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Thursday, September 27, 2012


Will WI prove the statistical pundits wrong today?

When many of us were beginning to give the West Indies a measure of legitimacy in T20 cricket, the team has inexplicably slumped in the ICC rankings to number 8, ahead of only Bangladesh, Ireland and Zimbabwe.

At the top of the Table is South Africa, followed by England at no 2, India at no 3, Sri Lanka at no 4, Pakistan at no 5, New Zealand at no 6 and Australia at no 7.

Despite the overall improvements shown in the recent series played, WI have "statistically" fared no better in Test and ODI Championships, stuck at position 7 in those versions of the game.
Is it that we are not improving - qualitatively and quantitatively - fast enough? Is it that whatever improvements we make are being overshadowed and surpassed by our rivals?

Later today, West Indies (ranked no 8) will play the no 2 ranked team in T20 cricket in a Super 8 clash. Indeed, we have strong batting lineup – perhaps the strongest - on paper; but will we deliver?   

The matter is made more complex by our erratic bowling, notwithstanding the presence of our mystery spinner who incidentally does not have an enviable record against England. (I hope Narine reverses his fortunes against England today!)

Although in the final analysis, it is the on-field performance of a team which matters - and indeed West Indies have the overwhelming potential to blast their way to victory - I’m still keeping my fingers crossed! I’m not too confident about our bowling, plus we all know that how often our batting has come crashing down!  This time, I hope we get it scientifically and psychologically right.

Ideally, if Gayle and Charles can give us a perfect start and Pollard and Sammy can explode in the final overs, we are in for a very good chance!

I wish West Indies the best of luck and I pray that we win!


In a CMC article dated 24 September 2012, it was reported that Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony said “St. Lucia is singlehandedly keeping the Eastern Caribbean economy afloat, and therefore has to exercise fiscal responsibility in the interest of monetary stability in the sub-regional currency union”.

CMC claims that the comment was made while Dr Anthony was addressing the 51st annual general meeting of the St. Lucia Employers Federation. CMC reported that the St. Lucia PM said several OECS states of the sub-regional Organisation (including Antigua and Grenada) “were in financial trouble with St. Kitts and Nevis having to undertake major debt restructuring”.

Dr Anthony went on to say in his address that “the reality is the two countries that are largely responsible for the foreign exchange reserves of the ECCB are St. Lucia and Antigua” and went on to conclude that “St. Lucia therefore remains critical to the continued viability of the OECS region. Whatever decisions that we make here we not only make it for ourselves, but the truth is we make it for the entire region”; but the St. Lucia PM denied ever having said that “St. Lucia is singlehandedly keeping the Eastern Caribbean economy afloat”.

HTS reported that while Dr Anthony has refuted the CMC comment as being “incorrect”, he has also affirmed that “the role Saint Lucia plays in ensuring the OECS remains buoyant cannot be overstated”.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


"I didn't win the elections; my team won" – Hon Harold Dalson.

Because of the inclement weather, the Soufriere Constituency Conference was called to order way past its scheduled start time of 3 PM. I arrived there a little after 5 PM and it has just gotten on the way!

On the podium sat an impressive array of dignitaries and officials which included the top brass of the party, the Minister for Legal Affairs, Dr Vaughn Lewis and wife, and Ernest “Sam” Augier guest (speaker/campaign manager). Some district reps were also around. Was there a fraternal presence from Choiseul/Saltibus? – No! Not to my knowledge! (BTW, watch out for an exclusive and comprehensive round-up coming up on Choiseul/Saltibus - you'll real enjoy it!)

The Chairman (Conrad Theodore who was returned to office unopposed) delivered an impressive report. Among other things, he encouraged Parliamentary Representatives to continue to be an integral part of their constituencies, “Too often district reps move away from the constituency group that helped to elect them”. He implored Parliamentary Representatives to remain loyal to the cause of their constituents.

Guest Speaker Sam Augier was in fine form. He started his presentation with a dissection of the November 28 General Elections and argued that it was the most complex, the most difficult and most brutal campaign he’d ever fought in the history of our electoral politics; but he said it was also the most rewarding. He paid tribute to the people of Soufriere for “staying the course” despite "Ti Pwen Tout's" multimillion-dollar campaign to buy their votes. He added the victory was impressive but instructive!

Sam went on to proffer advice for the way forward: (1) continuous registration of voters, (2) dynamic constituency structure and organisation, (3) maintenance of a strong, sustainable “symbiotic relationship” between gov’t and party, (4) thorough screening of candidates to ensure there is a level of “RED” in their DNA and that they are in the struggle for the long haul! Sam boldly asserted: “They (candidates) must have ‘balls’ and must be committed to their constituents. In the Labour Party, we want loyalty and allegiance - not political opportunism!”

