It is clear that Bruce Tucker is destroying the moral fabric of one of the most “un-spoilt” constituencies in St. Lucia - if not the most unspoilt! And in the process he may well be a factor in the recent and sudden explosion of crime and violence in that constituency. Already police are reporting a record spike in criminal activity in Choiseul.
One would have thought that the bestowal of the honorable position of District Representative on him by the people would have brought out a measure of respect and discipline from him; but how wrong we are.
In the first place, Tucker is getting a "ton of money" on behalf of the people of the Choiseul/Saltibus constituency - especially after the passage of Tomas - from sources all over the world. Some of that money are reported and some are not; but to what extent do we benefit from it? It is estimated that ¾ of those monies ends in corruption or corrupt projects, benefiting the circle of hacks around him and bribing young men and women for votes among other things. The rest goes towards campaign financing and into his pocket or personal bank accounts. Pundits have reckoned that since his return to Government as foreign minister, he has accumulated millions which are deposited on his various accounts using his various identities so that they can’t be tracked by the Integrity commission and the law.
Tucker is heartless; in the second place, he has stockpiled heaps of emergency food and supplies received on behalf of ravaged and vulnerable constituents in his office for political gain while there are still hundreds of victims - especially the elderly and the disabled – who desperately hunger for those supplies.
Last week, a random survey by the PowerHouse identified scores of households along the Saltibus-Piaye ridge who were desperately in need for post-Tomas emergency help but were not cared for. There is evidence that some of the food supplies, now being distributed, are no longer fit for human consumption because they have expired. Reliable reports reaching the PowerHouse indicate that some of the rice is infected with mites and that the canned foodstuffs have turned watery; and Tucker is rushing to distribute them from the back of his vehicle to unsuspecting Saltibus residents. The PowerHouse calls on the health authorities to investigate that matter.
Meanwhile, the poor and the vulnerable have been left to wallow in poverty while the food and emergency supplies - which form part of Tucker’s campaign strategy - are left to rotten away. The youth are left stranded with occasional handouts of free Taiwanese “red envelop” bluff money but no sustainable youth employment projects. That probably explains the recent and sudden explosion in crime and violence, for when the youth can’t get free money, they resort to stealing.
This week Tucker got busy in the Saltibus area only after his failed attempts to have Saltibus removed from the Choiseul constituency. So there he was in the area on Wednesday and Thursday this week busy distributing infected supplies which some of the recipients claimed were unworthy of consumption. We will seek to obtain samples which we will submit to the health authorities for analysis.
My worst fear however lies in a warning sounded by the Chamber president, Chester Hinkson. In his address to the Chamber this week, he warned that the nation is sitting on a ticking time bomb of “a decaying society” coupled with “youth unemployment”. If we do not address those problems with a sense of urgency and instead choose to engage the youth in drug-baron type “Good Samaritanism” and block culture, then we should not be surprised when that time bomb blows our society away into pieces.
There is no doubt that Tucker is inimical to our interest, tradition and values; and for the rest of his time in office, we must keep a close eye on him. Failure to do so may leave us with a legacy we will live to regret.