if it were not. The coordinators need to put partisan politics aside and really give assistance to those really in need regardless of political affiliation.
that's the way to go.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Reconciliation Process must Begin Immediately - Chastanet.

Allen Chastanet's team beat King's team hands down at the polls held at the UWP's Convention last Sunday. The margins of victory for Chastanet's team members going up against King's team were significant - the widest margin being in the election for the post of Chairman, where Ezekiel gave Rufus a whooping lead of 180 votes. (Rufus disappeared into thin air)
By all indications, it appeared that Chastanet's team were more prepared and must have done their homework better than the King's team.
Inspite of all the negative ads by some of King's and Chastanet's supporters, as well as Labour supporters on all the talk shows and facebook, not to mention the notorious Allen Joseph, the delegates came out in full support of Chastanet. This speaks volumes.
Certain members running on King's team was definitely a minus for him. King's past relationship with these members must have triggered the change within the delegates. Clearly the only two delegations showing their open support for the King's team was Richard's and King's Constituency delegations. Not even Choiseul gave Rufus the support he so desperately needed after it is allegged he conned them into nominating him for the post of chairman.
The delegates clearly expressed a will for change within the Party and that Allen Chastanet is mandated to do. He has suggested that the reconciliation effort should begin immediately. In all fairness , it is this blog's opinion that this process will heal slowly and both sides will gel eventually for the unity which is needed to face off with Labour.
The Labour Party have their work cut-out for them as well. The road ahead will not be as easy as they once thought. Knowing their modus operandi, it will not be suprising to hear the amount of dirt which will soon be unearthed and thrown at Chastanet's team. Labour's woes are not far off the corner either. UWP have survived theirs democratically and are in good standing. Hope Labour can survive theirs when their turn arrives.
The full UWP executive:
Allen Chastanet - Political Leader
1st Deputy Political Leader - Lenard Montoute
2nd Political Leader - Gale Rigobert
Stephenson King - Leader of Opposition
Chairman - Ezekiel Joseph
1st Chairperson - Mary Polius
2nd Deputy Chairman - Andy Daniel
Welfare Officer - Felicia St Marthe
Elections Officer - Leone Theodore-John
Tresurar - Leslie Fulgence
President Women's Arm - Petra Nelson
President Youth Arm - Ms Auguste
Trustees - Gertrude George
Nicholas John
Moses Vaval

Monday, July 29, 2013

Chastanet 262, King 99

It was all jubilation at Marigot yesterday when it was officially announced that Chastanet's team had won the bid for the Executive of the United Workers Party.
Apparently there must have been some leakage before the official results were announced since Chastanet's supporters were already in a celebration mood, while many of King's supporters had already made their way home.
The following is Chastanet's unedited speech:
"Mamai Flambeau!" That's how the newly elected political leader of the UWP, Allen Chastanet began his acceptance speech to his supporters at the convention yesterday evening after the official results were announced. He continued, "Before I begin my presentation, I want to say, Sir John, this one is for you. Fellow delegates, supporters, friends and well wishers of the United Workers Party, it is with great humility and honour that I stand before you as political leader of our great Party the United Workers Party. You have restored your confidence in me to lead and recognize this great Party of ours. I thank you for your overwhelming support. I thank you for your courage and I am grateful for your show of confidence in me and the other people who you have elected to form the National Executive of our Party.
Over the last few months, we have gone through a process which is resultive in the decision to change the leadership of the United Workers Party. This process is provided for in the Party's Constitution. And I thank you for allowing the process to take effect, all in an effort to strengthen our great Party, and better prepare ourselves to assume the governance of this great country, St Lucia.
During the months leading up to the Convention, a deliberate attempt was made not to denigrade or to unfairly criticize or malign the opponent, because we recognize that we are one Party, with one objective, to unseat the Labour Party, with elections to be called soon, so we can regain the governance of this country creating an equal oppurtunity for everyone. Therefore, the process of reconciliation begins immediately.
I am making a special appeal to every supporter to reach out and embrace one another. Extend a handshake or exchange a smile. Remembering that we have one common purpose, one common goal.
The task ahead are many, and so we will need each of you to be fully involved in various aspects of the restructuring process. Every skill set is necessary. Every expertise counts. We will make a concerted effort to include everyone - the youth, the women, the delegates and constituency branches, our stalwarts, and current and past candidates and every political voter in St Lucia.
Together we will begin on a journey to rebuild our Party. We will reach out to our brothers and sisters, no matter their alleigance prior to the convention and we will work deligently, side by side to ensure that we create a Party that is resilient and relevant to the times. One that can take over the reigns of goverment and make a smooth transition into governing the country when it is called upon to do so.
Later this week a meeting of the National Executive, including Stephenson King, the leader of the Opposition, will be convened to to begin to strenghening and repositioning the Party, to deal with its internal operations and as well to respond adequately to the follies of the Labour Party administration.
We plan to reach out and maintain a close partnership with every constituency, thereby making you an integral part of the process.
Again, I wish to thank you and look forward to working with each one of you. May God bless you all and may God bless St Lucia."

