While the opposition party, the Concerned Citizens Movement, CCM, has been trying to identify all the failures of the incumbent administration, the ruling Nevis Reformation Party, NRP, has been using every opportunity to outline all the achievements that they claim have been accomplished on behalf of the people of the 36 sq. mile island.
However, Premier Parry told residents of the island, during his regular weekly radio program on Tuesday, that though his administration will continue to look out for the best interests of Nevisians, it is about time that they too begin to speak out when their interests are being compromised.
“We Nevisians, we don’t speak out and when we get squeeze we ask why,” said Parry. He used the example of current developments at the main hotel on the island, Four Seasons Resort, where he has claimed that not enough “locals” are being given an opportunity to advance to the positions of management. Instead he charged that the hotel’s policy is to appoint foreign citizens to these posts, ahead of the Nevisians.
He said in the world of today, Nevisians have to speak out, be heard, seen and felt. “You have to stand up for yourself,” he continued. The NRP, he argued, is the only government on the island that has stood up for the people of nevis. It was Parry’s submission that, “The first Nevis Reformation Party did its bit and I was there. But this one has been more open and we are sending a message to our people, that you must not be second class citizens in your own country. They are saying I should not have said what I said on the platform…I have no apologies to make to any man for what I am saying. I am the leader of Nevis, am the Premier of Nevis, I represent the people of Nevis and I am not afraid to represent the people of Nevis, including the people at Four Seasons”
He continued, “I don’t have to represent the management of Four Seasons, they represent themselves. And I understand some of them going around collecting money…funds for the campaign. It’s not for me; it’s not for the NRP. I wonder who it’s for. I wonder if they are collecting funds because I am not as amenable…you hear the word I use, I am not as amenable. When you have a dog and you put a leash around its neck that dog is amenable when it follows you everywhere you carry it. So I am not as amenable as some people are.”
Mr. said he feels that representing people is far more important than collecting a few dollars to win an election. “Perhaps that is what I feel and that’s what the party feels, but the point I am making is …that we are representing the people of this country. I hear them say I am being so aggressive because am afraid. Well if you look at my history over the past 20 years, you know when I get a chance I represent the people of Nevis. When there was a strike at the Four Seasons, ask who I was supporting openly. Or when the masseuses went on strike, ask where was I; in the line with the masseuses. Or when many years ago Nisbett’s (Plantation Beach Club another major hotel on the island) had a problem and there was a gentleman there who was playing around with the workers, ask if he did not have to leave Nevis, because I as Minister of Labour make him leave Nevis 20 years ago.”
He said despite the deportation of the manager, the hotel today remains a strong player in the tourist sector. He posited that instead of falling down (failing) it is better, because the workers are happy because they were properly represented. “It is one of the best hotels in the whole Caribbean and I am a good friend of the owner today. So you see, when you stand up you get respect in the long run, even people don’t like you in the short run. When you stand up and you represent your people they are happy and they perform better and then we become number one in the Caribbean…”
“So I am saying to you the workers, as long as NRP is in government, as long as am premier of the country, you can sleep easy in your beds. There are others who are playing golf and making friends and looking money, don’t worry about me, I am not looking any, so be safe and sleep easy, stated the island assembly Representative for St. Thomas Parish.
A by election is due to be held in Nevis within the next three months and both CCM and NRP are starting to rev up their campaign rhetoric.