I was stunned by the thought that this group, led by a person who is supposed to be very bright, and all of us presumably committed to serving the best interests of St. Kitts & Nevis, could collectively find no value even in getting suitably qualified experts to examine the suggestion and to report their findings to the Cabinet.
The Prime Minister didn’t want it, and that was the end of it.
Imagine the opportunities lost and the costs incurred to our Federation as a result of this failure to make a move back then.
As a result of this unwise position of the Government back then, the people of this country have been made to suffer greatly.
Today, the high cost of electricity is killing us. However, the Prime Minister has had an epiphany. He’s now calling for renewable energy. Geothermal and wind energy on Nevis, and wind and possibly solar energy on St. Kitts. Today, when the cost of installing the infrastructure and establishing the supply is God knows how much higher than it would’ve been ten years ago, is when he gets his epiphany.
Do you see why the country got into so much trouble?
Meanwhile, he said at a public meeting last week that when he sees some people’s electricity bills, he wants to cry. Mind you, these are bills that are calculated on the rates which he introduced.
And when he was setting the rates in 2010, he absolutely knew how much suffering he was going to inflict on those same people whose bills, he says, are now making him want to cry. But he didn’t want to cry back then. And when we were threatened with disconnection and legal action if we failed to pay the bills, he didn’t say then that he felt like crying.
Further, even if he couldn’t find any tears for the people when he was setting the killer rates in 2010, why didn’t he find even one tear drop for them at any time during the last twelve months of sheer agony and embarrassment suffered by consumers?
Why does he have tears for the sufferers only now, as Labour Day approaches, and as the country inches forward to elections?
And aren’t the electricity sufferers the same ones who are suffering from VAT, and the other new and added taxes and charges? No tears from Denzil about that? Indeed, was it not he who had threatened the people of this country with prosecution if they failed to pay VAT and those other taxes and charges that he introduced?
How come all of the threats and chest beating have now turned into tears? Who does Denzil think he’s fooling? Not me, for sure.
He introduced the excessive electricity rates, taxes and other charges because he had gravely wounded the Government’s fiscal position, and he was desperate to increase revenues and save his skin, or else face scorn and rejection from the IMF which is the world’s lender of second last resort, having exhausted all other options.
The world’s lender of last resort is the Paris Club, and that’s where Denzil is headed in a week or two to beg forgiveness for some of the Government’s debt.
Is there anybody in this land who’s still so gullible as to buy this sob story, or any other story, from Denzil?
But he isn’t stopping there. He has invited the sufferers to join him on Labour Day to march against the high electricity costs.
To march against his high electricity costs! And to march for geothermal.
He’s desperate to draw people to the march (and to galvanize support for his efforts at his Party’s Conference later in the month). And, with his massive appetite to manipulate, disrespect and make fools of the people of this country apparently still far from being whetted, he now wants them to march against something that he brought upon them, and to march in solidarity with him against something that he did to them!
How can a man claim to be a true leader when he seeks to disrespect and debase, and twist and turn, his people as Denzil is doing? Isn’t the elevation of a people the raison d’etre of leadership?
And between now and Labour Day you can expect him and his surrogates to throw out some more red meat.
So don’t be surprised if, as soon as Thursday, 3rd May, you hear that electricity rates and/or the service charge will be lowered (you may even be given a specific date or timeline when this is to come into effect), because the Prime Minister has heard the cries of the people and being the loving, caring leader that he is, he will step in and ask SKELEC to lower its rates. He might even say that he’s been able to get the “independent” Board of Councilors of the SIDF to agree to lend a hand.
After all, it’s Labour Day, Baby! A time for reaching out to the workers.
Mess with their heads all year round, but come Labour Day, promise them something or give them something, always free to take back later. Oh what a disgusting ‘game’ that’s being played out at the people’s expense.
What bothers me with this is not just the sleight of hand, but the fact that there are still Kittitians and Nevisians, albeit less than before, who continue to buy Denzil’s nonsense.
And the more gullible ones in our midst will marvel at the great works and the compassion of their beloved leader.
I tell you!
Also about ten years ago, it was suggested that Cabinet have the matter of the British American Insurance Company (BAICO) annuities portfolio examined.
Again, the suggestion was pretty much dismissed.
Then a few years ago BAICO ran aground and Kittitians and Nevisians lost well over $110 million in life savings that they’d invested in these annuities/certificates of deposit. Money which they, and our economy, will never get back.
Denzil was persuaded that the annuity/fixed deposit situation with BAICO was okay, and, as usual, that was the end of it.
But when the stuff started to hit the fan, he had to find somebody to blame. So he pointed a finger at Eugene Hamilton.
And recently, Denzil has been heard talking about assisting policy holders, etc.. He didn’t say whether their loss and suffering had made him feel like crying. But $110 million is a lot of money, you know. And that could be translated into a lot of tears.
He should cry for that too, tear for tear with the individuals and families who lost their life savings, and who have still not stopped crying.
For all of the public sector workers who he sent home and for the freezing of increments of the others, he should cry.
For not having yet introduced, after 17 years in office, legislation for Integrity in Public life, Freedom of Information, Private Sector Pensions, National Health Insurance, he should cry.
For the veil of secrecy surrounding SIDF, La Vallee, White Gate, and other projects, and the issuance of passports and diplomatic passports in our country’s name, he should cry.
For running up this monstrous national debt, and causing the people of this country to lose a chunk of that centre piece of their patrimony, their land, to a bank because of the debt, he should cry. (And he must not fool himself. The national debt will be an issue in the next general elections).
For handicapping the opportunities for development of the country because of his fiscal mismanagement of this country, he should cry.
For the blows that have been inflicted on our private sector, and on the spirit of enterprise in our people, he should cry.
For the continuation of stinking electoral practices, he should cry.
For the coarsening of our people, he should cry.
For the example that he has set with his words and conduct as the leader of this country, he should cry.
For destroying the heart and soul of the Labour Party and the Labour Union, for throwing the workers of this country under the bus, and for reversing the heroic efforts of stalwarts past, he should cry.
For allowing people to block the free access of citizens of this country to their beaches, he should cry.
For the frustration and hurt in so many souls in this land of ours, he should cry.
Cry, Denzil, cry.