Letter: I want to be a citizen of rest of the world
As much as I tried to get away from the politics of the day, I could not. It is wall to wall coverage in the shops, the minibus and on the street corners of Saint Lucia, on what happened in the House of Assembly, or in the local paellas, the house of clowns.
The chatter continued Wednesday morning, with former president to the senate and current chairman of the St Lucia Labour Party, (SLP) sounding off, on his talk show, his account of the circus of clowns.
It’s Thursday morning, the senate is in session, the circus continues. The minister of cock-a-lock affairs, Ubaldus Raymond is still the face of government business. All opposition senators and one independent senator is absent.
But at my age, I have grown to adjust on the performance of circus clowns, so my interest is simple; I want to be a citizen of rest of the world, according to the so-called citizenship by investment programme (CIP) report by my Prime Minister Allen Chastanet and tourism guru.
Where is that place again? Rick Wayne “Talk” or Richard Frederick, “Can I Help You”. Somebody please help me!
The circus on Tuesday started with Lenard ‘Spider’ Montoute the minister for equity, social justice and empowerment, making an audacious move (a normal ting after hours, more on that later) to nominate Kenny Anthony as the deputy speaker of the House.
“Madam Speaker, in light of his longstanding service to this honourable House and his extensive experience and his background in legal matters, I would like to nominate the member for Vieux Fort South.”
Anthony replied, “Madam speaker, I am honoured that the member for Gros Islet who has had less experience than I have had in parliamentary matters would be so generous and kind to nominate me for the position of deputy speaker, but of course madam speaker, it’s with alacrity that I decline his generosity.”
In more shameless display of bad faith Herod Stanislas and Moses ‘Musa’ Jn Baptiste were nominated. Madam speaker answered for Stanislas out of fear he may repeat “no talks, no talks”. Musa made it very clear that members of the government are taking this house for pappishow. I wish to decline the nomination.
The comical episodes quickly turned into an unprecedented demonstration of one-upmanship in a letter delivered just before the start of parliament. In effect saying that, at the request of Prime Minister Chastanet to speaker Leonne Theodore, the CIP motion tabled by Ernest Hilaire be removed from the order paper and not debated was approved.
Hilaire was up on his feet as if a hot-rod was up his seat. Back and forth with the speaker and eventually, the opposition walked out of the house.
On the way out Guy “Poodle” Joseph was ready with the poodle yap at Hilaire. “You think that’s the West Indies Cricket Board?”
Ah ha. The prime minister got some space to operate. He quickly pulled out a piece of paper and called it the CIP report. Now dubbed: “Who are these Aliens among us?”
From the little I know, that report is on the level of “rubbish” and to even have the clerk of parliament make this a document of the house is an insult to all Saint Lucians. The Dunnator students at La Pansee would have prepared a much better report.
What was left out is as mysterious as what was said. The so-called CIP report left out what role Henley and Partners are performing, if any, and/or their apparent operation on Island. It left out the names; town and village of Saint Lucians most recent citizens. Maybe they will appear on the voters list in time.
How much was paid in commission, marketing and promotion, and to whom? Where is the money? How much was collected from the sale of passports? What is it intended to do for us? Is Invest Saint Lucia under pressure to relax rules to allow investors more leeway? Did an investors of a major hotel project in the South fail the due diligence test?
But oops, I was surprised to learn there were “nine applications from the rest of the world”? Where is that place again? Somebody, please help me! I left school a long time ago. I may have missed out on geographic and now the artificial islands and causeway China wants to build all over the world. I am lost!
If luck has it, and before my maker calls on me, I want to go where my prime minister and tourism guru calls “the rest of the world.”
But hey, the opposition looked like they were primed for a comic show, than what is normally expected of clowns in parliament. They walked out into the waiting arms of supporters and displaced NICE works in Constitution Park.
I thought it was carnival in Lent, by the amount of theatre, dancing and shouting and an unusual police presence. It is easy to see something eh right.
These days the prime minster has four bodyguards following him around, even when he visits his constituency. I eh know what he afraid of. Forty-seven thousand-plus voters elected his party in office. But the funny thing is the bodyguards are too short and too small.
So, the pressure is on, SLP is all over de country hosting town-hall and public meetings, delivering the gospel of Desert Star Holdings (DSH), Dolphin Park, CIP and warming up National Initiative to Create Employment (NICE) workers, who lost their jobs on March 31.
You see, de Spider minister for equity, social justice and empowerment says, “If it was left to me, I would totally disband NICE”. Why? “Ninety percent NICE workers are Labour party supports.” Now that’s not nice. There is no love there. All of a sudden de minister can shoot from the hip and flex his muscle on Kenny and Tony, and 2,000 NICE workers.
The big story making de rounds is de Spider wife is set to be the consul general in New York. Wee mama mouton blanc! If that holds! The translation! He eh care about poor people again. He will be able to buy and drink his favourite Piton beer all day long. No more loafing by rum shops in Gros Islet, pretending to be a farmer and otherwise making audacious moves, the likes of a bouncer, after hours. He eh have nothing on the minister of cock-a-lock affairs, Ubaldus Raymond.
So now Chastanet has Spider in his web, the Chinese are coming with DSH and pushing Dolphins Park at Pigeon Island, for tourist to come and see dolphins make more tricks than clowns in the house.
In Banan-bay and the city of Castries there are big plans to build condos and office space for foreign business to house their headquarters. There will be no more unproductive lands and buildings sitting around. It’s Chin Chin time!
CIP is coming on nicely. The country is cheap for all and sundry with US$100,000 or a thoroughbred, no question asked. There are plenty laundry machines on standby.
The best part, you don’t even have to show up in Saint Lucia for fear of being stage-managed by Chastanet’s circus clowns and the yap of a poodle.
No worries, everything irie. Even if you are “from rest of the world”, I hope to visit some day, C’est la vie!