Letters & Opinion

Continuity Is Necessary, Regardless Of Who Started Which Project!

Image of a section of the unfinished St. Jude Hospital. (PHOTO: By PhotoMike)
Image of Carlton Ishmael
By Carlton Ishmael

IT bothers me that after a victory at the poles, the elected government sets on a path of self-destruction. In most cases, it starts by halting most previous projects. The justifying reason, I suppose, is to try to discredit the efforts of the previous government, regardless of the cost.

You see monies are accessed through four main means, starting with taxes, loans, grants and in some cases gifts. But regardless of the source, there is always a financial cost — and what is worse we beg, we plead for assistance, we ask for help in all forms and means and end up discarding projects and assistance, just to discredit the efforts of the previous government.

Take the examples of the meat processing plant in the south financed by the Taiwan government at a cost (I am told) of over 21 million dollars, but was discarded after completion just to prove a point. The same applies to other projects such as the Soufriere Town Square, the St. Jude Hospital, the connecting road from the North-East to the Dennery Village (and so forth), all conceived of and planned by the previous government, giving little credit to their ideas.

I would have thought that both governments were aware that there is no guarantee that their reign will be extended regardless of how much good they profess to do. Circumstances of all sorts can change a regime and because of that it would be necessary for continuity, regardless of who consented or conceived the idea, as long as it was beneficial to the country.

If such a habit was practiced here, there would be less wastage and more resources and the donor government will not conclude that their support was not justifiably used, especially when these same governments are constantly harassed to provide more loans and resources.

Again we have a situation of borrowing large sums of monies for newly-conceived projects to create an impression that growth is better-achieved by the instated government, but if they were to lose the election, the next government becomes burdened with these loans, so as to keep the country’s name clean or not to tarnish the island’s reputation. So now, the burden becomes multiplied because of the discounted projects, the projects left unfinished or incomplete, and the new projected projects.

Another sour point is the way errors remain a point of contention throughout the reign of the government and used as a campaign tool just for vicious purposes. While other islands are exploring the possibility of exploiting the potential of crude oil found in their island, we are still disputing our earlier methods of what and how we started the process of determining if we have such resources. So, daily you hear the party hacks use it for political leverage.

So sad, when we hold on to grudges we frequently condemn and are always ready to denounce any person associated with these past endeavors, not taking into account that people will always make mistakes — even (and especially) politicians.

Sometimes, what one party presumes is good for the country can end up disastrous in the long run. If you read news from elsewhere, you may know about big investments that were made in some countries and cannot be paid back in a timely manner and the lending countries gain full ownership.

We are giving our lands away at an alarming rate and all we have are promises. The government of the day is given all the cash support they request or beg for and we the people have no guarantees, only the promises of the government to deal with the deals.

We trust, we believe, we give our favourite party all the support we can, we say and do all to disregard contrary opinions and we go on with our lives like nothing is wrong.

What a time we live in!

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