Friday, July 26, 2013

Game Over _ Political Misfit By Peter Thomas

Rufus Bousquet with that mischievous face
 UWP send Rufus Bousquet to pasture.
 Every time I wonder whether I am too cynical about politicians they remind me that I might not be cynical enough. I watched with amazement a video clip of Rufus Bousquet making a play for what he considers to be, and perhaps rightly so, the most powerful position on the executive of the UWP. I wondered. The nerve of this Guy.!!!

 Here is one classic example of someone lacking a shred of self awareness. Mr. Bousquet has conned his way into Saint Lucian politics and at some point, during the tumultuous start of the last UWP administration following the demise of the late John Compton, he was even audacious enough to stake his claim for Prime Minister. Only in Saint Lucia.

 Here is a guy who misrepresented himself and his academic qualifications in his effort to get the late Sir John to risk whatever reputation he had then to get him a United Nations funded job for him. Yes indeed he was a major player in the UN funds scandal. He claimed then that he had a bachelors degree. We all came to know later what kind of degree that was - Third or second degree.

 After Sir John realized that close association with this con-v would cause his candles to cost more than his funeral he shunted him from his cabinet.
 But politics in Saint Lucia, to quote the former Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Basdeo Panday, “having a morality of its own”, saw this charlatan being reelected to parliament. This was a clear manifestation of our dysfunctional politics. For every time those in leadership positions in our politics arrive at the junction of tough ethical choices and political expedience they almost always opt for the latter.

 After all we knew of this guy the people of Choisuel, bless their hearts, decided to inflict our body politic with this rash. Once again his smooth talking and Machiavellian tendencies caused Sir John to sideline him for usurping his authority as leader and overstepping his bounds in the China vs. Taiwan decision.

 This guy has no business in Saint Lucia politics, let alone being in such a powerful position in a major political party or the inner sanctums of our government. There is no question about his role in the Taiwanese/Moroccan funds scandal.

 I recall one of his budget presentations in which he was accusing then Leader of the Opposition, Kenny Anthony, as having shagwen pouviour (lust for power) and here he is making what I consider to be ridiculously dangerous grab for power in a political party that urgently needs to purge itself of such a character and others of similar ilk.

 Pardon me for being blunt but the only position befitting of Bruce Tucker aka Rufus Bousquet in the UWP is former member.

 For a party that has suffered such a crushing blow to its credibility and legacy to elect this character to be its chairman, and a milquetoast political leader would be undoubtedly consigning itself to an indefinite period in political purgatory.

 This year marks 50 years since the UWP was founded, but judging from their silence not many perhaps even in the leadership of the party might be aware of it. Have they announced any plans to mark this important milestone? Of course not.

 A party that has dominated the government of Saint Lucia for decades and made a sterling contribution to the country’s development, I grudgingly admit, one would have thought that they would be proud to proclaim that legacy. Rather they are readying themselves to deal another lethal self inflicted blow to that legacy and any future possibilities to govern.

 Who would fault Saint Lucians for reposing their faith and confidence in the SLP as long as they continue to make a good faith effort to grow the economy and provide good governance.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Chastanet All Set To Go?

Political leader

2nd deputy political leader
1st deputy political leader

2nd deputy chairman
1st deputy chair

Party Chairman
 AllenChastaneforpolitical leader states:
"We believe that in assembling a team of individuals to collectively begin the reorganization of the UWP, generate a plan of action to move St. Lucia forward, provide meaningful representation to the supporters of the UWP on current policy issues is a small step in the right direction.

