Yet the mark of the passage of time is inescapable. Twenty – two young people have violently lost their lives over the course of the last year on our two islands and in the wider region and world 2010 saw a litany of disasters such
that many like our brothers and sisters in Haiti are happy to see the end of it.
Not surprisingly for anyone who was paying attention, the economy is certainly not working and we have not weathered the storm. The introduction of the Value Added Tax and the announcement of a budget of stringent austerity that portends our tiny nation going cap in hand as a mendicant to the doorstep of the IMF have torn the façade off the catastrophic mismanagement of this Labour government.
This reality could not have been more different than the picture that was painted for the nation last year at this time. Then, money was being strewn about without any care for the consequences; there was a double salary and campaign spending that seemed to come from an overly beneficent godfather.
Unfortunately consequences cannot be avoided forever and the residents of our once halcyon isles face the season of giving with the unwelcome knowledge that already bad times are about to become much worse.
However, there are things to be thankful for. Our islands were again spared the ravages of a direct hit by a hurricane and fewer young people lost their lives this year than last year. Despite the extreme strain of our economic
difficulties our people have maintained a phlegmatic attitude that has kept a lid on a tenuous social situation.
Our situation is very bleak and gloomy. Yet, this is precisely the kind of situation that, the scriptures teach us, which heralded the birth of Christ. It is always darkest just before the dawn comes. As we think about our futures at this time it is important that we maintain a proper perspective on the place of material things in our lives against our many intangible blessings that will be all around us especially the love of family and friends.
I extend best wishes to all for this Christmas and Carnival season on behalf of my family and the executive and members of the People’s Action Movement.