Our Readers' Opinions
August 20, 2021
Road block did not bring down my gov’t – Sir James Mitchell

EDITOR: Your editorial [of August 13] is appreciated. However you sustain one myth that I thought I had dispelled in writings and speeches. The Road Block did not bring down my government.

Dissension in my ranks influenced my mood. I was long before ready to let my ministers seek their own mandate. Also I was not going to exceed 12% salary increase offered to public service when I knew banana preferences would not last beyond 2005 and we needed to build up reserves and diversify the economy including use of marine resources. Let them have the 30% promised. The public service had forgotten the massive salaries given without negotiations when I restructured the entire service, adjusting ranks in every department .

I planned to retire when I posted Carlyle Dougan in London and found a seat for Eustace.

I never wanted like other leaders in the region to have no succession in place .

No one cared to remember or realize that I resigned from government in 1972, or that I resigned from every job I had before and therefore quit; [I am]capable of quitting. No one kicks me out .

I told the party convention before election that it was my last . I was not intending to be in office after 70th birthday as I went into parliament at age 35.  A heart operation confirmed this issue . Eustace told me he was ready for election before I took final decision to cut short the term.

When I visited my mother in St Lucia after winning all seats in 1989 and thinking it would make her happy, she raised a hand and told me Son , if you have more friends than you can count on the fingers of one hand , start counting again . She wanted me to quit .
When you sow in the wind look out for the whirlwind.

Never in the history of this young country with no tradition do we need more balanced thinking than now. I agree with you we are heading for disaster, but not just today .

Blessings
Sir James Mitchell