Do you regard yourself as a reasonable, objective, independent-minded, and self-respecting person? Do you, as a matter of the highest priority, want St. Kitts & Nevis to be a model constitutional democracy where the rule of law blossoms? Do you want to live with the assurance of top-of-the-line national security, and health and education services? And do you want to enjoy a sustainably robust economy with fair opportunities for all, and a harmonious and cultured society? Do you want the best and the fairest for yourself, your children and generations to come? Do you want the best for your country? And if so, are you prepared to take a stand and call a spade a spade? If the answer to these questions is no, please stop reading now and go try to have a picnic at Sandy Bank Bay on the Southeast Peninsula. And if, on your arrival, you’re blocked by a security guard, tell him :”Okay, Sir”, and go back home with your tail lapped between your legs. For the rest of you, I have three issues for your consideration. And as you reflect on them, please reflect also on what your intelligence, your self-respect and your conscience will tell you to do when you go behind that curtain to cast your ballot on the fast-approaching election day. First, the Basseterre High School. Despite years of complaining, anxiety and suffering, problems still persist, with higher than normal levels of hydrogen sulphide now being reported at the School’s entrance and in its Chemistry, Physics, Integrated Science and French laboratories. First, mold and spores, and raw sewage, and now, hydrogen sulphide. A load of hemming and hawing, denial and arrogance, a load of neglect and utter incompetence and recklessness, a load of money spent, and now yet another contract to Denzil Douglas’ and Asim Martin’s favorite contractor, Lennox Warner & Associates, which is partly owned by Clement ‘Bouncin’ Williams, and which, in addition to this contract, has allegedly also been commissioned to reseal the roof at the Newtown Community Centre for $110,000.00 and to repair the roof at the J.N. France General Hospital for US$2.7 million, all of this after just having completed the contract for the roundabout between the Kim Collins Highway and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, a contract that went massively over budget. And God knows if any of these were contracts that were put out to tender. Now, hydrogen sulphide can poison several different systems in the human body, with the nervous system most affected. When mixed with air, or with concentrated nitric acid, it can cause an explosion. I’m informed that it prevents cellular respiration, and causes eye irritation, sore throat, cough, nausea, shortness of breath and even loss of breathing, fluid in the lungs, fatigue, loss of appetite, headache, irritability, poor memory, dizziness, miscarriage among pregnant women, reproductive health issues, collapse, respiratory paralysis, and death. Over 80 teachers and other support staff, and 800 children spend 6-7 hours a day, 5 days a week at that School, inhaling that gas. Are you or any relative or loved one of yours among those nearly 900 victims of this terrible circumstance which so blatantly exposes the sheer incompetence of the Douglas Gang that includes two doctors in his Cabinet-himself and Asim Martin-plus three other doctors who want to be in the Cabinet, and who, because they stand in support of, and identify and rally with, Douglas and Martin, are just as guilty? And if you or a relative or loved one might not be one of the victims, the fact that they’re human beings, children of God, brothers and sisters, you have every reason to be deeply aggrieved and outraged by the gross mishandling of the situation by Douglas and his gang. This situation exposes, not only the incompetence of the Douglas Gang but also its extreme contempt and disrespect for the health and wellbeing, the safety and the lives of our people. Behind all of the deception and ‘bull-doodoo’, Douglas’ real agenda for the young people is to entertain and fool them, not to edify and school them. And his agenda for the teachers is to punish them for having their own Union. If this issue doesn’t drive the final nail into his political coffin, then our country has totally lost its soul, its senses and its self-respect The second issue also relates to the safety of our people. A hospital is a place where ill people are treated. From time to time, people die there as a result of their illnesses. But on Monday, September 24 th , 2014, a young man died there, not as a result of illness, but as a result of being shot down, right there in Outpatients, by assailants who stormed the place and emptied their guns into his 19-year old body, in the presence of other patients, and of staff who were trying to take care of him. Shocking, traumatic, outrageous. And totally unacceptable. The sanctity of our schools are violated, and now the sanctity of our hospitals are also violated. Where’ll be next, God forbid? Irishtown School? Saddlers? Sandy Point High? Which medical and health facility, God forbid, will be next? Mary Charles? Old Road Clinic? Pogson? I heard Marcella Liburd’s talk about improving the security at the Hospital. I passed through there three nights after the murder, and it was no more secure than it had been on the night of the murder. She’s talking about plaster-on-wound measures. But much more is needed. Douglas and his gang are responsible for this threat to our young people, and to human life in general. They have, by their incompetence, neglect, disregard and contempt, demonstrated beyond the shadow of a doubt that they are not qualified, not suited, not worthy, to run this country. Again, if this isn’t seen as another compelling reason to drive the final nail in Douglas’ political coffin, then this country has been numbed into a torpor of intellect and conscience that will only open the door to further and even worse human catastrophes. But that’s not all with the J. N. France General Hospital. There are reports that sewage has been seeping up through the floor in the Medical Ward. Good Lord! Anybody for you in that Ward or anywhere else in that hospital? Are you the parent, spouse, child or other relative or loved one of any patient, staff member there? Are you a patient or staff there? And still worse, with all of that money floating around for fetes, and for Douglas and his gang to fly all over the world, the Hospital remains short of equipment, short of medicine, short of the proper resources to ensure that appropriate diets and nutrition are provided for patients suffering from certain illnesses, and short of funds to properly remunerate its workers. Enough money is there for Douglas and his gang to play, but not enough for these frontline faithful health workers and other hard-working public servants to get proper pay! The final issue relates to Douglas’ announcement that pensioners who have been getting $400 a month will now get $430, and those getting $250 will now get $255. Imagine that, an increase of $30 a month (that’s $1 a day) in one case, and $5 a month (or 16 cents a day) in the other! While he and his gang continue to live high off the hog! And doing so on the backs of the victims! Pensioners, like public servants, who were told last year that they’d be getting a 10% pay increase, not all at once though, but over a period of three years, should feel insulted and outraged. And they should now understand that they’re victims of Douglas’ gross and reckless mismanagement of the country’s finances, and victims of the ‘haircut’ given to creditors, including the Social Security Board which lost over $50m million in the process. But even apart from all of that, these pensioners, like our public servants, need to understand that instead of blowing all those millions of dollars on entertainment and quick fixes, Douglas could have and should have given them a better deal on their pensions and salaries. But he doesn’t care. He’s too in love with himself to care about them, their children and grandchildren. And if they choose to truly look out for their best interests, and to b
e smart, serious and objective about the whole thing, they’ll see this as yet another reason to drive that final nail into Denzil Douglas’ political coffin, and bury him, once and forever!