By: Dr. Charles Warner
There are some persons who are putting pressure on the present government that has been in office for just over three (3) years. The demands are at times unrealistic, considering what was inherited. Unrealistic, considering the great gains that our Federation has made.
Dr. Simmonds passed on a sound economy to Dr. Douglas. Dr. Douglas left a broke country for Dr. Harris and Team Unity. In essence, Dr. Douglas inherited this country in the best state ever.
It is thus important to compare the first three (3) years of Douglasism with the past years, 2015 to 2018.
Even before three (3) years had passed unbiased, casual observers were noting that Sr. Douglas was taking the country down the wrong path. That the gains made 1980- 1995 were threatened. By 2000 the future for St. Kitts and Nevis was gloomy.
Away for the economy, the vote for secession in Nevis was tale-telling. The CCM, then an ally of Labour, raised the secession vote.
From very early they realised that Dr. Douglas and Douglasism was a liability. A mere 2-3% points less than required saved the Union. A Union that gained strength 1980 – 1995. Before the end of the first term of Douglasism the Federation came to the precipice of disintegration.
Comparatively, the last three (3) years of the Dr. Harris led Unity government has binded St. Kitts and Nevis tightly and firmly. There can be no dispute on this matter. Do not forget that by 2015 the CCM was very unhappy with the treatment meted out to them by Douglasism.
By this stage of Douglasism (1998) the surge on crime was already felt and the citizens became very worried. Dr. Douglas had turned his back on the law and order that was to be his first priority. Dr. Douglas’ future as it relates to law and order multiplied over the following years. He toyed with the criminals in Opposition, in government and today again in Opposition.
On the contrary, though crime is still a big problem, no honest person can say that Dr. Harris as the National Security Minister is not making a sincere effort to secure the people.
So far the three (3) years of Dr. Harris and Team Unity have brought a brighter outlook, than the comparative period 1995 – 1998, of Douglasism.
Conscious and unbiased citizens were already alarmed as to the reckless spending and notable rise in the country’s debt position. The fiscal position of the country was clearly heading to a precipice. Even the outside, ie the CDB, World Bank and IMF, red flags were being flown.
At a Town Hall meeting at the Basseterre High School Dr. Douglas told all that St. Kitts could never be broke or poor because we have land. It raised eyebrows because some persons realised that he intended to sell off our lands. He proved them right and by 2012, what was not sold to the Asians was mortgaged to the National Bank.
It was clear that the Sugar Industry would implode, in the process increasing the country’s debt. The debt and decline ran up to a debt of 3 billion dollars, St. Kitts and Nevis per capita in the third tier of most indebted countries. A poverty rate of one in every three persons. By 2012 Dr. Douglas had put St. Kitts and Nevis at the altar of the IMF, and bankrupt near a failed State.
Look at the corresponding period 2015 – 2018. The IMF debt has been paid off and the report of the ECCB, IMF , World Bank all favourable and promising. The Fiscal state of St. Kitts and Nevis, bright and healthy looking.
The financial and fiscal management under Dr. Harris much more robust. These three years, as the polls have shown, Dr. Harris is much more capable, suitable, fit to be Leader of this country compared to Denzil Douglas.
In 1998 there was Hurricane Georges which did considerable damage to many houses. All Douglasism could do was offer some blue canvases, while holding building material in pontoons where they decayed. To be subsequently dumped at Conaree.
The picture is different with the Dr. Harris led Unity government. All over the country the State is taking care of roof repairs of all and sundry, including the biggest of Douglas supporters. A kinder and totally different approachtof the 1995 – 1998 period of Dr. Douglas.
In the quest to fight crime, twice the RSS has been brought in. It shows the responsible and caring attitude of the Unity government. Also, while the first three years have improved relations with the USA. By this time the US was angry taking actions, because of the link of Douglasism with drug runners.
Does anyone remember our image in the outer world when Dr. Douglas pushed away Ed Bradley with his camera? The act of a gangster.
Things got progressively worst under Douglasism, evident from the period 1995 – 1998. Today it is clear that St. Kitts and Nevis, led by Dr. Harris, is heading in a positive direction. By the next election the first five year period of Unity will outshine the similar period of Douglasism. The people will make the right choice and return the Unity candidates.
In the context of crime and the economy, who will back Dr. Douglas after “National Debt me Ass”; “Take no responsibility for Crime”; “Bad Since Me Barn”.
Douglasism will not get the chance to repeat such base and shameless utterances to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.
2015 – 2018, a better three year period than 1995 – 1998. The future is looking bright!