An in depth analysis of the history of representational politics in Choiseul suggests that Bruce Tucker is perhaps the worst and most opportunistic district rep Choiseul has ever known and that his tenure was the worst we have had on record. During JMD’s tenure, the community of Mongouge - which had been in the Doldrums – experienced significant infrastructural development by way of a primary school, a health centre and installations of electricity and pipe-borne water. That was a major transformative achievement.
However, Mongouge residents also realized that those changes were circumscribed by the politics of bluff. Two of those projects (like the water and the school subsequently turned community centre) over time became white elephants while the community continued to wallow in poverty, illiteracy and hopelessness. That’s why Mongouge revolted en mass against JMD.
Today, the problem of water starvation continues to strangle Mongouge all year round and Tucker does not seem to care. A couple of years ago the BNTF secured the approval of $400,000 for a water upgrade sub-project for the area. The district rep apparently did not follow up and to date there has been no word from him on the status of that sub-project. We won’t be surprised that we have lost it to another minister. Incidentally, it was at that same time that Rufus Bousquet went missing in action to make room for Bruce Tucker.
Today, Bruce Tucker has re-introduced the politics of bluff of the sixties that JMD practiced – a type of politics that so annoyed the community that it eventually lead to mass disaffection and eventually to JMD’s downfall. Sadly today , Tucker is surrounded by a circle of JMD remnants that has resulted in the resurgence of the manifestations of that bluff.
A Dozen Real Achievements by Labour
Finally, let’s compare the achievements under Tucker Law during Tucker’s two terms with the achievements of the SLP government in Choiseul. In monetary terms, the value of Tucker’s achievements approaches zero when compared with the monumental achievements of SLP; but neither Tennyson nor Fergy was power-hungry and they never invoked the Tucker law.
Here are 12 development projects that happened under the SLP during Fergy’s tenure that we all can be proud of:
(1)Between 80 - 90% of the road network was rehabilitated. The RDP 1 & 2 cost over $100 million; the TRRP roads which started from Victoria – and going through Mongouge, Le Riche, Morne Portalese to lower Morne Sion, La Pointe - Delcer and going all the way back to Etangs; also from Ravineau to Derriere Morne; from the Le Riche Junction to Constitution park. Then the Cafeiere/Dugard road; the Morne Sion Road. The total cost of those roads is in excess of $150 million.
(2)The construction of the Piaye School and the expansion of the Choiseul Secondary School; the refurbishment of the Delcer and the Mongouge schools; the Saltibus Water upgrade and Health Centre were started during Fergy’s tenure.
(3)We also benefited from Universal Secondary Education to ensure that no child is left behind in education
(4)Universal Health Care was on well its way; today, the people of Choiseul have to depend on a Good Samaritan for paying the bills for medication and transportation of the elderly from Roblot to and from the Health centre. What about the ambulance service we have?
(5)The people of Le Riche, Mongouge, Morne Sion and Ravineau enjoyed a quantum leap in telecommunications with high speed internet and Cable TV
(6)The Choiseul Fishermen got a state of the art Fisheries Complex
(7)The people of Piaye and throughout the constituency of Choiseul/Saltibus benefitted from the Piaye/Balembouche development where land was being sold at $1 per square foot.
(8)Choiseulians received countless scholarships to pursue university education in medicine, engineering, nursing, education etc.
(9)The Miracle eye care programme helped many Choiseulians with eye care
(10) The STEP programme provided employment for the poor and unemployable.
(11) The liberalisation of the Telecommunication sector resulted in a “communication revolution” which brought about huge benefits in the mobile phone service sub-sector and now the service is universally available.
(12) The timely de-silting of rivers as a proactive disaster management/prevention strategy
The total value of those achievements approaches ¼ billion dollars, if not more. Compare that to Tuckers “Ti Canal” achievements which are perhaps total less than 5 million dollars.
Sir John and the federal Bureau of Prisons
What about the genuine Tucker achievements? A major one is the displacement of Sir John from this Earth. In his efforts to wrestle the leadership from the great man, he led a mutiny against him and the rest is history. Another Tucker achievement is his own record of being fired twice from the Cabinet of Sir John; and a third one is his distinguished record in the Federal California prison. There is also the fencing of the Sab Wisha Beach and the taking away of the La Maz Human Resource Centre from the La Maz Mothers and Fathers Group and putting it into the hands of his political team.
But the most important issue is: where was Tucker when Choiseul and Saltibus needed him? While he is able to apply Tucker Law to Choiseul, what about Saltibus? What are his achievements in Saltibus? The answer is absolutely zero.