  We ask you to support our team to provide strong leadership to begin the removal of the people from the void economic practices of the SLP."

 Allen proposes this team:
Allen Chastanet - Political Leader
 Dr. Gale T. C. Rigobert - 1st Deputy Political Leader (unchallenged)
 Lennard "Spider" Montoute - 2nd Deputy Political Leader(unchallenged)
 Ezekiel Joseph - Party Chairman
 Mary Polius - 1st Deputy Chair
 Andy Daniel - 2nd Deputy Chairman
 Leone Theodore - John - Elections Officer
 Inista St. Marthe - Welfare Officer
 Mr. Fulgence -Treasurer"

Pics for the other nominees on the team were not available
   In-boxed a number of King's supporters to get his team. No one cared to reply.

Editor's note: Both Rigobert and Montoute have secured their positions unchallenged.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Chairman Is More Important Than Political Leader - Rufus

In the current poll by HTS it says that Rufus Bousquet said the job of Chairman is more important than that of the Political Leader. The poll is seeking public opinion on the statement.
The UWP constitution section 12.2 (b) states, the Chairperson is the senior officer in the Party responsible for administrative coordination. However the Chairperson shall defer to the Political Leader in respect to all political matters, but the latter shall consult him at all times on such matters.
Section 12.3 (a) states, the Political Leader shall be responsible for coordinating the efforts of representatives and prospective representatives to parliament and for promoting the aims and objectives, principles, policies and programmes of The Party
Section 12.3 (b) states, the Political Leader shall be the principal spokesperson for the Party in all political matters, and as such is the senior officer of the Party responsible for political direction. However, he shall be guided by the National Executive, the National Council and the Island Council in all considerations of a political nature.
    Both officers have their respective duties. The constitution does not give seniority to either position. For Rufus to make such a statement to HTS is already speaking to the nature of the man and what harm he intends to cause. In fact he is already displaying the lack of respect he had for King during his tenure in government. Since he is on the King team, is he making it clear to King that he is more important than him? (King)) Inquiring minds would like to know.
     Rufus has and will continue to operate in his one-man attitude mind. His political life has been marred with such instances - never took any notice of the constituency and divisional branches. Never worked hand in hand with his campaign team, never has been on terms with many members of the Party, refuses to listen to anyone, and in many other instances clearly showed his one-man attitude mind.
       To be a respectable and effective Chairman, one must possess characteristics that can empathize, inspire, motivate, lead and provide a clear direction for persons. Rufus does not possess these qualities.
Rufus' statement to HTS already speaks to the manner ,if elected to the Chairmanship, he intends to rule. It's an almost clear cut case that this man will create many enemies in the Party - Chastanet is already not in his best books, that I know.
   Bousquet's comments and attitude aimed at the Party after its defeat last election speaks volumes about the man. Remember the gag order Compy placed on him? His disinterest in not fighting UWP claim of fraudulent activities durind last elections, raised many eyebrows. His writing of a letter to Kenny to offer his services, (letter was exposed on the market steps) questions his true loyalty.
Neither Rufus nor Ezekiel would be my choice of Chairman if I had my way. Mayers would have been ideal. Why he pulled out is for another show.
Ezekiel may have the mannerisms to effect respect within the Party, but does he have the know it all on how to move the Party forward?
   Seems we are in for some stormy times ahead. However, its all in the delegates hands. Come Sunday one will know where we stand. God, put a hand

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Dugard Combined Gets Five In Choiseul's Top Ten CE Students

