Letters & Opinion

History Will Judge Us By The Choices We Make

Image of Prime Minister Allen Chastanet

Dear Mr. Editor,
PERMIT me to respond to an article published in the issue of your January 27, 2018 newspaper captioned “Get Off Chastanet’s Back”, in which the author launched a scathing attack on Ms. Catherine Sealys of “Raise Your Voice” for appropriately responding to myopic comments made by Prime Minister Allen Chastanet regarding the future of second and third borns to teenage single mothers.

He further opined: “The Saint Lucia Labour Party introduced the culture of attacking the then Leader of the Opposition, Allen Chastanet, in public forums after assuming leadership of the United Workers Party.”

In responding to a question posed by talk show host Timothy Poleon, Prime Minister Chastanet said: “You have young girls having kids, first one, second one, third one. We watch them, we pass by their homes, we do nothing. I think Government should have an intervention programme. If, in fact, a young woman has a child, a first child, we need to sit down with their parents and everybody else, that that child has the capacity to be able to take care of the child. But how do you allow that same child, that same girl, now to have a second and third child? Couldn’t even take care of the first one! You pass, that’s your problem and your future. You see, I’m not done yet. The third one is jobs.”

Timothy Poleon interrupted and questioned: “Before you proceed to jobs, is that an issue you should legislate? Because human rights activists will tell you that’s a human rights issue.”

The Prime Minister continued: “Yes, you can legislate. If a woman has a child under the age of 18, not even an adult yet, and that person goes out and has their first child and you help them and help support that first child, and (she) goes out and have a second child, should that person be entitled to keep that second child?”

I felt it necessary to quote the Prime Minister verbatim so readers can understand the context in which his comments were made, thus necessitating a response from Ms. Sealys. By giving legitimacy to his convoluted logic, the author’s posture suggested the decision to reproduce or extend their family does not reside in the purview of financially-challenged single teenage mothers, but in a Prime Minister who has demonstrated his administration’s visionless incapacity to implement policy direction to protect the very vulnerable lives he seeks to destroy under the pretext of protection.

How can the author question repeat pregnancies by women deemed to be underage, knowing full well that procreation is not one-sided? What statistical department furnished him with the data he referenced?

“We have got to understand that the majority of these kids grow up to be a burden on the society. In most cases, they are abandoned by one or both parents from very early.”

This statement is categorically disingenuous, unsubstantiated or, perhaps, it may very well be his masculine impulse to prevaricate.

It is totally uncharacteristic and unacceptable for a Prime Minister to make such insane comments without challenge. I know of teenage single mothers who faced challenges maintaining their children. In most cases, they birthed between three and four before attaining the maturity age of twenty-one. Today, they are proud mothers to young professionals. Should their circumstances at that time necessitate the Prime Minister to deprive them of their second or third born and not experience a mother’s love?

Should the Prime Minister now determine the suitability of young women to become parents of more than one child? Should the Prime Minister decide their children are better off being raised by strangers when no agency is responsible for ensuring they get a monthly allowance or food stamps, thus causing a strain on their resources? Has Mr. Chastanet tabled in Parliament a law to stipulate Social Services pay a monthly allowance to teenage single mothers facing unfortunate circumstances?

As a first step, shouldn’t he focus on establishing safety nets to provide the enabling environment that will empower these young women, educate the delinquent fathers who renege on their responsibilities and also ensure avenues for employment can be accessed through social programmes? Is he suggesting that St. Lucia will ensure a woman remains a primigravida based on her domestic circumstances?

This Machiavellian intent to recklessly legislate the separation of children from their parents will only serve to propagate an erosion of values in the family structure and a breeding ground for sexual retaliation. The Prime Minister’s cacophony of baseless babble failed to find resonance with me and, by extension, many other citizens because, clearly, no explanation was given as to how and where the State would house the displaced children. Referencing the Singapore model in his ramblings demonstrates his lack of comprehension of fiscal prudence exercised by foreign governments to individually pursue a development agenda for the advancement of people and country.

