Too serious for mirthWritten by Editor
Recently, at a public meeting in his constituency of St. Paul’s, the Hon. Prime Minister, Denzil Douglas called for a march against the high cost of electricity. The St. Paul’s representative was very passionate and urged all in attendance to put on their red shirts on Monday – Labour Day - and come out to march. This appears to be a rather peculiar request.
First, whose attention is this protest supposed to draw? Every citizen is aware of how high his or her electricity bill is. The next option then is the St. Kitts Electricity Company. But then the St. Kitts Electricity Department was corporatized on August 1st and became the St. Kitts Electricity Company, a statutory body of the Federal Government. According to Public Utilities Minister, Dr. Earl Asim Martin in a St. Kitts-Nevis Observer newspaper article titled, ‘New St. Kitts Electricity Company to Start Operations Aug. 1’ dated Friday, June 24, “the St. Kitts Electricity will be fully owned by the Government.” The same source quotes the minister as saying, “the Caribbean Utilities Management Company was contracted by the Ministry to run the operations of the new electricity company for a period of three years.” So then the company is government owned and is operated by a regional company contracted by the government. So how can the prime minister lead a protest against the government he heads?
Protest marches or demonstrations are usually staged to show a viewpoint (either positive or negative) regarding a public issue, especially relating to a perceived grievance or social injustice. It seems odd that the person or entity that the grievance is against would be the one calling for the action in the first place. Such appears to reduce any impact that the action might have had.
The cost of electricity is a major concern in the federation contributing to the ever-increasing cost of living. Citizens pay high bills for their homes and then pay higher prices in the stores as businesses pass on their increased costs to consumers.
This issue is too serious for mirth to be attached and that is exactly what would happen on Labour day if what is proposed comes to fruition.