JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE TO CALL YOURSELF A DEVELOPING NATION...
THIRD WORLD CORRUPTION COMES TO 21ST CENTURY ST LUCIA
It’s Russia out there.
And we ain’t talking about no Russian Regatta. This one is far better organized and has far more dangerous players.
It’s small-time China for big-time Lucians. The kings of corruption are not the politicians we like to blame.
The kings of corruption are the snakes who slither out of the party hierarchy onto all the green grass of the stat-corps.
Like my friend Kofi says, “St Lucia isn’t run by a government, it is run by a party in power.”
The recent case of Leotaud vs SLASPA is only the tip of the iceberg.
It reveals only the smallest portion of systemic vice, maladministration, nepotism, cronyism, and, in many more cases than we think, outright corruption.
Files and records are being shredded as we speak. If there is one way to know that something is amiss is for them to tell you, “Well, the files are missing.”
Or “The system crashed this morning.”
It’s the oldest trick in the book. You know what happened, you just can’t prove it.
If anyone thought the people in the last government who managed to make US$29m in Taiwanese funds vanish while misspending and misusing another US$28m were bad, it is my misfortune to tell you that what is going on underneath the covers at SLASPA, Tourist Board and soon, no doubt at Invest St Lucia, is far more well organized, far more entrenched in the bureaucracy and far more dangerous than a few losers who got voted out forever but made off with millions.
EXHIBIT A: If BET is no longer a media partner in the Jazz festival, why do we keep over-paying them to book artists for us? Why do we not seek new media partners? Why do we rebuff all the smaller, more regional media partners that continue to offer their services? The entire management of the foreign media has been a loss. It stinks. Smells like Baker’s butt. To mess up that bad, someone has to be doing it on purpose.
EXHIBIT B: Hot Couture 2014. The dream is already dead. Now will someone please give us a report of how much this cost? Because last year’s Hot Couture was far better and yet, McDoom said it cost waaaay too much. It stinks. Smells like Louis Lewis’ butt. But I’m sure the files are missing.
EXHIBIT C: What is it with the lack of transparency at statutory corporations? The regular civil service is more open than they are now. What kind of state secrets are they protecting in there? How much Tourist Board paid Hot Couture consultants? How Dwayne Mendes could book Jazz for so much less than Paxton and BET, but he continues to play along with the game? How Donna Regis, the public relations showrunner for SLASPA never has up to date information or is simply not authorized to speak any words of substance, ever, at any time in her life, ever again? Smells like Leo Clarke’s butt. But then, he sits on every statutory board, so everything smells like his butt anyway. And now, his wife is replacing career diplomat Sonia Johnny, who is getting the boot after giving her entire life and then some to St Lucia’s diplomatic service. And not because she is his wife, of course, but because she is the most qualified person the entire team of doctors in Cabinet could find.
EXHIBIT D: Southern Tourism Development Corporation. People are getting paid. The Prime Minister approves. Southern Tourism Development Corporation is the mother of the corrupt development corporations that put all those Taiwanese funds to no use at all. It was started in 1998 and hasn’t done a stroke of work to this day, in spite of changes of government, change of personnel and more changes of government. The unfortunately named STD Corporation is the mother of the cancer that has spread to all stat-corps and created a network of parasites who define success strictly by the size of their bank accounts. Che Flambeau could never have been so bright to do what they did without learning from Che Labour.