Letters & Opinion

Time for Action – END THE CHATTER

By Peter Josie
By Peter Josie

POLITICAL talking has its uses. But it loses its value, like expired medicine, when it is not followed by suitable action. It was interesting to hear so much chatter concerning the speed with which a French national was brought to trial and released after pointed words from the French Ambassador. Others at Bordelais prison held without trial have no idea when their cases will see the light of day. It reminds us what happens when chicken hawks speak to yard fowls.

The details of the court action and decision to set Eric Sommer free are irrelevant to this writer. What is of concern is how his case suddenly got to the top of the pile. One feels instinctively the power of the French Government. Still, there are crucial questions: Who issued instructions that the case be brought to trial forthwith? What is the fate of the hundreds of locals held at that same place for more summers than Sommer, and without trial?

And the mother of all questions in this: If the government is as dedicated to the separation of powers as it claims, will it investigate the hasty trial and release of the Frenchman? Please do not repeat the ‘separation of powers’ line. It can’t be used to explain why Sommer had his day in court before others who are languishing at Bordelais for much longer. Why the discrimination against locals? Surely, it’s a question which any decent government that claims to represent the interest of ‘the people’ should wish to have answered.

The people of Saint Lucia (especially SLP supporters), who put country before party should demand answers from the government to the above questions. This troubling question gnaws at me. It leads me to ponder the reason Saint Lucians are so passive. Is it a sort of disease aggravated by fear and ignorance? Is this disease of passive lethargy endemic only to this island? And please don’t say that the UWP is not as noisy as the SLP. And do not compare the SLP to a yard fowl that lays an egg and cackles loudly its achievement, while the UWP lays many eggs, and is silent.

People are different when they choose. Everyone feels the pangs of hunger, the pain of violence and the loss of a loved one. Equally, everyone feels the joy of victory and the satisfaction of success. So why are Saint Lucians so passive in the face of such disrespect from politicians they put in office to manage the country – the economy, health care and the justice system in particular.

The most persistent theme that describes the uneasy calm on the island is the lack of a fearless disciple who comes armed only with the word of truth and who fears only God. The word disciple is deliberate as it fits easily into the theme of Holy Week and all that that means to a wilfully Christian society.

Frankly, it’s time the people of Saint Lucia take to the streets and demand more truthful answers from their government. The economy, law and order and the criminal justice system leave too much to be desired. Add this to the lack of job opportunities and the persistent defiance of the government on issues such as IMPACS, Grynberg and others seem to say that the people must cease talking and act. Yes, the situation cries out for a dynamic response such as protest marches. The people must mobilize to force the government to call elections immediately.

The inability of the government to attract more foreign investments is retribution that stalks the land. Didn’t the leader of the SLP (in his role as leader of the opposition), threaten to write to overseas investors asking them not to invest in Saint Lucia? Frankly, there should be a law which prevents any person making such a statement, whether in Parliament or elsewhere, from ever contesting general elections in Saint Lucia.

We hear the cry that the justice system is broken. Has anyone suggested how it might be fixed and by whom? Are the words ‘and nothing happens’ to be the permanent anthem of the criminal justice system? On a recent TV show (Calabash TV, Head to Head on Tuesday 15 March), I said that at present the economy is the most important aspect of public administration with law and order closely following. These two are inextricably bound together. A strong economy in which people are gainfully employed lessens the temptation to commit crime.

The other matter linked to the sinful haste with which Eric Sommer was brought to trial and set free is the lie continuously fed to the people of Saint Lucia regarding the ‘separation of powers’ in the governance of the island. There are ministers of the government and SLP hacks regurgitating that bull. After the Sommer incident and knowing the pressure which the hawk put upon the bare footed yard fowl, does anyone still believe in the notion of ‘separation of powers?

Saint Lucians have watched in silence as the man from the NCA debacle landed a job in Guyana. Then they experienced the discovery of a ‘mistake’ in the Saint Lucia constitution some thirty four years later which was hastily taken to court. And now there is the case of Eric Sommer. Frankly, every intellectual argument regarding the CCJ flew out the window when the ‘constitution mistake’ was adjudicated here. The saving grace was the descending judgment of one of the three judges.

New Labour has tried every way to bend the law to serve its purpose. The amendment of the police appeals legislation and the resulting IMPACS report is another example. What is needed now is follow up action on that report as demanded by the people of Saint Lucia, the EU and US. Bearing the above in mind isn’t it time to wake up and act? Time for action; stop the chatter, enough is enough.