The ambiance surrounding Dugard Combined
This year's Common Entrance results for the Choiseul/Saltibus Constituency is very intriguing and more so may raise some eyebrows for some concerned parents. Why is Dugard Combined so persistent?
The results for Choiseul as provided by the Ministry of Education shows that even the top student of some of the schools performed below the top five students of the Dugard Combined. Now isn't that something? Only Dugard, Reunion and Piaye schools achieved or passed the National Mean of 61%. Need for concern?
The rank, school, top student and percentage score will be shown in the following table:
Rank              School              Top student                               % score
1.                Dugard               Cordelia Henry                             96
2.                Reunion              Kherim Nelson                              95.67
3.                Piaye                  Obadele Ellevic                            92.33
4.               Delcer                 Francis Alexander                          90.33
5.               R.Doree               Chesly Obeuis                               89.67
6.              Roblot                 Kareem Jn Bapt                               83
7.             Mongouge            Esther Degazon                                81.33
8.             Saltibus                Anns L Francis                                  80
     Clearly one can deduce that Dugard got the top spot and Saltibus struggling at the bottom of the ladder. Saltibus has been a poor performer for sometime now competing with Mongouge for last place.
What is very intriguing is that some of those students, even though they have topped their school's marks are not in the top ten students from Choiseul. The other top students come from the Dugard School.
Choiseul's 2013 Top Ten CE Students:
1. Dugard     Henry Cordelia - 96.00
2. Reunion   Kherim Nelson - 95.67
3. Piaye        Obadele Ellevic - 92,33
4. Dugard    Sherrica Prospere - 90.67
5. Delcer     Francis Alexander - 90.33
6. R.Doree  Chesly Obeius - 89.67
7. Dugard    Caitlyn Theophilus -89.33
8. Dugard    Coreen Antoine - 86.33
9. Dugard    Kayla Poleon - 85.67
10. Roblot    Kareem Jn Baptiste - 83.00
      A remarkable achievement by the Dugard Combined School. Dugard claiming 50% of the top ten place in the Constituency.
    Corporate Choiseul should really acknowledge this school as well as the teacher, Ms Veronica Stanislas for a job well done, especially in her final year as a teacher. She has just retired this last school year.
Grade 6 teachers from the constituency should really emulate her and get a few tips from her high performance secret book.
     In the meantime let's find out why the other six schools in the Constituency continue to perform below the National mean. Lets get Veronica's magic wand to them.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Final Stretch

Both crews from the King camp as well as the Chastanet camp will be going all out this week to consolidate their chances to have their man elected at upcoming Sunday's Party's Convention. One must have noticed quite an upsurge in activity on FB pertaining to support being given to both Allen and Stephenson. Numerous accounts have been created under fake names to take swipes at supporters of either side. What has made it even worse is the name calling, malparlay and smut that these sickos under these fake names perpetuate.
From reports reaching this blog the fight is quite evenly balanced with a slight advantage towards Chastanet. (that, this blog cannot prove) Reliable reports reaching this blog also have it that the Choiseul delegates who were showing quite a leaning towards King at the start are split down the middle now with a slightly higher percentage favouring Chastanet. Soufriere, Laborie, Micoud, and Vieux Fort it is being rumored is in Chastanet's corner.
What is however very interesting is the amount of hatred and gossip that continues to plague this internal campaign. To some, Chastanet should have never thrown his hat in the ring. Simply, they say, King has been there already. Chastanet is a new comer to the Party is another arguement being forwarded by King's supporters.
The Party's constitution clearly makes provision for elections to get a leader after a general election especially if the Party lost.
What seems to have caused all this uproar is the fact that UWP supporters have never been subjected to an election of any kind to elect the politcal leader since Compy. So to go to the poll for a leader is quite constitutional.
Both King and Chastanet have weaknesses which must be corrected whoever one wins - King being a softie, Chastanet being a spendthrift, King having no control over senior parliamentarians, Chastanet salready have economic power, why political power, and the list seems endless.
Reading todays FB, a notable stalwart of the Party, promises to be two-faced within the Party if a certain person wins. Wow! Could not believe my eyes. These are the very persons who are creating the environment for disharmony, and mistrust within the Party.
Sunday's convention will be like high voltage wire. Srewed-up faces will show their ugly heads, one will notice the divisions early - those for King or not for King, those for Chastanet or not for Chastanet. It will be a rivetting atmosphere and a loud eruption when the winner emerges. Tears will be shed, a few verbal exchanges and eventually all will be calm, as everyone heads home.
Whatever happens after that, Christ alone knows. Healing? Self- distruction?
As for the Chairmanship which is another top job. Ezekiel or Bousquet?
The way things are shaping there is a school of thought which advocates the like minds move mountains. This blog predicts if King wins, Bousquet should be chairman, if Chastanet wins, Ezekiel is his match.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Dugard Combined Tops Choiseul's Schools.

