Exceedingly well written post from James (Jimmy) Fletcher, former Former Minister for Public Service, Information, Broadcasting, Sustainable Development, Energy, Science & Technology at Government of St. Lucia
His seven suggestions are outstandingly good and need desperately to be implemented in the Cayman Islands.
The fact that our Colonial Overlords, who carry the ultimate power in these islands, do nothing to properly govern these islands leaves me flabbergasted, not to mention their proliferation of the uniformed services.
The cavalier attitude by local members of Parliament towards Democracy and their Electorate proves that they see themselves as our Masters not Public Servants.
Wake Up Cayman Islands.
Two Cents Tuesday No 8 of 2021 (this one is longer than usual)
We have become a country where slogans are much more important than substance. We need to change that.
This year, the theme for our celebration of the 42nd anniversary of our country’s independence is “A Resilient Nation. We Can, We Will”. I like this theme, but not for the reasons you would expect.
Over the last 22 years, we have selected some interesting themes for our independence anniversary celebrations. On two occasions, we have basically kept the theme from the previous year (2015/2016, and 2017/2018). Unless you are a member of Saint Lucia’s Independence Anniversary Committee, I doubt you could, off the top of your head, remember most of these themes. However, even after you have recalled the themes for the respective years, I am almost certain you would not be able to identify any meaningful, sustained actions that we pursued during the year when the theme was current that would have caused the ideal(s) represented in the theme to become the reality for the majority of our citizens.
So, in effect, the theme for the celebration of our anniversary of 22 February 1979 is like the costume that wins King or Queen of the Bands. We admire these costumes (or themes) on the night of the competition, we parade them through the streets of Castries on Carnival Monday and Tuesday (or during Independence celebrations), and we forget about them for the rest of the year.
Can we honestly say that our actions have been designed to encourage “respect, tolerance and togetherness”? (2001). Have we been vigorously “guarding our national pride against the global tide”? (2003). Are we doing everything we can to ensure that we are “progressing in face of global challenges”? (2008). Can we honestly say that by our actions we steadfastly adhere to the principle that “tout Sentlisyen se yonn”? (2010). Have we been acting “in unity and dedication for the good of the nation”? (2014). Are we really “all in, our journey, our future”? (2019).
I did say that I like this year’s theme, but you would expect that from me because it speaks of resilience. Not for the first time mind you, because our 2011 theme also spoke of resilience. I guess back then we were invoking the spirit of resilience to recover from the impacts of Hurricane Tomas. But that is not why I like the theme. I like it because it also says, ‘we can, we will’. It suggests determination, commitment and action. However, for this to not be just another empty slogan, it must commit us to meaningful, substantial actions.
So, here are my recommendations for the themes for our independence anniversary celebrations for the next seven years, in no particular order, building on the foundation of ‘we can, we will’.
1. We can, we will work towards eliminating violence against women by changing how we raise our young boys so that they do not see girls/women as objects for their pleasure, but instead as people whose wishes must always be respected.
2. We can, we will, become a more fiscally responsible government, so that we stop living above our means and spending money on misplaced priorities, while carrying a debt burden that increases relentlessly every year.
3. We can, we will make urgent improvements to the justice system so that young men and women do not spend years remanded at Bordelais while they await trial.
4. We can, we will put an end to corruption at all levels of government so that our scarce financial resources can be used more efficiently and effectively for the benefit of all the people.
5. We can, we will work assiduously towards revitalizing agri-business in our country so that we become a country that feeds itself with fresh, wholesome, locally grown produce, as opposed to one that is slowly killing itself with dated, imported, canned and frozen food.
6. We can, we will re-establish our balance with our environment so that we protect our watersheds, our rich biodiversity and our land and marine ecosystems that are responsible for the quality of life we enjoy and which support all economic activity.
7. We can, we will educate and empower our citizens to help them to understand their rights and responsibilities so that they have the capacity, each in their own way, to make a meaningful contribution to the sustainable development of our country.
If we focus our attention and resources on one of these things every year for the next seven years, then in 2029, when we turn 50, we will truly be able to celebrate the fact that “We Did!”.