Yesterday was the first anniversary of this current administration’s reign. The question posed on street vibes last evening went something like this. “What do you like or dislike about the current administration’s work so far?”. There were some sensible answers but the bulk of the responses were either shamelessly biased or tragically incomprehensible. English words mashed together so haphazardly it may as well have been Greek. I will admit though, it was quite entertaining. Jokes aside here’s my one year evaluation of our current leaders. E for effort. Why? Let me break it down!
Firing the N.I.C.E workers, defunding the National Trust, The impending closure of Radio St.Lucia, Decreasing VAT but cleverly adding it onto previously untaxed products, the dolphin park, the causeway, the DSH scam umm I mean project, (“Only after the last tree has been cut down, Only after the last river has been poisoned, Only after the last fish has been caught, Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten”.) Avec comeh lot baytiz! What is going on? To the party hacks who claim that the country is doing better I applaud you for your unfailing loyalty to your party but I need to chastise you for not fighting to see the entire island progress. If you keep blowing smoke up the back ends of your political representatives and not stating emphatically that they’re doing a bad job how do they grow, learn from their mistakes and do better? “Spare the rod and spoil the child”. You don’t laud bad behaviour, you correct it. Isn’t that common knowledge?
Mr. Politician you were elected by the people (not me because I have no faith in men, and also I may not be human.The jury is still out) for the people but somehow every policy and project seems to benefit a small few while the majority continue to struggle and suffer and lament. Our health system is a mess and our education system is just one tier above “comess”. Our justice system well, that’s a bad joke. I won’t pretend to be the most knowledgeable but in my finite wisdom I have noticed that whatever plan of action we’ve been taking is not working. A country with failing education, health and justice systems is a country that has failed. I don’t know about you but I do not want to be part of anything subpar and underachieving. Not bearing that stain, nope not me.
The justice system, I’ve always found that our police officers are not being paid enough. I’m not condoning the side deals and bribes they make with the criminal elements but I understand it. I honestly get it. There is no real incentive for these men and women who are risking their lives on a daily basis to want to take the high road. They need higher wages and better benefits to want to fight the good fight because without them as bad as some of them are we’d be living in a real life war zone, the west Indian Syria even.
Healthcare or health neglect? Ain’t much caring going on with Lucia’s health. This new hospital which has been lauded to the point where some of my fellow citizens think it’s the new promised land and just like the promised land of Moses and Aaron’s day it’s taking countless years to come to fruition. What year are we in the 37th or 38th year since the construction began? Ha ha ha! Hyperbole! But you get the point. There’s no reason our people need to be traveling to Trinidad, Barbados and Martinique for simple treatments and tests. If they can do it so can we. In this day and age “No Ambulances available” should be swiped from our vocabulary. Buy more ambulances! Blood samples should not be taking plane rides to foreign countries for testing, upgrade our laboratories, equip them with the necessities.
Education Oh Jesus where do I begin? In the name of everything that is good, pure and holy stop sending children who peaked in primary school or are not academically inclined to schools where they have to endure the same subjects and work load the Shari’s, Ewa’s, Naille’s and Taluah’s (Brainiacs) of our day do. They cannot compete! They can’t do it. You’re actually, factually and literally setting these children up for failure. They need exposure to technical subjects Auto Mechanics, Visual arts, drama they may not be able to solve a simultaneous equation or find “x” but they might be able to capture the essence and beauty of a Caribbean sunset on a canvas or dismantle and rebuild a car engine. They need exposure to technical drawing and food and nutrition, plumbing, agriculture they may have a hard time defining ovulation and naming symbiotic relationships in their current habitat but drawing up a house plan or baking a soufflé might just be their forte. They may have a green thumb that rivals your great grandmother’s. What do children who’ve barely passed common entrance know or care about economies of scale or the periodic table? Education needs to be tailored to fit the student. We’ve been trying for years to put square pegs in round holes and are coming up short every, single time. It is time for some change. Real change not superficial, pseudo change. Give us something authentic to sink our proverbial teeth into.
Listen to me. A healthy, educated and skilled population is an almost crime free population. (Almost because some people will be criminals no matter what).We need better Healthcare, Education reform so all our children have a fair chance and higher wages for the people who make our streets slightly less dangerous. Mr. Prime minister keep your five to stay alive give us this three and watch us thrive. I repeat instead of five give us these three and watch Helen be all that she can be. Give us a fighting chance. Don’t tell me there’s no money, there’s money to make all of this work if we spend wiser and line our pockets less. Call it a dream or call it a fantasy. But that is what I would like to see happen in my country.