Sam concluded his presentation by affirming that Soufriere was no longer a swing or battleground state - but Soufriere was now married to Labour and ended with the dramatic pronouncement: “I now declare Soufriere and Labour man and wife”.

Dalson was next. He presented an impressive slideshow highlighting an array of sterling achievements in the Soufriere/Fond St. Jacques constituency. He was (by and large) cerebral in his discourse, exhorting his prodigal supporters who went astray for a few dollars to "come back home!".

Dalson’s achievements included: (1) drainage and community projects for Barons drive, (2) streets and sidewalks in the Town, (3) slope and road stabilization projects throughout the constituency, (4) footpaths and (5) ongoing recovery and restoration programme for Fond St. Jacques.

Dalson also announced that ownership of the Gros Piton Nature Trail was now in the hands of the Soufriere Development Foundation and that the Soufriere After-school programme would formally commence on Monday, September 25.

He also touched on his new and ongoing initiatives for Soufriere. According to him, these include (1) improvements to Soufriere mini stadium, (2) a multi-purpose court in Fond St. Jacques, (3) the restoration of the De Ville Bridge, (4) improved road infrastructure for Chateau Belair, Bouton and Morne La Croix; and (5) the “resurrection” of the Copra factory.

Hon Dalson also unveiled his plans for townscape improvements for Soufriere which included a new design concept for the Soufriere Square, a possible integration of the Soufriere market and “bus terminal” to create a hub of business activity, and a brand new Town Hall. He also spoke about a water sub-project for Bois d’Inde.

Dalson also spoke about VAT and empowerment of women. He encouraged the women to step up and don't be satisfied with only a birth and marriage certificate as their only qualifications.

Dalson is undoubtedly loved by the people of Soufriere; to them, he is a hero and will be hard to beat. Indeed, he received a hero's welcome on Sunday.

Kenny brought the curtains down on the conference. He touched on the restoration of the Sulphur Springs road and possible relocation of three homes in Soufriere because of major geotechnical issues. He said the gov’t was in the process of identifying lands for that purpose and more so for development and housing, generally.

He was very forthright with VAT, saying he will take responsibility for the tax. He said VAT was in the best interest of the country and went on to reveal that St. Lucia was the only country in the region without VAT and that had implications for our image and credibility. He pointed out that King had proposed VAT on water, electricity, and coffin and removed those.

The PM also touched on NICE indicating that 1200 jobs had been created with an additional 400 coming.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


WE PROMISE; WE ARE DELIVERING; AND WE ARE MOVING INTO THE FUTURE!” will be theme for the Soufriere Constituency Conference scheduled for (today) Sunday, September 23, 2012. The conference will be held at the “Whispers” Night Club and will get underway at 3 pm.

In presenting his impressive performance scorecard, Hon Dalson is expected to speak on a wide range of issues including his major policy programmes and achievements . . . and also VAT. Yes! VAT

At the constituency level, he is expected to highlight some of his real achievements in the context of his strategic plan for the recovery and development of Soufriere and to prove to his constituents (and distractors, too) that he is on the right path despite the insurmountable challenges he faced, and he is indeed delivering in a resounding way!

On the matter of VAT, he is expected to debunk some of the mischievously-calculated positions taken by those he claimed “should know better” but who are trying to deliberately spread panic and confusion. Dalson - who has an excellent theoretical grasp in business and economics - is indeed very qualified to provide clarification and elucidation on the many mischievous VAT myths peddled by ungracious detractors!

Indeed, there is an apparently massive wave of propaganda that VAT will be imposed on wages and salaries; even some high-profile trade union gurus seemed to have jumped on that propaganda bandwagon.

According to the VAT Law, “Direct taxes (which include personal income tax, corporate income tax, withholding tax and property tax) are imposed on income and property and therefore will not be VAT-able!

Indirect taxes are levied on international trade and the consumption of goods and services. These include import duty, consumption tax and hotel accommodation tax!

Value Added Tax or (VAT) is an indirect tax to be levied on consumption of goods and services. According to the law, it will be charged on the value of imports and on the “mark-up” on goods and services supplied by one business to another or to final consumers. “It is not a tax on output neither is it a tax on businesses. It is not a tax on the producer or the supplier of goods and services”.

Hon Dalson is also expected to respond to misguided and gender-biased pronouncements made by the UWP during a recent meeting held in his constituency.  

During the reign of the last government, Hon Dalson sometimes filled the critical role of caretaker for the Constituency of Choiseul/Saltibus when our voices were not being heard through the incumbent. He still maintains strong links with the constituency and he still actively helps to keep the Labour flag flying high there!

The CHOISEULPOWERHOUSE has no choice but to wish Hon Dalson a very successful Constituency Conference. We also wish to compliment him for his achievements and successes in putting Soufriere and Fond St. jacques on a sound road to recovery.