We have chosen to form this new political party because we are committed to a better St. Kitts and Nevis. We believe that at this time of economic and political crises, St. Kitts and Nevis needs a new model of governance and government. The majority of people in St. Kitts and Nevis believe that the Honourable Sam Condor and I can contribute to that new order. We know we can contribute to transitioning our beloved country from crisis to comfort, from disaster to decency, from fear to faith, and from venom to victory.
The People’s Labour Party provides us a structure, a mode of organization to mobilize and organize our people for greater level of service to our country. The PLP symbolizes progress we can count on. It represents change for the better. By focusing on the people’s needs, desires, hopes and aspirations, PLP is set up to go hand-in-hand with releasing new opportunities for single mothers, for every talented young person who deserves a second chance in life, for the poor and indigent, for the hurting homeless, for those left-out and left behind, for those that suffer, not because they lack skill, aptitude and ambition, but because of declining of job opportunities, and for those who we know too well are ostracized and punished on the altar of vicious, vigorous, partisan politics.
The PLP’s raison d’être is the development and implementation of people-centered policies and programs that deliver in effective ways, concrete benefits to the people of this country, regardless of gender, creed, class, family background, education, sex, party color or where they live. We have seen the negative effects of divide, rule and conquer, now we must choose the positive impact of unite and triumph. Above all, the PLP believes that if we are not our brothers’ keeper and sisters’ neighbor, our nation becomes poorer in spiritual values, weaker in social ideals and all of us end up chasing pretty butterflies over dangerous waterfalls.
Now is the time for the people of this country to seize the moment and make the decision to put our beloved country on a path of positive, powerful and penetrating change, renewal and reward. Though some may perceive as challenging, the change that we all know is necessary, notwithstanding the economic, social and political crises we endure under the present leadership; and whilst we acknowledge and feel the pain of the thousands of Kittitians and Nevisians who get up every day in despairing circumstances; we have as part of our history, a resilience and dogged determination to succeed which define us as a people and which, at this critical moment in time, provide the basis for optimism and the impetus for change, renewal and reward.
We know that people are the backbone of a thriving democracy; we know that good leaders appreciate and understand their limits and the need to make way for the next generation of leaders; we know that our leaders must serve us with integrity and treat us with respect, every second of every minute of every day; we know that our elders must at all times be respected and honored for their contribution to this great country; we know that every person of working age deserves the dignity of work; we know that every young person must be given a ladder upon which to climb, to live their dreams, to reach for the stars; these are things we know and these are things that we in the PLP have embraced as part of our system of values, as part of our core philosophy and ideals. In so doing, a highly transparent, accountable and prosperous democracy will imbue in St. Kitts and Nevis.
It is well-noted that we have been at the forefront of elective politics for some time. We have also been in the leadership of the St. Kitts and Nevis Labour Party. We have maintained that the philosophy, principles and ideals of Labour, that is, protection of the poor and vulnerable amongst us, unity of our people, empowerment of the masses, justice and equality for all and preservation of the national interest are enduring, sacred values. Those sacred values are now being threatened by a galloping dictatorial approach to governance and subverted democracy within political party and government institutions. Fellow Citizens, Comrades and Residents, on this day as we launch the People’s Labour Party, I implore you, as I have on many occasions before this, to reject dictatorship and embrace democracy.
We call upon your patriotic fire; we summon your deep commitment to the higher purpose and the greater good of UNITY. It is well known and proven that apart we suffer, together we triumph. Our future begins now so let us all triumph and rise together as one great people.
Our beloved country is at a crossroad. We can choose the status quo which inevitably means more pain and hardship for our people, an unemployment rate of over 25%; cost of living rising every day; a poverty rate of over 30%; electricity rates increasing almost 100%; violent crime and murder rate ranked among the highest in the world; declining health care; crumbling schools and roads; wanton disposal of our lands to foreigners; regular bailout of foreign businesses by the SIDF whilst local shutter their doors and lay off workers; increasing corruption in public office; and government using surreptitious means to dominate the economy and sideline the private sector, with predictable, debilitating outcomes.
Alternatively, we can choose change, renewal and reward by choosing the PLP and choosing UNITY as the right option for a better country. The PLP will be the voice for the ordinary folks, our suffering middle class and indeed all our people. We are pleased that many persons in and out of St. Kitts and Nevis, including potential investors, share our vision of a St. Kitts and Nevis in which each citizen and resident can feel safe and secure in their pursuit of happiness.
As Party Leader, I am delighted to introduce the cadre of eminent persons who are united with me in our fight for a better St. Kitts and Nevis. The good citizens here at the head of this Party are;
Hon. Sam Condor, Deputy Party Leader, a most experienced politician and public servant and the best representative for St. Christopher 3.
Mr. Douglas Wattley, former Permanent Secretary in the government of St. Kitts and Nevis and now a Consultant, brings a breath of knowledge and experience in management, cooperatives, health planning and management of public administration to this Party as our Chairman.
Mr. Clecton Phillip, Electronics Engineer, Businessman and former Information and Telecommunications Advisor to the government of St. Kitts and Nevis, has the honour to be our National Secretary, and
Ms. Venelma Hanley brings her administrative skills and know how as our National Treasurer.
Several others have offered to provide support and assistance to this Party and for this I thank them.
The future begins now. We are enjoined from day one to make politics what it should be: about the people – their needs, their concerns, their aspirations, their values, history and country.
A wise luminary Proust enjoins us, that “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes. ” With new eyes we urge you to break the cycle of divisive politics in St. Kitts and Nevis, the victimization, clientelism and parasitism in the politics. Confucius is right: “The essence of knowledge is, having it, to use it.” Nothing better indicates a nation’s maturity and transformation, than when it uses its collective wisdom to move from polarization to prosperity. If Division is the cause of our pain, let UNITY be the strength of our peace.
Let us resolve to live right and be right for the good of St. Kitts and Nevis. Let’s purge the country of one bad apple that spoils the whole bunch. Let’s start now and together, we will execute policies that lead to a brighter, more peaceful future. Let each seek the interest of the other and together we will achieve greatness for all. . We start with a commitment to Our Country, Our People. It means that “we the people,” must set the agenda for national growth, not a spent leader who has overstayed his welcome. Our Country, our People means that we the people will aim a political death blow at the thinking that a leader must die in office while the country fall off a dangerous cliff.
But this also requires an awe-inspiring courage, a steady faith and an unshakable determination to display extraordinary belief that though we are bruised and burnt, we remain refreshed and revived. Though down we are not out, because Our Country and Our People, will turn this valley of death into still waters and green pastures. And, we will do this, through our love for each other and in our communities together. We shall do this by reducing the gap between promise and performance; we shall do this by inspiring the greatness in all of us to bring out the goodness that we each seek. It doesn’t just take a village, it takes a unified nation to feed a child. Whatever your place, be sure of this—-nothing, and no one can stop a nation that stands together, unmoved, fearless and unashamed, for the betterment of the whole. I dare you to reverently imagine, tears for those who work hard to keep us apart and laughter for those who labour wisely to bring us together. Are we our brothers’ keeper or our sister’s neighbor? That is exactly who we are! If we serve our country better, shine for our country better, choose better leaders, build better houses, raise stronger children together, be a better parent, and be a better citizen, we only can do these noble things because we love each other more. Productive UNITY is the vision of the PLP, God help our country to achieve UNITY as we seek change, renewal and reward.
The future begins now!