Our Readers' Opinions
February 19, 2010
The founding mothers and fathers of our nation

19.FEB.10

Editor: In every nation’s history, governments of the past contributed to National Development through the implementation of economic policies that were suitable and relevant to the generation of the time.{{more}}

Governments of the past also conversely made blunders through their own shortsightedness, and their failure to execute the appropriate economic programmes.

The photo above shows our parliamentarians of 1974. The political party in governance at the time was the St. Vincent Labour Party, founded in the 1950’s, and headed by the late Robert Milton Cato, the founding father of the Nation. In 1979, the official opposition was the junta party headed by Sir James Mitchell.

Many people today remember the Labour Party for its so-called high handedness and bash it for attempting to institute during its tenure a system of total dictatorship.

I agree that after chalking up electoral victories for two or three consecutive terms, a government perhaps could become a little bit complacent and lose focus and vision of its long term goals for the overall development of its country. However, if one were to take an objective look at the then Labour Party of the era aforementioned, you would agree with me that the Labour Party Government had a satisfactory record with regard to industrialization in this country.

Tax incentives were given to potential investors to come here and establish business ventures which would enhance economic development for the nation.

The Campden Park industrial and the Diamond Industrial Estates flourished under the Labour Party regime, providing numerous job opportunities for the unemployed, who were able to build quality homes for themselves.

Undoubtedly, there was an efficient civil service under the Labour Party regime, though at times it was riddled with bottlenecks and bureaucracy. The Mothers and Fathers of our nation, most of whom constitute the St. Vincent Labour Party, set a fine standard in infrastructural development as evidenced by the construction of new roads and buildings across our National landscape. In agriculture, SVG boasted of a vibrant banana export market to the U.K., and beautiful houses were constructed from the revenue of bananas on the lush green countryside.

Successive governments, including the New Democratic Party and the current Unity Labour Party, will unabashedly agree that the then Labour Party laid a solid foundation upon which they could have built.

Of valuable note is the fact that public servants received financial incentives on a yearly basis under the Labour Party regime. As the years rolled on, the Labour Party administration got rusty, its ideas became outdated and stale, and even worse, they lost nexus with the people.

Inspite of its shortcomings in the evening of its political administration, the Labour Party government was responsible for some notable progressive changes in our country. The tired Labour Party regime paved the way for the James Mitchell administration; another founding father, our first Chief Minister E.T Joshua, played a salient role in this nation’s development and was actually the tribune of the masses.

The current Unity Labour Party regime has also demonstrated marked progress since assuming office in 2001. In conclusion, I wish to salute the founding mothers and fathers of this nation for setting the tone for continued social and economic progress.

Patmos Richards