do we explain Senator Mary Isaac’s notorious misconception that government legislated a 5% wage cut for Public Servants
for the fiscal year ended March 2015 that never materialised?
do we explain her infamous “walk across the parliamentary floor” in the House
of Assembly when a member was making his contribution?
do we explain her persistence with the misrepresentation that St. Lucia has had
three years of negative economic growth?
she ready for parliamentary and ministerial office?
other things, this article seeks to analyse her contribution to the Budget
debate largely in the context of those issues.
UWP wolf in CSA Presidential Camouflage?
hearing the Senator’s contribution to the Budget debate, I am now more than ever, convinced that her candidacy on the UWP ticket may not entirely be based on
merit or arguably she may bringing any value to the UWP party. I'm becoming increasingly convinced that her eligibility
as the candidate for South Castries was based more on a “behind the scene”
to sell the soul of the CSA to UWP than merit. Hence, the popular claim (that she was a UWP
wolf in “presidential” clothing seeking to ride on the backs of CSA workers for
political gain) is well-placed and tenable.
in CSA presidential camouflage, Senator Mary Isaac tottered precariously along
the UWP-CSA tightrope pretending that her mission was to fight the cause of CSA
workers until the sheer “gravitational
force” of her recent controversial endorsement as
UWP candidate for South Castries
resulted in her crash landing on the UWP side of the fence.
Reflection of the Chronology of events
hindsight, the chronology of events well-documented in the public’s eye over
time has made it easier for us
to put her actions and pronouncements into context. Upon reflection, we are now
able to explain her “testicular fortitude” – not in terms of industrial
relations courage and principles but -in terms of an overwhelming political
agenda motivated by the pursuit of power; we are also able to explain her
irrational and persistence of intransigence (and one might argue her sabotaging
of the wage negotiation process) was not as a consequence of “testicular
fortitude”, but was all part of an
ongoing UWP campaign strategy using the CSA as the platform. In short, Mary was
simply using her position as president of the CSA and the CSA itself as a
platform to campaign for herself and the UWP.
When will the Comedy of Errors End?
comedy of errors
reached a crescendo when she orchestrated her appointment as general secretary
of the CSA while simultaneously
wielding presidential powers, knowing fully well that her endorsement as the UWP candidate for South Castries was imminent; and notwithstanding her
“overwhelming” endorsement, she still continues in the positions of general secretary and
president of the CSA.
waits with baited breath for the next move of the embattled CSA president turned UWP Senator and now
endorsed candidate for the constituency for South Castries.
Female version of the "Guy"
of the above represent “symptoms” of the controversial Senator Mary’s
political character, then arguably we have to admit that we may have a female version of Guy Joseph on our hands - if not a female Allen Chastanet
and a female Ezekiel Joseph (who
are both before the courts for corruption) in the making.
Contrary to any belief that Mary may be the
beneficiary of the untenable chronology of events which
political sojourn prior to her
controversial endorsement by the UWP as candidate for South Castries, it may
result in deepening her own personal
and political dilemmas. While, they may have contributed to putting her
in the limelight, they may not remotely translate into electoral success which
I assume is her ultimate goal. Moreover, if her presentation in the Senate is
any indication of the quality of discourse she will bring to parliament, then she is far from ready
for the job.
Snapshots of Senator Mary’s Budget Presentation
put the argument in perspective, let’s take snapshots of her presentation
during the senate debate.
her presentation to the Senate, Mary argued that “All gov’t want to do is cut”;
but in the same breath, she was advocating that gov’t should cut out the
director positions in the public service.
She also posited that she would displace the current “crop of NICE
workers” and replace them with a “crop of youth”. She went on to categorise some NICE workers as beggars.
One of Senator Mary’s dilemmas is the reconciliation
of her pronouncements about a high rate of unemployment with her reckless desire to displace the current crop of NICE workers (who are doing a sterling job providing
home care for our vulnerable senior citizens) and replace them with a "crop of youth”.
Why didn’t she propose that
she would instead build on the NICE programme by designing a counterpart
employment programme targeting youth unemployment?