It is this same fiscal prudence implemented by the SLP-led administration that caused St. Lucia to be on the path of growth, stability and development. It should be noted that the achievements of the Labour Party whilst in Government are visible throughout every constituency in St. Lucia. For one to even suggest that Dr. Anthony gave St. Lucians a six for a nine borders on extreme disconnect between that individual and the country. Moreover, it also serves to confirm the political dishonesty propagated and unleashed on a gullible electorate causing them to analyze things through jaundiced lenses.

It therefore came as no surprise when the leadership of the UWP was confirmed and the country was preparing for general elections that it was incumbent upon the St. Lucia Labour Party to warn the populace about the recklessness and destructive agenda of Allen Chastanet, which was well-documented.

For the elucidation of readers, I will highlight some of the substantiated, reckless expenditures by Allen Chastanet during his tenure as Saint Lucia’s Tourism Minister from 2006–2011, thereby refuting the cogency of the author’s arguments:

1. FCCA TENT (Future Brand) — $ 922,963.00

American Airlines — $4,115,850.00
British Airways — $5,325,336.00
Condor – $2,334,243.00
Excel Freedom Flight — $800,118.00
American Eagle —
Executive Airlines — $7,259,747.00
Jet Blue — $5,180,741.00
Sun Tours — $462,643.00
Virgin Holidays — $8,648,520.00
West Jet — $4,328,222.00

TOTAL — $38,455,420.00

3. 2009 Jazz Festival Costs

Amy Winehouse
(a) Performance Fee — $679,255.00
(b) Accommodation — $21,191.82
(c) Group Air Fare — $35,319.70
(d) Amy & Security — $228,668.54
(e) Miscellaneous
(Meals and Riders) – $7,020.00

(f) Lighting — $4,184.03
(g) Excess Baggage, etc. $2,106.00

TOTAL — $977,745.09

4. Boxing In Paradise

(a) Production Contract
For Showtime — $665,658.58
(b) Boxing Promoter– $815,070.00

TOTAL — $1,480,728.58

5. Chastanet Mobile Phone Expenditure

(a) Year 1 — $19,921.00
(b) Year 2 — $41,903.00
(c) Year 3 — $48,916.00
(d) Year 4 — $23,734.00

TOTAL — $134,474.74

6. Payments to Coco Palm Hotel — $78,472.91

7. Chastanet Travel Costs

(a) 2007 — $28,256.00
(b) 2008 — $233,624.00
(c) 2009 — $183,396.00
(d) 2010 — $236,586.00
(e) 2011 — $200,191.00
(f) 2011 (Apr-Dec) $98,737.00

TOTAL — $980,791.00

8. James Hepple Consultancy Payments

(a) 2008 — $85,675.00
(b) 2009 — $137,465.00
(c) 2010 — $51,098.00

TOTAL– $274,238.00

The aggregate of the above excesses totals $43,304,833.32, a cost to taxpayers that could be utilized in education, health, agriculture or infrastructure, thus making more productive use of our taxpayers money. It is, therefore, inconceivable to assume that the St. Lucia Labour Party attacked Mr. Chastanet; rather, they took the responsible position of constantly informing and reminding the electorate that he was a prodigal spendthrift, totally incompetent and lacked the financial prudence to successfully lead the country.

Despite the numerous warnings, St. Lucians elected Allen Chastanet’s UWP into government and, as predicted, his previous habits have continued unabated to the detriment of our taxpayers and economy. Supporting a candidate or party is the prerogative of every eligible voter which is understandable and within one’s democratic rights. However, what is dangerous is unashamedly condoning the actions of that politician or party at the peril of the people and country for personal gain. History will judge us by the decisions we make!

 Austina Fanus, SLP National Women’s Officer


    1. ?What about the
      (anywhere from 15 to 25% of the gross)
      -that typically accompany large business deals, even before the confirming handshake?????