The Ministry of Education has revealed that 31 of the 69 schools that wrote this year’s Common Entrance Examination scored above the national mean of 61.25 percent.
     Out of the 31 only three schools from the Choiseul/Saltibus constituency were at or scored above the national mean. The are Dugard Combined (74.83), Piaye combined (67.83) and Reunion Primary (65.57). added to topping the Choiseul/Saltibus Schools, Dugard Combined has placed second on the island. BRAVO!
Dugard Combined in foreground
Again Veronica Stanisclas, the grade 6 teacher, has shown that she can deliver. The Dugard Combnied School, over the years have continually out performed every single primary school in the district. It is a legacy left by retired principal Mrs Clara Edwards.
Des Barras Combined 79.83%
Dugard Combined  74.83
Dame Pearlette Louisy Primary 73.00
Fond Assau Combined 72.50
Camille Henry Memorial 71.78
Carmen René Memorial 69.64
Laborie Girls’ Primary 69.25Fond St Jacques Primary 68.10
Ti Rocher Combined (cas) 67.68
Piaye Combined 67.33
The Dame Pearlette Louisy Primary in Union, Gros Islet has produced the top male and female performers in this year’s Common Entrance Examination. Again Dugard Combined's  Cordelia A. Henry, placed sixth in the island's top ten students.
Below are the results of the top performers:
1. Nysa A. Pierre, Dame Pearlette Louisy Primary, 98.00% (assigned to St. Joseph’s Convent)
2. Matilda Angeloni, Dame Pearlette Louisy Primary, 96.67% (assigned to St. Joseph’s Convent)
3. Pavana I. Dalsou, Tapion Private, 96.33% (assigned to St. Joseph’s Convent)
3. Raeyne C. Fontenelle, Bonne Terre Preparatory, 96.33% (assigned to St. Joseph’s Convent)
3. Neysa J. Francis, Ave Maria Girls’ Primary, 96.33% (assigned to St. Joseph’s Convent)
6. Cordelia A. Henry, Dugard Combined, 96.00% (assigned to Vieux Fort Comprehensive(A)
6. Ian V. Shivnauth, Dame Pearlette Louisy Primary, 96.00% (assigned to St. Mary’s College)
8. Kherim J. Nelson, Reunion Primary, 95.67% (assigned to Choiseul Secondary)
8. Donna C. Vitalis, Plain View Combined, 95.67% (assigned to Vieux Fort Comprehensive)
10. Merkisha N. Desir, Ciceron Combined, 95.33% (assigned to St. Joseph’s Convent)

10. Denzel R. Gustave, Bexon Combined, 95.33% (assigned to Leon Hess Comprehensive Secondary).

In this year's Common Entrance Examinations the girls out performed the boys in every area.
Subject         Girls % pass          Boys % pass
English             67.29                      58.41
Math                59.51                      54.05
G. paper          66.34                      61.67
In closing there are still 57 and 49 boys and girls respectively that have not been assigned to secondary schools.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

UWP's Youth And Women's Conference in Photos

Youth President
Women's President up front
   Sunday July 7,2013 marked the day when UWP,s women and youth gathered at the Micoud Secondary School to elect executives for the National Youth and Women's Arm of the Party. by all accounts the turn out was massive. Photos compliments Uwpsoutheast.
Discussion taking place
A supporter wears her delegate's badge
Kool chick
Youth in action

Sunday, July 07, 2013

UWP - Shaping Up

Today many UWP supporters, friends, potential supporters, observers and the like will head to Micoud for the Party's Youth and Women's Arm Conference. By all accounts it will be a massive turn out - so says the soothsayer.
This conference is of vital importanc to both the Party and of course to either King or Chastanet, whoever takes up the leadership. It is also fair to say that the youth who are very disgruntled by the present administration are looking for an alternative to get them out of this present predicament of joblessness.
The women on the other hand are are force to be reckoned with in this country since now all what can be heard is that the law is on the women's side. These two group, not barring the men form the core support base for any party.
Uwp, it appears seems to be treading the right path. Could it be an injection of rejuvenation that was administered to the structure with the advent of Chastanet's bid for the leadership of the Party? Could it be the ramblings on facebook and other social media that have the responsible authorities to take a hard look at where the party is heading? Or is there a general consensus that Labour is taking the country nowhere so it's time to shape up to win the next general elections?
Gale's motivational speech is sure to bring about some deep reflections by those hoping to pick up the mantle to govern. Gale herself, already confirmed second political leader is a no nonsense person and with encouragement and a right leader, this Party is surely in the right gym shaping up.
Today will see the election of the national executives for the Youth and Women's Arm of the Party. It will be vtal that dedicated and committed persons be elected to these two august bodies.
It may be interesting to note whether the little democratic rivalry presently taking place in the Party over the leadership, spills into this conference, especially during the voting process.
In closing, today's massive crownd will be an indication of how disgruntled the youth and women are about Labour's promised 'Better Days' make no mistake about this.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