There's also the issue of labeling some NICE workers
(who according to a UWP placard-bearer were “niggas”) as “beggars”. In the
context of the UWP’s reluctance to condemn that placard-bearing “Nigga’ slogan,
Senator Mary’s pronouncement is no Freudian slip, no accident! The fundamental
question: why would a trade union president want to characterise some gov’t
workers as “beggars” and why would
she want to join hands with an institution who failed to condemn a placard-bearer
who labeled NICE workers (who are part of public service) as Niggas?
In her presentation, Mary
also posited that the country was not on the right path. The logical question is: Is
the CSA on the right path?
CSA and the UWP have one thing in common and that is they are both divided down
the middle and, in both
instances, the division is caused by the incompetence of the leadership.
Mary has created history by being the only Trade Union president in St. Lucia who
is also a
How therefore can the senator have the moral authority, the legitimacy to advise
gov’t about right path when she treading on a woefully wrong path?
must be careful about making
thoughtless and illogical generalisations: She suggested that she is
against the kids laptop programme pointing that the students were misusing the
laptops by “breaking the code” and downloading (I assume) forbidden material.
In her attempt to excoriate the gov’t for the kids laptop programme, she was directly and indirectly
making a stinging indictment on our children, parents and teachers. But the
paradox is, while
she was making her case about the misuse of the laptops, she was in the same
breath generalising that parents had no electricity and no internet. How can
students with no electricity and internet download (and again I assume) the “forbidden
material” she was referring
It is difficult to comprehend why a self-professed mother of four and an aspiring politician
would engage in profound negativity of that magnitude against our youth (which she incidentally claimed
were better candidates for employment under NICE).
Notwithstanding her profound contradictions and
reckless generalisations, she didn’t tell us what she would do
differently. Would she stop the laptop programme? What would she replacee it with?
Her reckless negativity continued unabated with the
claim that there were no science programmes in some secondary
schools. Unfortunately, she did not cite those schools! I therefore await the Minister
of Education to clarify as I’m
aware that (in the pursuit of universal scientific literacy) it is ministry policy
that every school must offer science!
comedy of errors reached its peak when the Senator postulated that the
geothermal research project can result in the volcanic eruption of the sulphur
springs. Even the Grade 7 science student would not subscribe to that
misconception. (On the lighter side, I wonder whether is her embrace
of non-science and pseudoscience that has caused her to seek
a Canadian passport in preparation
for running away when that eventuality according to her happens.) The sum total
of those reckless pronouncements makes Mary unfit for both parliamentary and
ministerial office unless we are comfortable with more Guys in government.
The basic mathematics of economic growth
Mary fell into the same mathematical/statistical trap of all the UWP colleagues
when she reported that there were three years of negative growth.
cited the claim of low productivity reported in the Social and Economic Review;
but she also said that there were just a hand of lazy public servants
suggesting that the mass of the lazy and unproductive workers in St. Lucia was
found outside the civil service.
intellectuals - even
when her leader of Opposition is an intellectual luminary; and more critically even
at a time when the UWP needs intellectual support to put its house in order. By
her anti-PhD sentiments, she came across as being profoundly anti-intellectual.
Also by her failure to understand a basic mathematical algorithm (such as -0.70 – (-1.93) = +1.23) also seemed to suggest she is equally “academically lean”.
I am not suggesting by any stretch of imagination that
politicians should be quantitatively bent; but, if however, an
aspiring politician (who was a head of a government department and president of a union and who may have had
years of exposure to figures) is still apparently challenged when it comes to the interpretation of simple
mathematical computations and basic statistics (which generally tend to be at the heart of negotiations
with the employer) to the point of feeding the public with misinformation, then
s/he is not only unfit for the
position of union president much less for
parliamentary or ministerial office. In fact, it is becoming clear that (despite her new status as a senator),
she was misled into believing that government had legislated a 5% wage cut
which never happened suggesting that she has not grasp the basic difference
between the estimates of expenditure and the policy which circumscribe it.
on the wide spectrum of seemingly aberrational issues and missteps (ranging the
politicisation and chasm of the CSA to an obvious lack of intellectual grounding befitting a senator) which has overtime consistently plagued Senator Mary, she
needs an urgent refresher! Perhaps, new lectures on industrial relations, the budget,
fiscal policy, the economy, universal ethical principles, statistics,
information technology and (of course) mathematics may help and . . . perhaps,
Dr Lewis can volunteer to be one of her lecturers.
Post a Comment