      🙂 I run a super stealthy EXILE IN EXTRADITION-PROOF SHANGRI-LA sustainable, off the grid commune . It is supported by AI intelligence and a cadre of robots and live in staff. Prospectus -only by individual invitation.
      Our motto: We rescue those who do not fight embezzlement in 3rd world kangaroo courts by offering a safe secure exit to an EXTRADITION PROOF SHANGRI-LA 🙂

      Compare being Tarred and Feathered in the evacuated commuter bus parking zone flanking Conway,
      following a “sticky hands in the coffer intervention” by restless native denizens-

      sipping perfectly chilled young coconut water/pulp ,from a shaded hammock with gentle
      breeze fanning you in tranquil repose,
      following your full body Swedish massage by a 38 X 26 X 38 , 5ft 10inch tall physical
      therapist associate dressed in form fitting boy shorts and fine mesh fishnet halter top…..
      Ou la la in Shangri-la? Then pack your loot -no bags needed and head to our secret off shore rendevous!

  1. ……..Austina, if you went through that life span to experience a “mother’s love”, you must be the image of a dehydrated prune: bald, toothless, stretch marked, distended breasts,… bulging varicose veins,..etc,etc……hope that your tubes are tied by now!!

    1. Proof positive of the OBSESSION that samj is a raving purveyor of Jame**es at lucrative brothels, partitioned from OFFLINE blocks of rooms in hotel and resorts. He has graduated from the streets and wharves 🙁
      samj is an aspiring purveyor in the flesh for sale emporium that markets innocent firm flesh “jelly roll” (coco4nuts) as “exotic erotica in paradise”.
      This is why he makes mockery of a mature female physique ( the poor jab was raised by a toothless bearded hag with tough “TUBE SOCKS” as pacifying teats.
      He has sublimated all his scarred catharsis and rage of impoverished developmental deprivations into becoming ruthless within his current main career.
      His market demands are for young, firm mammary glands and buttocks weaned from 13 (probationary period of psychological desensitization / demoralization of hymen /vulva) –
      explicit practitioner 15-25 (objectification of total physique as likened to an ATM) –
      then pastured thereafter as brothel trainer / enforcer, earlier if pregnancy or illness intrudes on the performance /vitality of any in his concubine stable.

    1. Come on samj,
      you do love eager, Cialis assisted, firm, intact probus’ that are well connected to their scrotums.
      Your hypocrisy is below par!
      Why would you want to desecrate your Golden Money Maker.
      Your stable of Jame**es get paid by each insertion of a live erect probus.
      Do you really care what adventures your most recent john Lance-a-lot has been afar,
      as long as he PAYS the toll at the MOAT of cumalot.
      Would you dare to disappoint King Arthur who looks forward to your timely TRIBUTES 🙂

    2. A vasectomy is much quicker and easier, and it is easily done in a walk-in clinic as an outpatient procedure, followed by lying down at home with a bag of ice for a couple of days.

      And, everyone can rest assured, there is absolutely no impact on the probus, only that it then only shoots blanks after a few short weeks.

      Another option is chemical castration, a procedure done to a particular section of the brain that eliminates sexual desire. It is used as a punishment in some European countries in cases involving sex crimes. The person remains completely as they were before, but has zero sexual interest.

  2. Ms. Fanus makes the case for a monthly allowance for teenage single mothers and an unfettered right to willingly procreate and have multiple children before age 18, and that there should be a monthly allowance from government.

    Granted, the issue of teenage single mothers is a thorny one. However, it is a difficult conversation that must be had. There will be viewpoints that not all agree on. The present situation is not sustainable and is not fair to the thousands of children future life choices will be sorely limited based on the circumstance in which they were raised.

    One big question is whether the state be encouraging teenage pregnancy by, essentially, paying people to do it. Being biologically old enough to procreate is by no means a license to start as soon as possible and to have as many kids as possible. And, those that choose to are being irresponsible in having a child that in many cases they cannot responsibly take care of.

