The Choiseul PowerHouse is “powering ahead” in Cyberspace with the speed of light. Some claim we are hard-hitting and controversial; some claim we are intellectual and academic! Some even claim we are political! Everybody is right! We are all of those things! We have a diverse global audience and it is our pleasure to stimulate your intellectual taste buds and we make no apologies for that. The bottomline is we are independent and have no affinity to any organisation: political or otherwise! We will continue to publish our "power articles"

We wish to extend special thanks to followers for their support. We also encourage you to post your comments and feedback on the Blog using the comments link following the Articles.

Welcome to the POWERHOUSE family blog!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Despite all the attempts to downplay and suggest otherwise, there are signs of a growing consensus that St. Lucia may be in the midst of crisis from its Parliament to its Streets; and ongoing developments seem to support that hypothesis. Perhaps, the most resounding corroborative instance is the PMs own prayers on Sunday Evening at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Ground; but there are other developments that lend firm support to the hypothesis.

There’s the adjacent view that if our parliament (after 8 months) cannot resolve a simple deputy speaker issue, then what can it solve? Is it deserving of the honour of parliament? Then there’s the evidence of an obvious both intra- and inter- dissensus of sorts in the Houses of Parliament with the presiding officers seemingly at war with each other.
We go down to government and we find widespread evidence of cronyism, lack of ministerial integrity and bungling inefficiency.

The chaos easily filters into the streets and correlates strongly with the increased incidence of crime and disrespect.

 If there's a time in history that St. Lucia needed us, then it must be now! And I’m sure you will agree with me that our 38 Independence Anniversary has provided the ideal platform for a national rapprochement in that direction; but instead, we seem to have squandered the opportunity.
Image by Ted Sandiford
Although St. Lucia’s pride may have been hurt by an ongoing sorry sequence of events, it is no reason to walk out on her. Whatever the circumstances, we have to join hands and rally with her. Whatever our short term or partisan disaffections might be, we should never be under any illusion about the profound value of our freedom. Political independence was meant to liberate us from poverty, underdevelopment, backwardness and wanton exploitation. We can't afford NOT to celebrate it.

Why therefore the skepticism and apathy?
Is it because we feel independence is now taking us in a “reverse” direction; and that we perceive that some of the gains earned since its attainment are now being eroded, reversed and under threat? Perhaps so!

But let's get real! If that is the case, then shouldn't that perception intrinsically strengthen our resolve even more than ever motivate us to act?

NICE Workers Given Notice of Redundancy
(Click to enlarge)
Indeed, I empathise with the plight of hundreds of NICE workers, the CDP contractors, the hundreds or perhaps thousands of other St. Lucian employed on the various construction projects that were stopped by the Government, the poor and vulnerable who continue to languish in sun and rain while projects designed to bring relief to them have been unceremoniously guillotined; and last but not least, the thousands of our immigrants in the US who celebrate the occasion with excitement and a sense of patriotism who may be facing deportation. I deeply feel the pain and anguish of those sectors of our society and all I can offer is prayers.
I fully understand the impact of those turns of unfortunate events on the celebration of our independence and in circumstances of that nature the vulnerable people affected tend to look up to their country for rescue. For those helpless persons, it is no longer “what they can do for your country; but what their country can do for them”.  With Uncle Sam closing its doors, the problem will be even more complex.

We can probably rationalise the diminished pomp/hype surrounding celebrating “I am St. Lucia” in that context. But the issue is: does the diminution of hype translate to diminishing patriotism? In spite of all the challenges, I will argue that this may not necessarily be the case. It may simply be another  “indicator” of the extent of disillusionment and disenchantment  with a government at a the crosswords; and not necessarily with our beautiful country which has demonstrated its capabilities to the wider world in the field of Art and economics.

Despite our shortcomings, we indeed have a lot to celebrate.  We have the telecommunications, infrastructure  and education revolutions. With our pilot Universal Health Care, we have made significant strides in health. In fact, we have impressive health care infrastructure. Industry has grown exponentially. There’s no doubt that St.  Lucia has gone through significant and irreversible transformation but we still have major challenges in all sectors. For example, despite USE,we might still have shameful literacy statistics and we continue to remain relatively poor and vulnerable despite our massive gains in infrastructure.. Our poverty and vulnerability statistics approach 40 and 50 percent respectively and with the dismantling of sundry social programmes, the figures can only increase – at least, in the short to medium term.

There’s no doubt St. Lucia generates enough wealth for all citizens to benefit from. The problem is the inequality factor.

But as the umbra of the eclipse of the celebration of the 38th Independence passes over Helen,  we may have genuine and legitimate concerns, especially around what is perceived to be a profoundly misplaced “I am St. Lucia” theme. Given the context of the policy directions and momentum of the government, the theme must be regarded as fundamental  misfit. Let me explain.

Let me hypothetically put myself in the centre and in begin by asking: “How can I celebrate ‘I am St. Lucia’ when ‘St. Lucia is not for me’?”  What’s in the celebration of independence for me when my patrimony is under threat, when my hospital is facing potential demolition, when the South is targeted for obliteration? Why should our kids be motivated to participate in independence when they are robbed of their laptops? Why should we celebrate “I am St. Lucia” when there is an exhibition (in cyberspace) of nude photos of a high-ranking Minister (who is also the Leader of government business in the Senate) who once said he was “ashamed to be St. Lucian”  and yet he continues to sit comfortably in Cabinet with impunity? Why should I celebrate my country when it is broke, when public servants are facing marginalization and potential retrenchment and eventual replacement with corporate entities like Ernst & Young? Should we consider celebrating when a “5-to-Stay-Alive” panacea which imposed greater hardships on us, with a decrease in the rate of VAT resulting in an increase in the price of goods?

St. Lucia is facing a revolution of extraordinary proportions; but revolutions of that nature take time. It may take 99 years for us to know what the transformation will be like.

One can only hope that the PM will find the proper “Riemann economic calculus” to liberate St. Lucia from the grips of the nightmare – and he must be under no illusions that it will ever be DSH.

St. Lucia might be at its lowest ebb; but all is not lost. We have the talent to rescue her. Let's gird our loins and get down to work!