A Member Slams SLAP

    Social media in this small state of ours have become a haven for every Tom, Dick and Harry, who have the urge to disrespect and honest person who have used their legitimate name to join  one or two of the social mediums. Fb is particularly noted for this as on good friend of mine once said that new profiles are being created every time you post an article on facebook.
    This is so glaring in the race for political leadership of the UWP. All sorts of bogus names come up in defense  or support for either King or Chastanet. Some of them  are so saturated with bullshit, that it leaves one to wonder whether these persons posting under these pseudo name are being paid to do so.
This bring me to the point of a posting on the St Lucians Aiming For Progress (SLAP). This group, though I presume has its political bias, encourages all Lucians to join and become a member.
   What however is beyond justification is the slandering of members whom other members in the group suspect to be on the other side of the divide. This has escalated to a level that a member who was slandered, had to write to SLAP with this post.
"I joined SLAP to contribute to what I expected to be lively, constructive and intelligent discussions on moving our country forward. While I am cognizant of what I would call the political bias of the group ( I stand corrected), I welcomed the challenge of productive and vigorous debate. What I did not expect is the insults and false, unsubstantiated accusations that is intended only to silence my contribution to this forum. I will not subject myself to this treatment, especially when the accusers conceal their identity behind the cloak of pseudonyms. My fellow SLAP contributors how would you feel to be repeatedly called thief and worse by 'ghosts' while the world looks on. I am a business man, a professional, an active community person, a father, a son etc I must protect my interest and those that I am responsible for. I cannot have to constantly defend myself against such spurious slandering. If I am guilty of any wrong doing or deemed to have transgressed the laws of the land, then this in my opinion is not the appropriate forum for litigation. This is a very destructive precedent being set here. I call on the Administrators, Minerva Ward, who accepted me as a member to this group to intervene immediately so that the integrity, function and longevity of this group is not hijacked for ulterior purposes other than those it was conceived for."
An adminstrator of the group replied with this statement:
  • "I absolutely agree ............... It is very unfortunate that some people use social media (this group included) as a way of tarnishing the reputation of others while hiding behind a pseudonym to do so. We allow people to contribute without using their actual names because we do realize that some people (because of job or otherwise) may not be able to speak out as freely as they would like. However, this is something that ............. and I will have to review in light of continued complaints. We would like this group to be a forum for spirited debate and discussion, but take libelous statements very seriously and do not tolerate it in this group. Thank you for bringing this to our attention (as it is impossible for us to monitor this page 24/7). I have permanently banned the offending member from the group and ensured that all libelous posts are deleted." Bravo, way to go.

    The statement by the offending member attracted  twenty-one likes and five comments.

         Since then SLAP has issues a statement. It goes as follows: 
    SLAP was created as a forum for the discussion of ideas to move St Lucia forward, hence the name "St Lucians Aiming for Progress". It is also a forum for the respectful, spirited discussion and healthy debate of politics and issues of the day. That being said, there are rules governing this group: (1) no obscene language (2) no libelous statements of any person whether in this group or not (3) discussions should be kept respectful without personal attacks (4) content must be in keeping with the purpose for which this group was created. 
        Please note that we take libelous statements very seriously and persons engaging in such will be evicted from the group and comments deleted. If you have an issue with someone kindly address it to the right channel (the police, the courts, the Integrity Commission). This group is NOT the place for that! As neither Rohan F St Marthe nor myself can monitor the page 24/7, if something does require our attention, please tag us in a post so we can address it.
        Please let us continue the discussion with all our 'Lucian' energy, colour, vibe, spirit and comradery whilst giving others the respect we would like for ourselves.
        Thank you.
    Recently the government of Grenada went to parliament to seek redress against clients who post slanderous statements on social media. st Lucia may soon have to adopt this position. but like Rick wayne said over newsspin sometime ago, going  after these persons who write these libelous stements on social media is a long and drawn out process.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Wasco's Careless Modus Operandi

