By Adrian Bailey — concerned citizen
Firstly let me state that I don’t hate the ULP, I hate what the ULP has done to our country. Because I LOVE MY COUNTRY, I will begin by stating what I hate that they have done, in point form and by the categories of economy, morality, healthcare and education. (Overlaps are obvious.)
- I hate that we are the lowest in terms of economic growth in the OECS and 2nd to last in the region.
- I hate that our unemployment rate is over 36% nationally and over 50% among the youth. (The true figures will be revealed shortly)
- I hate when I have to hear that we have more people on “Poor Relief” in our country. (That is not a good sign)
- I hate that agriculture has dropped from EC$256m in 2001 to EC$36m in income in 2019.
- I hate that the arrowroot industry is almost non-existent.
- I hate to hear that our tourism product is reduced from EC$300m in 2001 to $180m in 2019
- I hate that our fishing industry has not been attended to and even though we have the most sea space, we are not seeing the income levels that our friends in Grenada are.
- I hate that all the banana depots stand derelict even after being fully renovated.
- I hate the fact that the inner roads are in such a bad state and that only persons who support the ULP get their roads fixed.
- I hate that most of the shops in the countryside have had to shut their doors because of a lack of economic activity. All we have now is rum shops. (I know this because I operated a business selling stuff to those shops in SVG.)
- I hate to hear that no audit of the public accounts has been done since 2014, so we have to take the word of the government on the fiscal health of our nation. Hmm can we?
- I hate to hear that we have to pay for the international airport an amount of EC$1.3 billion dollars, when we were promised that it wouldn’t cost us a cent!
- I hate to hear that the ULP government has not built a single additional mile of paved road. When the NDP came into office, there was 960 miles in 1984 and by 2001 when they left there was 3363 miles of paved road.
- I hate to hear that it is only after the opposition brings the issues in the various constituencies to John public that roads and parks are now being fixed, as election approaches.
- I hate that we were promised a state of the art national stadium but all we get is a track (Sports tourism anyone?)
- I hate to hear that since 2006, the ULP, in government, had the opportunity to make the Ottley Hall Project into a thriving business, with employment for 150 persons in the first instance and an EU accredited training facility, but refused to do so. Why???
- I hate to hear that the promise of geothermal cheap energy project failed, and so we continue to pay exorbitant rates on our electricity bills.
- I hate that we have become internationally famous for rape.
- I hate that I had to be handed the phone by my wife (now deceased) only to hear a prime minister asking her to meet him in Antigua — and when I said, “Hello”, he put down the phone.
- I hate to see on YouTube, an American talking about the things done to Yugge, a daughter of the soil, allegedly by a prime minister’s son.
- I hate when we have to hear the things that our young females have to do to get scholarships and or jobs.
- I hate to hear about the fact that you are asked who you vote for or have to present a party card before you are even considered for a job in the Civil service or statutory corporations. (There will be persons backing up this indictment shortly.)
- I hate to hear about the treatment of the women/mothers in our society.
- I hate that we have to hear that we are always short on supplies in the health centers and smart medical centers. I have had that experience.
- I hate when we have to hear of a breakout of scabies and bed bugs at the Mental Health Centre; the scant disregard given to the mentally challenged persons; the unhygienic environment that both the nurses and patients have to live in every day.
- I hate to hear that we have six deaths from dengue — a totally preventable disease, especially when we were warned by regional bodies about such a breakout more than a year in advance.
- I hate to hear that no modern hospital has been built even after it was promised by the ULP in 2015.
- I hate to hear that we have to carry our own linen to the hospitals.
- I hate to hear that we have to pay $150 for every dialysis treatment at the center in Georgetown
- I hate to hear that we don’t have a health insurance scheme in SVG up to now!
- I hate that the Book Loan Scheme was dramatically defunded in 2001 from EC$6m to EC$1m by the ULP and never reached the EC$6m mark in funding since
- I hate that our students, rather than the government, still have to pay to sit the exams for their CXC and CSEC subjects.
- I hate that so many of our students who have learning disabilities are still pushed up into higher grades even if they fail and or need additional attention.
- I hate to hear that we have not catered for the blue collar worker in the education revolution.
- I hate to hear that we have no National Youth Council. Why is that?
- I hate to hear that we have failed to create an accreditation process for our artisans so that they can find work in different regions if none is available in SVG.
- I hate that so many persons have gone away to study only to return to find no job available.
- I hate to see that a significant number of the learning resource centers around the country now stand derelict with absolutely nothing happening in them.
I agree with you that it was a bad decision by the NDP Govt to close the Diamond Dairy. However, 19 years have passed under the watch of the ULP. You mean to tell me they couldn’t restore that manufacturing company back to life in some form? We have fruits and vegetables dropping off trees rotting. What is the ULP’s plan for that? Lest you forget it was the ULP government that said agriculture is dead.
Sugar Factory shut-down rhetoric
I believe that the closing of this factory was a very good decision. You may not be aware, but I was an auditor with the JG Thompson and Sons in the early 80s. One of the many statutory corporations that he held the audit for was the Sugar Factory. The factory, although it showed an operational profit of a mere $12,000 during the last year of its operation, was just one breakdown away from shutting down.
In fact, as a result of its closure, the comprehensive land reform program began, giving land to the landless and therein beginning the middle class in SVG. With the advent of bananas into SVG, citizens were able to build their homes, send their children to schools and live well from the fruits of their labour and lands.
The middle class is all but extinct now in SVG with only the upper class, the ULP class, and the genteel poor, on which the latter has to wait until every five years to get lumber, galvanize, cement, love boxes, and money envelopes through windows in the dead of night, to get votes.
So lets see this basic table:
|SVG Labour Party 1976-1984||NO MIDDLE CLASS|
|NDP 1984 – 2001||MIDDLE CLASS|
|ULP – 2001 – 2020||NO MIDDLE CLASS|
Lest you don’t know, the University of the West Indies stated that SVG had the fastest growing sustainable middle class from 1987-1998. Please check it out. Also, the statutory corporations Vinlec and the CWSA were declared as model institutions between 1988 and 2001 by the same institution.
One can only assume if you didn’t, and were not aware of all of these issues, then you are obviously in the ULP bubble where the gravy has slowed to a mere trickle. I sure you can attest to that.
With the absence of a comprehensive national plan, we seem to be pointing to the construction and repair of schools and other structures as development. Whilst they are necessary facets in the developmental process, there has been abject failure in the execution of these projects and/or a misuse or redirection of funds into other places that we cannot pinpoint.
MY LOVE FOR MY COUNTRY is exhibited by my quest to highlight the ills and problems of our society in order for our citizens to make proper and informed decisions in this upcoming general election.
Be ready guys. Nov. 5, 2020!!
The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].