Letters & Opinion

The Legacy of Kenny Anthony

The Independent Eye - By Kensley Peter Charlemagne

I am no disciple or fan of Kenny Anthony. His attributed charisma has waned and has not hit a right note on my appraisal keyboard. As a leader, you have to leave a mark. Your legacy can be positive or it can be negative but it has to be substantial, far-reaching, defining or redefining. At this moment Dr Anthony, it is undefined, at least in my mind.

One of the contemplations of the “doctor” upon returning to office (with teary eyes) was a question as to what legacy he would have left behind after demitting office. He is demitting office, right? “Is Kenny staying or going?” I want to know. Don’t you? I will be most appalled if he stays on. You could not like power that much! I remember when the Prime Minister first took office he chastised Sir John Compton for holding on to office for too long.

If Kenny is leaving he is taking too long to make the transition just as he took too long to call the election in 2006. But if you are giving over the reins of power, by now we should have known who will take over the helm of the Saint Lucia Labour Party. There are a few things that Dr. Anthony will be remembered for but none we can brand or define as a legacy.

To his credit I am told that it is Kenny Anthony who brought in this style of aggrandized campaigning to Saint Lucian politics, all the glitz, the expensive billboards, the imported artistes. This is no legacy. It’s a curse! Your speeches have been less than inspiring. (George Odlum and even John Compton had something over you there.) Every time Dr. Anthony hits my TV, he’s crying. “Fellow Saint Lucians… “ in the most morbid of displays. One of the most noted and lively moments for me and nothing a Prime Minister (though he was not Prime Minister then) should be remembered for, was that “Renegades. Renegades!” episode in parliament.

If I had to attribute a legacy to Kenny Anthony it would be that of being a suing Prime Minister credited to his first two terms in office. But what have you done with your second chance, Mr. Prime Minister? Have you lifted us from poverty? Have you rebuilt the middle class? Have you sold our land to foreigners and placed lands beyond the pocket of our local people? Have you inspired our people to higher, nobler ideals like entrepreneurship and innovation? Have you made us a more literate society? Are we living in a more peaceful environment? Is our judicial system more functional? Have you created a mind shift so that we see ourselves more as a Caribbean persona or are we drowning in our insularity? What! What? Mr. Prime Minister is your legacy? A legacy is not a product to be sold. It is supposed to be a self-evident persuasion.

In my estimation the Prime Minister has made us a more dependent people with all his initiatives like PROUD and NICE and STEP. Why have you not tapped into our resolute spirit instead of handing us handouts? Constitutional Reform, done rightly, may be your last chance to create a legacy. Nuff said.

1 Comment

  1. When a legal mind and law lecturer allows oneself to be taken by handing over $45-48 million dollars in a phony company deal and signing away for this amount, but the country gets at best, 500-600 low-paying hotel jobs, that would have been secured without this deal in place anyway, you do not see a legacy?

    Tell those crazy people in the national productivity group, that there is such a thing as the productivity of capital —- not just of labour or human resources. Regarding the above deal, the job acquisition cost of an HR department would have faced with these figures are these: That is a very CONSERVATIVE $45 million divided by 600 persons or $75,000 per person or per job created.

    A government pays out $75,000 per job for each job created? That sounds very reasonable to you? You do not see a real legacy there?

    When a legal mind, and a lecturer in law at that, goes on to tie up at that timein a speculative start-up venture, government-owned lands, that were clearly UNencumbered in any way, and loses title to those lands with the value of $86 million you see no legacy? When no attempt was made in the contract or in any mechanism devised to secure the value of the land or recovery of the land in case of a collapse of the venture, in the first place, you see no legacy? When the country is already down for the count for losing $86 million in the loss of the value of the land, and has to find foreign exchange to the value of yet ANOTHER $86 million, just to regain the UNPROTECTED interest of Saint Lucian patrimony lost in that funny deal, resulting in an ABSOLUTE TOTAL LOSS of $86 million in lost property value, plus another $86 million in any buy- back operation which equals a total absolute $172 million, and you still do not see in that, a legacy?

    When a legal mind and law lecturer seemingly ignores constitutional authority and brokers a deal with someone to the value of $150 million, and Saint Lucia gets nothing in return for this, except for a lawsuit with a potential $500 million in settlement cost coming from an International Tribunal, plus legal costs for legal representation costs, that amount still undetermined or undisclosed, you still do not see a legacy?

    When most of these very awkward financial outlays and payments, with NO CLEAR POSITIVE RETURN ON INVESTMENT have to be made using foreign exchange (They may not be paid using EC dollars.), and these outlays have to be taken from the uncertain earnings from the NET returns coming from the Tourism sector, and these payments must also compete with annual interest payments and pay downs on previous loans, all serving to crowd-out outlays and expenditures on and for real economic development, you — in all of this — still do NOT see a legacy? Really?

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