For years now Wasco's line maintenance/repair team have been damaging our newly paved roads with no recourse to repair the damage road. I remember quite clearly when the Industry road was paved - a work which the residents begged for years only to see Wasco digging a drain in the newly surfaced asphalt two weeks after its completion. They never came back to do any repairs and so the canal across the road got deeper and deeper presenting a hazard to motorists and night pedestrians as well.
Next, one would see them again digging holes of the Choiseul/Soufriere Highway, again with no follow-up for repairs.
Recently they destroyed a whole 30m of concreted drainage in Roblot and now water from upper runs all over the place. No repairs up to now.
The Lamaze community have suffered for years with something that look like a road. Only recently they were blessed with a properly paved road. Today, Wasco was there digging a massive trench across this newly paved road.
This post is not advocating that repairs to damaged water main should not be repaired, but Wasco must take the responsibility to return the damaged road to its previous state.
Or is there some arrangement by Wasco with Min of Infrastructure. Too many of our roads are left with gapeing potholes by Wasco's irresponsible workers.
This practice by Wasco must be investigated to find out whose responsibility it is to see after the repairs of the road when their workers have done all that damage to our roads.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

"The Unrepresented" By Melanius Alphonse

I will refrain from commenting on the contents of the review at this time, until those who are accused of embezzlement have had a chance to defend themselves in the court of public opinion and in a legal courtroom, should that be warranted. 

However, the statement issued by MP Harold Dalson, which no doubt requires a certain degree of attention and further scrutiny, reads as follows, “When a people’s trust is betrayed by those in whom they have reposed confidence, no one can be happy. When a country is so badly affected by both a natural disaster in the form Hurricane Tomas and a man-made disaster in the form of the misappropriation of its scarce resources by those charged with safekeeping them, it cannot be a time for us to beat our chests in triumph.”

Isn’t this interesting! Or is it just the regular comedy of smoke screens and flashing mirrors that self righteous politicians often put on display to hide their own personal failings to the people who elected them into office.

In fact, when it comes to the betrayal of the people's trust, there is no doubt in the minds of many in our community of Soufriere that MP Harold Dalson fits like an air tight bag in that open space of betrayal. For sure, not only has he not been able to deliver on the promises that were made to the people while in opposition, but many in Soufriere, and the rest of the country by extension, now consider him an accomplice and guilty of misrepresentation.

Instead of fulfilling the promise of ushering, "Better Days”, the SLP administration has forced greater contraction in the economy. The undocumented cases of job losses, and the impending closure of a number of businesses are all part of a litany of betrayal.
In that very press conference of the review of the financial operations of town, village and rural councils, MP Harold Dalson also made a very pointed remark, which almost led me to conclude that he had deluded himself into believing that he was not part of the circle of those who have betrayed the trust of the people of Saint Lucia. He said, “It must instead be a time for solemn reflection of who we are as a people and what it is that we must demand from our leaders.”

From that revelation let me help with some input.

But first, if only MP Harold Dalson was truly in touch with the people whom he claims to be representing, he would have learnt by now that most Soufrierians are really tired of being unrepresented. No kidding!

And to prevent further collapse there is need for the development of a strategic plan to guide the growth and development of Soufriere over the next decade. In this regard, identifying strategic priorities in the areas of economic development, infrastructure (human and physical) management, eco-sustainability, community engagement and the Soufriere experience are identifiers that can help narrow the focus to build the kind of Soufriere we want.

And, therefore, I put the challenge out to the SLP administration to show what measures that have been developed to benefit the residents, business and communities that now feel very alienated from their district representative, and the disappearing future of "Better Days” island wide.

Take, for example, the copra factory, which has closed its doors, maybe indefinitely, leaving hundreds of Soufrierian’s out of gainful employment.

But even more telling is MP Harold Dalson's lack of interest in consulting the entire community. In fact, when he does, it is often done from a very selective level, which comprises most individuals from the “red club” or what most would consider self-interested SLP supporters. Then tell me, how does MP Harold Dalson propose to reverse the constrains of job loss in Soufriere when, like his own government, they advocate a system of exclusion.