10 Comments

  1. How doth the process of PUBLIC justice work -in any civilized democracy?
    Well, one fact is universal- it favors those who can afford very expensive lawyers.
    Surprised!
    Our legal system has its tentacles firmly entrenched in the institutions and traditions of IMPERIAL ROME- the mentor for the current RC religious empire.
    And as we all know the Roman systems were designed to advantage the privileged class eg., your master Chas.
    Fact: MONEY as in copious amounts of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ makes the mare fly and talk – whether its UK-USA-Canada-Germany- or anywhere on this planet:
    The intercession of a friendly powerful nation invokes the status quo of “privileged regard”.
    It has the the same effect as if a distant relative were to put up enough liquid assets to buy off your mortgage balance -which was in pre- foreclosure proceedings-toute suite!
    Voila, courteous exchanges among friendly nations are not new.
    However, what you are omitting from this persistent universal legal quagmire is the real COST of any justice system and the confounding perplexity of its internal and external components.
    You know and I know the prohibitive costs of collecting/weighing evidence, preparing witnesses, lawyer motions, the alacrity involved in avoiding technical mistrials etc , etc, etc .
    If this was a rich Middle Eastern oil producing nation and one was busted selling illegal drugs , only the sale of an F-16/F-18 fighter jet or two would permit the exit outcome enjoyed by this frenchman.
    Therefore, Sir Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers 🙂
    your point is misdirected- as per your usual staggering (your Cabaway exit style) –
    with cherry picking the dirt surrounding the nuggets in the ore.
    Go on Peter Quixote, chasing those fantastic windmills,
    with the hope that one of them will be,
    ye olde Dutch CRUZAN Rum distillery.
    A toast to your vain solicitations is in order:
    Your flatulent bottoms up…oui?

  2. Peetar
    I did predict escalating bouts of MANIC DEPRESSION during YOUR holey week of JUDAS GUILT.
    I cautioned you about soaking in top shelf liquor at this here time.
    Your subliminal call to RIOT in the streets of St Lucia is a SEDITIOUS ACT OF NATIONAL TREASON.
    Only permanent admission at either La Toc or Rockland Psychiatric Centr NY, can save your putrid neck from the gallows…oui!
    CONSEQUENTLY, i present the following solemn outcome -in the Square, between ye olde Library and your minor Basilica- (youv’e always salivated -Pavlov like-for the national dramatic stage…oui!
    SWIFT JUSTICE for your seditious act of national treason:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPmSR–BktE

  3. PEETAR/
    Let’s examine your CALL to riot in the streets!
    Actually, we know it is the puppet meister’s echo via your plume.
    You are playing into the fact that the police force management is in transition-
    overall proactive initiative for law enforcement is in laissez-faire limbo, and the shadow of IMPACS places all in uniform into “cautious reserve ” mode.
    What if a ruckus band of opportunistic wayward persons “exploited ‘ your offer to take to the streets.
    Let’s say they proceeded to loot a strip mall.
    lets say COPYCATS repeat similar atrocities island wide.
    Given, that the government is dismayed by the slow response of the GG’s urgent call to the UK throne for a regiment of Royal marines to end the looting -pillaging etc.
    Then govt asks friendly nations for help and the quickest response via air is a no nonsense professional armored brigade from RAOUL with airlift support provided by ………Obama’s Airforce Transport command.
    The unrest ends immediately and prisoners are detained.
    When brought to trial they all declare that they were responding to Peter Josie ‘s Call to “TAKE TO THE STREETS “.
    Pete ole boy, that connection you cannot refute.
    You incited ANARCHY against the state.
    That ole boy is treason.
    Unfortunately most acts of treason are tried by tribunals -sans jury of your peers.
    The guilty verdict is usually penalized with……. well you know…………
    Poor jab, you wish to reenact your own Declaration of Independence in the same fervor as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, et al ;
    yet your own puppet meister is confounded between that historic watershed event and the Civil War.
    Sacre Bleu…. misguided blunderings indeed!

  4. Oh Sweet Pea ( appealing to your ‘happy’ closeted side)
    How ironic that Flambeau Inc call to riot in the streets necessitates a formidable force from Havana- FUNDED by the new OBAMA Normalizing Initiative.
    St lucia gets to reverse Cuba’s Grenada misfortune by distancing it from its perennial ‘rogue ‘ nation classification.
    All this international goodwill as a result of Peetar Josie’s call to anarchy;
    on behalf of IMPATIENT aristocratic pirates.
    Hurrah!

  5. Peetar,
    It will be all good when the disciplined professional force from Cuba demonstrates a True Blue “Operation restore Civil Order & Confidence”.
    With the US $ funded Cuban forces will come medical doctors and civil engineers to take care of some of our most pressing national needs.
    Unfortunately, Pete ole boy, your neck won’t be around to gloat on your short lived call to RIOT in the streets………fuh sure!

  6. Your inspiration to RIOT may have come from this London source circa 1968?
    Ev’rywhere I hear the sound
    Of marching charging feet, boy
    ‘Cause summer’s here and the time is right
    For fighting in the street, boy

    Well, what can a poor boy do
    Except to sing for a rock n’ roll band?
    ‘Cause in sleepy London town
    There’s just no place for a street fighting man

    I said hey and the time is right
    For a palace revolution
    But where I live the game
    To play is compromise solution

    Well, then what can a poor boy do
    Except to sing for a rock n’ roll band?
    ‘Cause in sleepy London town
    There’s no place for a street fighting man, no

    I said, Hey and my name
    Is called Disturbance
    I’ll shout and scream
    I’ll kill the king, I’ll rail all his servants

    Well, what can a poor boy do
    Except to sing for a rock n’ roll band?
    ‘Cause in sleepy London town
    There’s just no place for a street fighting man, I know, no

    Copyright by Rolling Stones – Street Fighting Man

  7. Pete/
    We eavesdropped, nay, hacked into Chas Inc. Street Fighting Man 101 training sessions.
    I must say that this Euro style of street fighting starts of under the guise of a frenzied Mosh Pit exercise but can quickly escalate into violent mayhem …n’est pas?
    Toss in some rum and voila
    – “Le Flambeau des Anarchists”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7_RC9B5iTA

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