In the fable entitled Aladdin and the Magic Lamp, in return for freeing the Genie, Aladdin was granted three wishes which he used well. Like Aladdin, we, at the Observer, will only ask for three, just three, of the many wishes we have for 2017.
First of all, we expect that during 2017, the 2018 Nevis Island Assembly Elections will be held, but without the much vaunted electoral reform that has been promised. Our wish is that the election results will be ready and released by midnight, latest, instead of the dawn announcement that we are accustomed to. The allied part of that wish is that behaviour of Assembly that emerges out of that election will lead the way towards change in parliamentary behaviour. Right now, that behaviour is unbecoming of honourable men and women.
Secondly, we wish that the Port Development and Safety Fee that is collected at the Basseterre and Charlestown ports be used for actual port development, especially in St Kitts. There, the area assigned to inter-island travel has been forgotten by the authorities. It has become a bus stand, a taxi stand, a recreational area, a strip mall, a ferry terminal, a cargo port, a pissoir and a motel for the homeless. It is too much for such a small space. It becomes worse on weekends when each bar plays its boom boxes at maximum volume. On the Nevis end, add more signage and finish the canopy. The authorities need to be aware that many tourists use the facility, so it will enhance visitor experience.
Our third wish is for the monkey population on both islands to be controlled and brought below the human population so that we can enjoy greater food security, reduce our food imports and continue the fruit trade with St Kitts for mangoes, genips, sweet potatoes and so on. The value of this trade goes way beyond products: it actually helps to bind the two islands together. This talk of luring the monkeys back into the forest is at best dubious and is definitely too long term a solution for so immediate a problem. The romanticising of monkeys by the tourism industry is detrimental to our well being.
Real Prosperity is within our reach. The magic is within us!