Meanwhile, despite all the talk of local government reform, the Soufriere Town Council/Constituency Council continues to operate like a SLP “red clique”, which imposes a financial burden on the taxpayers of Saint Lucia. To most who have monitored this grouping, their habitual tendencies to do nothing to enhance the community, and have left a sour taste in the mouths of many who had hoped for a difference when MP Harold Dalson and the SLP came to power in 2011.

The Soufriere Regional Development Foundation (SRDF), instead of becoming an independent body, has become an extension of the Saint Lucia Labour Party. The government, just as it is presently doing with Radio Saint Lucia, is ensuring that the SRDF becomes the property of only the “En-Rouge campaign”, by decisively ensuring that those who stand in opposition to this government will never be allowed to benefit or make use of these entities.

Then there are the numerous cases of political patronage that take place on a daily basis at the Soufriere waterfront, and within the SLP strongholds of Soufriere. It is no secret that, if you are not part of that SLP “red clique”, you had better not seek any redress for your sufferings!

To date, the agricultural sector of Soufriere is in shambles, and the poor quality of our roads does not help either. But worst yet is the abrupt closure of the La Dig (Mocha) bridge to vehicular traffic (Friday 24th May 2013), which is just one of the many frail structures throughout Soufriere.

The Soufriere Hospital and Etangs health centre continue to struggle in the shadow of their best days, while the fishers are left to struggle with no additional storage, ramp and dry-dock facility to support their operation and to increase their productivity.

Yet, while MP Harold Dalson seems oblivious to all of that, he has never missed a beat to shamelessly support every government action that enforces more hardships and poverty on the people of Soufriere.

Let’s take a further look!

From October 2012 to June 2013, the SLP administration has increased the price of commodities such as fuel and kerosene, water and sewerage services, LPG, and rice, flour and sugar. The once vibrant town of Soufriere has been rendered dormant, except for the passing sound of vehicular traffic of tour buses, taxi and watercraft en route to our natural resources and, on top of this, a 15% value added tax (VAT) was imposed on goods and services and soon public transportation will increase.

But even more striking is the fact that this is taking place on the watch of an SLP administration that prides itself on Bread, Freedom and Justice!

As it stands, SLP is “killing” Soufriere and by extension Saint Lucia, with steady misguided economic policies and political appointees, who play only to the rules of labour, with more bewilderment than ever!

As a result, the observation is such that the SLP political establishment in Soufriere is growing comfortable in using its political power to enrich themselves and their families with secret (well, not so secret anymore) stakes in companies, and the crafty use of special interest politics.

But isn’t this the very behaviour that the SLP administration and their supporters cried foul of in the most despicable manner possible when they were in opposition?

Oops! Maybe they some have sort repentance, but not absolution from bad habits!

However, most desirable are measures of success and the development of Soufriere. This we can accomplish using a market solution approach made up of partners working in harmony to supply the cash, ideas and programs to alleviate the social and economic problems, with a clear vision, leadership and experience. In areas such as the development of aquaculture, biogas and greenhouses, agro-business, fish production, and in the process increase agricultural exports for foreign exchange earnings and reduce by 30% the food import bill that exceeds $300 million annually.
Additional, the reduction of rural poverty through improved education, health and social services, production and self-reliance on water and electricity; likewise improvements to the much needed infrastructure of feeder roads, drains and flood mitigation, telecommunication connectivity and proper housing development.

Further, the implementation of a tourism enhancement and product development program to assist local business and entrepreneurs to build capacity and to adequately meet the demand of goods and services in the tourism industry would have major long-term benefits.

These are revenue generating enterprises that require commitment at the highest level to promote social and economic development to create sustainable employment, transform livelihoods and households permanently. Unlike “STEP-UP”, “NICE”, and “SMILE”, that siphon borrowed money.

If you do the math, the results would indicate that the cost allocations don’t add up to the end product and services. And perhaps have symptoms of mismanaging taxpayers’ limited resources for partisan advantage.

As a result, there is no difference from what the SLP condemned when in opposition -- for waste and mismanagement, high-risk, low-return proposition.

If in doubt, remember that, transparency is the taxpayers’ best friend!

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) critic on youth initiative, infrastructure, economic and business development. He can be reached at