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Friday, January 28, 2011

Real achievements and bluff achievements

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.


In the pursuit of his achievements, Bruce Tucker has picked up two honours of distinction along the way: (a) the Tucker Law and (b) “Minister Ti Canal” for St. Lucia. The former is related his execution and implementation style. The latter is based on his obsession with illusive, small, low- or no-impact drainage projects which include mostly UWP HOPE-like cutting grass jobs for the boys.

The Tucker Law is “a Bruce Tucker principle” which grants him and his campaign team exclusive ownership rights of all projects that happened in his constituency during his tenure. In other words, every single project which happened in Choiseul is his private property on lease to the constituents, irrespective of who builds it.

For example, the Mongouge Multipurpose Centre which was conceived during the Kenny Administration and currently being built by the Ministry of Social Transformation through SSDF is Tucker’s private property; the Bois D’Inde and Morne Jacques roads built by the MCWT&PU are also his personal property. According to the tenets of that law, not even the government of the UWP can claim ownership of the achievements for Choiseul/Saltibus; every development in Choiseul is the personal property of a messiah named Tucker sent down from heaven to bring development to Choiseul.

Minister of Ti Canal

If anyone had any doubt about his status as St. Lucia’s Minister Ti Canal and Choiseul/Saltibus as the “Ti Canal” constituency, then Part 2 of his achievements proves the point: His blog wrote and I quote verbatim:

“Because of the properly constructed drains run-off waters were channeled correctly. This is what vision is about! Drainage works were carried out in La Maze, Victoria, La Fargue, Roblot, Jetrine, Rivere Doree, Savanne George, Saltibus, Balca, Boisden, Cafierre and the rest.”

“Many retaining walls were constructed around the district to preserve the integrity of our roads. In one particular instance a retaining wall was constructed to preserve life and property as four houses were precariously perched over a recently occurred land slippage

There can be no doubt that Bousquet has been laying down the infrastructural foundation for future developments in his constituency”

End of quote.

The truth is I could not see many of those drainage works as I drove through those areas; only bluff-like "illusions' of them. The Minister for Ti Canal and his blog have taken the truth to its extreme elastic limit using the “politics of bluff and deceit”.

Even if he has been enlisted into the “Hall of Fame” as St. Lucia’s “Minister of Ti Canal”, Tucker must rise above dragging us into canal politics.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Victory for St. Lucians against government . . . but what’s next?

The people of St. Lucia and the St. Lucia National Trust have seemingly scored a major victory against the Government of St. Lucia in an “out of court” settlement over the Queen's Chain. Even before the Court has ruled, government has passed judgemnet against its own decision to sell the queen’s chain.

News reaching the Choiseul PowerHouse indicate the Cabinet of Ministers were in a state of complete disarray on Thursday evening as they awkwardly capitulated to the wishes of St. Lucians in the matter of the sale of the the Queens Chain to a foreigner. Sources close to the Cabinet reported that as two warring factions of government locked heads over the matter, it was a sad day for the Minister of Tourism and his sidekick, the AG.

There were even sketchy reports of other ministers questioning the quality of advice and the subsequent pronouncements made by the AG on the matter.

The Cabinet conclusion resolved to “shelve the sale” of the queen’s chain indefinitely and to proceed with the 99-year lease.

They say “half a loaf is better than no bread”; but the question is: will St. Lucians be satisfied with that half loaf and a lease for 99-years?

There is no doubt that this government is irretrievably in a state of disarray and that has brought inordinate embarrassment to the country. With the arrival of the new AG, the nation waited with baited breath for a truce from the never-ending decrement; only to fall into deeper waters; although matching Chastanet in loquacity, the AG is just as incompetent . . . and even more incompetent than his predecessor, Dr Fredericks.

St. Lucia is going through a "quinquinnium" of unending curse. The big question now is: what is next?