    In addressing this issue, the males cannot be overlooked and could could very compellingly argue are the primary, main source of the problem — our nation has a lot to do towards getting them to stop irresponsibly (and sometimes criminally) pulling down their pants at every opportunity and effectively opening their own family franchises, and treating women as equals. This chauvanistic behaviour of most males in St. Lucia has been endemic, institutionalized for hundreds of years. Often this behaviour is overt, and even more often it is subtle but there.

    Raising a child requires a whole lot more than as she says, a mothers love. That remarkably narrow opinion also suggests that adoptive parents are incapable of loving their adopted child.

    Rightly or wrongly, there will be pragmatism required beyond a simplistic refrain of all-you-need-is-love-and-a-monthly-allowance in addressing the issue. Perhaps, as with many other things in life, there should be a requirement for potential parents to prove that they are capable of raising a child, including taking a very basic means test. Why is it that not just anyone is allowed to drive a car, not just anyone can buy as much as they want in any store they want, and so on, yet anyone can have a child. Even the Catholic church generally requires that potential couples must take a pre-marriage course and learn about what it means to be married, the obligations, and having the chance to sit down with couples that are already married to find out what its truly about and to help determine if the couple really feel right for each other. Not so with having a child.

    Ms. Fanus also indicates that she knows several women that were teenage mothers to three and four kids, those kids now being working professionals. In the absence of quantitative data, this sounds like the exception rather than the rule in terms of single teenage mothers with more than one child.

    Ultimately, Ms. Fanus refutes nothing in what she presents.

    All that she does is hinder focus and possible solutions to a pressing social issue by carting out unsubstantiated numbers and simplifying the issue down to solving it simply by giving single teenage mothers a cheque every month. If only it were so easy. But it is not, Ms. Fanus.

    Ms. Fanus also does not seem to grasp the big picture, much as we have her view of a relatively simple world . Again, in her eye-openingly oversimplification of the issue, it would be so easy to blame one government.

    This social issue is a legacy going back hundreds of years in which a wide variety of stakeholders have arguably been complicit — governments of both stripes, church, private sector, and society itself. Tragically, it sometimes seems like the issue has treated by some like the issue of potholes — universal agreement that there is a problem, that it needs to be fixed once and for all, some opining periodically to that effect, but in the end, something accepted and lived with, nothing substantive changing over the passing years.

    It should be noted that the numbers cited by Ms. Fanus, in their present form, mean absolutely nothing and completely lack any credibility unless she can specifically cite the publication or other verifiable source from which the numbers were taken. Until such time as that takes place, the assertions made in the letter and the link she makes to single teenage pregnancy, do not have a leg to stand on.

    As written now, these numbers could have easily been pulled out of thin air.

    It is also very interesting to note that, despite clearly giving the impression that she has access to a plethora of documentation of government expenditure, that she has conveniently not included expenditures post-2011 for the readers themselves to be able to make their own independent comparisons and arrive at their own conclusions.

    And one could certainly, reasonably conclude that she would have easy access to the post-2011 SLP figures.

    How very disappointing that the SLP National Womens Officer, a position that one would presume (perhaps mistakenly in this case) to be the standard-bearer in promoting balance, transparency and equality in all aspects, clearly sees fit not to do so where full and open disclosure and transparency may not suit what seems to be, simply stated, seeking to further selfish political intentions.

    That is sad. It really is.

    God Bless.

  3. A vasectomy is much quicker and easier, and it is easily done in a walk-in clinic as an outpatient procedure, followed by lying down at home with a bag of ice for a couple of days.

    And, everyone can rest assured, there is absolutely no impact on the probus, only that it then only shoots blanks after a few short weeks.

    Another option is chemical castration, a procedure done to a particular section of the brain that eliminates sexual desire. It is used as a punishment in some European countries in cases involving sex crimes. The person remains completely as they were before, but has zero sexual interest.

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